Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 48: "Earthlings"

      After hearing about "Earthlings", a documentary on the mistreatment of animals, through numerous sources I decided to check it out. While this documentary was very long and the music was  kind of hokey, I found it to be impacting than the short film "Meet you Meat" that I discussed on day 18. This film includes a far more in depth perspective on how we tend to treat animals. If you want the quick run down go with the quick ten minute film "Meet you Meat", but if you want to see it in a broader perspective, and have the time, I would advise checking out this film.

      The thing I found to be the most interesting thing about this movie is how the director starts the film out by comparing racism, sexism, and speciesism. Specisism is defined at as "discriminating in favor of one species, usually the human species, over another, especially in the exploitation or mistreatment of animals by humans". 

      They go on to break the movie into 4 basic categories:

1) Pets
     More often than not people will go to pet stores to get our household pets. Unfortunately many of these pet stores we tend to go to are often supplied by puppy mills. People also aren't always the most responsible owners and most shelter dogs are those given away by their own owners who have decided they don't want them any more. These animals often end up dying by injection or even by being put in a gas chamber.

2) Food
      For those of you who saw "Meet Your Meat" you have probably seen most of this footage. Although there is one clips that I found to be the most disturbing that was not in "Meet Your Meat" which was of a cow being slaughtered at a kosher slaughter house. This cow was rotated, had its throat slit so the blood sprayed violently, and once dumped the cows innards were falling out as it kicked and moaned in agony. 

3) Clothing
     This one hit home for me since I am going into fashion design and merchandising, where leather is a popular commodity. In this section they showed clips of how these leathers and furs are acquired for various types of clothing and accessories. The most common leather used is from sacred cows from India that have been sold under the belief that no harm will come to them. Unfortunately that is not the case. These cows are brutally injured on the way to slaughter. Often cows will have chili pepper rubbed into their eyes, or their tails broken to keep them moving. If you were ever a fan of animal fur commodities you wont be after watching this film. It shows many scarring scenes of animals being stripped of there skins while still conscious.

4) Entertainment
      And it doesn't stop there. Have you ever thought about how animals in the circus are trained to do the tricks they do, or why bulls buck like crazy in a rodeo? It is not because it is in there nature or that we have kindly coaxed them into doing it. It is because they are motivated by fear and pain. 

     If you would like to view this video for your self it is available for free at


  1. I agree that we should find ways to be less cruel to certain animals, but we cannot avoid "speciesism" completely. We have to discriminate in favor of the human species over others. Otherwise, we would never be able to kill spiders, swat flies, put on insect repellent, and spray to get rid of ants, cockroaches, and termites. Every time you brush away a fly or moth you're being a "speciesist."

  2. Even Vegans practice "speciesism" as well. We have to eat so we exploit plants for food.

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  5. I understand that we can't completely avoid "speciesism", but we can at least try to be a little bit more humane to other creatures. We also cannot completely avoid racism or sexism either in a sense, but that doesn't mean it isn't wrong. We still have a lot of sexism going on today. sexism is normally seen as discriminating against women but it works both ways. Women can get away with slapping a mans butt or cat calling, while if a man was to do that to a women he could be up on charges of sexual harassment. The sword cuts both ways. You must agree though that a lot of what we are doing to animals is not ok.

  6. “As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.”—Isaac Bashevis Singer

  7. Sara,

    veganism is not about perfection- it's all about non-violence and the golden rule of treating others how you wish to be treated. eating animal products is like enjoying sex by raping. this is a great article about the parallels between Speciesism & Sexism:
    btw, here is another video that is much shorter at 11 minutes. i wonder how many of the people who are defending carnism and speciesism can or will watch it?

  8. Thank you for your comments and inspiring quotes, I will also be sure to check that article and video out. I have seen the 10 minute film "Meet Your Meat" which has been very impacting as well. Is the video you posted any different than that one?

  9. Sara,

    you're very welcome-thank YOU for going vegan. farm to fridge is a more recent video or undercover footage from Mercy For Animals. i'm not exactly sure how similar it is to Meet your Meat.

  10. btw, here is one of the best video's about veganism and compassionate living. it's long @ 70 minutes but well worth the time. if you can, please share it with non- vegans too:

  11. I don't defend carnism. I don't eat meat. I do agree there is much cruelty toward certain animals that needs to stop.

    But I will defend "speciesism." We need to eat. We must slaughter plants for food or we will starve to death.

  12. It is okay to harm small insects. Otherwise, they will invade our homes. Some of them can also bite and sting us. We must kill spiders, swat flies, and spray ants. We must also exterminate bees if a beehive shows up in an unwanted location.

    I don't relish the idea of taking life (even for small creatures.) I just feel that this is an act of self-defense.