Earthlings – the Film

I am currently listening to the final credits after watching this film. I had heard about it just a couple of days ago and really didn’t want to watch it. It is a film about our human relationship with the other animal species with whom we share this planet, saying that the term Earthling defines each and everyone. I knew it would be very upsetting to watch so put it off. Then I thought, if I’m not even willing to watch this, what does that say about me? Ignorance is bliss as they say, but surely not if that ignorance allows me to still buy into the pain of other living creatures? The producers have put the entire film online for streaming, so I sat and watched it, and I cried, a lot. It has to be the most distressing film I have ever seen. I’m going to have to let what I’ve seen sink in, I’m still shaking, and my eyes sting with tears.

I really think everyone who buys leather products, eats meat, supports scientific medical research, watches horse/dog racing, has a pet, supports hunting, or buys cosmetics, should at least consider spending an hour and forty minutes watching this film, and then see how they feel afterwards.

It’s only human…

10 responses to “Earthlings – the Film”

  1. I completely agree with the need to cease all animal cruelty that fuels human (or rather inhumane) interests.
    I have been a vegetarian myself for the past 13 years, yet am also rather sensitive to witnessing such things, I don’t know if I could stomach even the sight of this movie.

    Such things are completely out of balance with Nature, yet people want to justify them for whatever reasons, though could never justify it from the animals’ point of view. I believe that in ancient times animals were placed in an equal, if not higher and more respected, relationship to humans. Things were different then of course. I recall a quote from a cassette I once had by a South American man; “If man cannot look up to the Earth, then it is better that I return to the Sun.”

    I hope that such a film (and all the other efforts people are making) does wake people up to what they do. Often though, I find that what often occurs is a ‘preaching to the converted’ scenario within many vegetarian and vegan circles. Reaching those people who really need to understand their actions may be more challenging, and perhaps the whole thing is tied up with numerous other strata of our current dominant human paradigm (such as commercialism, scientific dogma, mob mentality, and so on).

    I really admire your ability to be so courageous, and have such integrity. It shows also in your music and your voice, which is powerful enough to touch deep into the heart.
    Thanks for sharing this post Damh.


  2. The most distressing film i ever saw was ‘Holocaust’ a film about mans inhumanity towards their fellow man, it really was horrendous, barbaric and heartless. That was some 20 odd years ago and in my mind I can still see some of the images it portrayed. If we can do this to each other it does not suprise me that we torture and mutilate not only our world but the other creatures we share this planet with.

    I have not seen this film (yet) and really dont want to. I am happy to take your word on face value and I respect your opinion of its content. I do not need to see it for myself, I have found that disturbing images stay with me for long amounts of time, I would find it to distressing.

    So thanks Dave for sitting through what is obviously a hard hitting film it I can understand why it had such an emotional impact and I admire your tenacity and strength for being able to watch it. Your right it is only human, but there has to be a better way.
    Lin x

  3. From the text, it sounds like ‘Faces of Death’ for the animal rights movement. I tend to find documentaries like this one (on either side of a socio-political argument) work in absolutes (“you’re either with us or against us” – sound familiar?). Absolutes don’t work for me, as I don’t think the world operates that way – black/white.

    I was vegetarian for 15 years (and vegan for 4 of those years) before finally deciding that using that label was no longer appropriate or necessary for me. I found that I was eating poorer quality food, and more than anything I was simply using the term as a form of spiritual self-righteousness – “look how holy I am you dirty meat eaters!”. I think this is still the case for a high percentage of vegans and vegetarians who feel the need to preach the gospel…

    For myself, I think it is possible to be environmentally conscious, conscious about your diet, conscious about the suffering of other beings (animals, plants, insects, and humans) without being an airitarian or raw-foodist. I know that animals experience pain, and I also express sincere gratitude for their sacrifice to nourish me and my family. I am fairly confident in saying that ‘the ancients’ were not strict vegetarians, but they most certainly revered the animal kingdom in a way that many do not in today’s culture.

    I wonder if anyone has ever done a documentary about the relationship between animals, food, and indigenous cultures. Something like that would be most enlightening for a lot of people who are far removed from the where and how of food production. For all the self-righteousness, vegans and vegetarians are often just as removed from the notion of their own food production, electing to chow down on highly refined wheat-gluten or mycoprotein that has gone through countless processes of refinement and transport vs. the locavore who gets a cut of locally raised, pastured, grass-fed beef from the local butcher. Again – it can’t be painted in black and white, and typically documentaries like this (those that are ‘sensational’) aim to make one group wrong and another right, rather than aiming to find a middle path that is serviceable for all.

  4. Hi West,
    I thought it would be like that too, and it’s not like that at all – not your typical pro veggie film. It’s much, much, deeper and is more about the human relationship and attitude to the other animals with whom we share this planet.
    I used to be a survival/bushcraft instructor and thought that it was sufficient to have at least personally killed an animal for my meal. It makes it real – the death, blood, suffering, and then eating the animal’s flesh. This film blew that out of the water for me – the way we treat the other animals of this world reaches much further than just our choices in the supermarket. It’s really quite shocking, and in truth, I now know that I needed to be shocked.
    I completely understand why people would not want to see this film, it was my choice to push myself through it.
    Peace, for all our Relations,

  5. Thanks for that input, Damh. I might check it out – though I, too, haven’t much of a stomach for really gruesome stuff these days. Being a new dad has made me an old softie as they say. But thanks for your response – much appreciated my friend. For all our relations!

  6. I didn’t want to sound preachy in my previous comment, and I hope not to do the same here. What I write are my beliefs, shared not to try to change others, but simply to communicate my understanding of things.
    I agree with you West, about the idea of a documentary exploring Indigenous People and their relationship to animals – I think that such an understanding is missing greatly in this kind of topic among non-animal eaters. And yes, it is never black or white, but it need not be grey either. We can all benefit from living with compassion, wisdom and a practical energy, from our own unique circumstances and perspective.


  7. Hi Dave, thanks for sharing the link to the film, definitely shocking and thought provoking. As with yourself, I too have experienced (by choice) the taking of an animals life to put food on my plate, it was something as an omnivore I felt I had to do, taking responsibility for my choice to eat meat, but after watching the film I see I have a long way yet to go before I can in all conscience say I accept what is done in our names by those who provide the raw ingredients for what we consume.

    I tend to try and live in an ecologically sound manner, from growing all our own organic fruit and veg on our 2 allotments, keeping bees to provide honey and beeswax, buying hemp clothing, recycling and resusing as much as we can, but I do buy our meat from a local butchers, one I know and trust, who uses their own slaughterhouse and I truly believe that the animals are killed in as humane a way as possible, but now I question whether even this is enough!

    Thanks for providing a link thats opened my eyes further than they were!

      • It really is a horrible film about a horrible and extremely challenging topic. Like I said in my blog post I felt I had to challenge myself to watch it. When I watched it I cried so much. Most people I know won’t even watch the trailer… To anyone else thinking about watching this film, be prepared, it’s truly, gut wrenchingly shocking and painful.

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