This past Saturday, I had finished my homework and for some reason, didn’t feel like watching Netflix. I simply looked up “Good documentaries free on the internet” and came across someone recommending the movie Earthlings. I had never heard of it, but I was intrigued. A little bit of history before we go into this review- I have grown up my entire life an animal lover. I’ve always had Siberian Huskies (at least two at a time) and I currently have four- all rescues. One of them we currently have is from Husky Camp (highly recommend checking them out if you’re interested in rescuing a husky), two of them- mother and son- were found underneath a house in downtown LA, and the last one we adopted from a tiny place in Southern California (don’t remember the name- sorry!) To sum it up, I love animals, and I fully believe that the only way someone should adopt an animal is through rescue, not store bought, puppy mill, litters, etc. Earthlings is all about animal cruelty in our world. I knew that going into it, but I didn’t expect that much. This movie does not hold back in the sense of blood and guts, but that’s what made it so special. It was real life footage- raw and unedited. The film editors divided up the film into five sections- Pets, Food, Clothing, Sports, and Science.
The pets section was personally the hardest section for me to watch based on how much I love dogs. Before the film, I knew about a lot of what goes on at mills and pounds. However, I couldn’t bring myself to actually watch film of it, as I would get emotional very quickly. Well… five minutes into the film, I was an emotional wreck. This part of the film really made me realize just how grateful I am that my parents taught me at a young age about the dangers of litters and pounds.
The next two parts, which touched on food and clothing, made me think. When I finished sixth grade, I decided to give up red meat for a month, but after that month ended, I never went back. Since then, I’m very happy with that decision. Flash forward to now and I really only eat chicken and fish- however, I don’t eat them that often. This section of the film, food, was extremely graphic, so if you’re scared away by blood, I’m warning you that they do not shy away from showing what truly happens in slaughter houses. I knew slaughter houses were bad, but WOW I had no idea it was that bad and that there were so many methods. I was sadden that we have to go to those lengths to get meat. This was probably my favorite part of the movie (it was defiantly the most disturbing though) because it really opened my eyes. As for clothing and beauty, I don’t relate to this section as much because I’ve never really paid attention to those things. However, hearing about the animal products that are in common clothing and beauty items was shocking.
Perhaps the scariest part of the film was the sports section, which highlighted bull fighting in Spain. I had never really known what bull fighting was, except for the fact it was a terrible idea. The documentary showed an in-depth example of how bull fighting works, and I could hardly watch. Watching what the bulls go through for the sick and twisted entertainment of a few people… I have no words. I’m grateful that I don’t grow up in an area where things like elephant shooting and bull fighting is common, because I don’t know if I could handle it. OVER ALL REVIEW- This film truly made me open my eyes.
After watching the food section, I was contemplating trying veganism for a week. I’ve been wanting to try veganism for a while, but I never had a real reason. Now, I would try it because of animal rights. I’ll update you guys if I actually go through with trying it, but I don’t think I could stick with it due to some restrictions in my diet and how hard it would be for me to get protein. But, I REALLY want to try it. Anyways, after that rant… Animal cruelty and slaughter houses needs to be more recognized. I’m not asking you to go full vegan or even do what I did and give up red meat. If you do eat meat, please consider doing what my family and I do which is buying cage free, grass fed, free range animal products (eggs, ground meat, seafood, etc). It doesn’t change the fact that thousands of animals are dying everyday just so a few hundred people can enjoy a burger. I’m not suggesting a revolution to end slaughterhouses because in reality, that would be nearly impossible. However, I HIGHLY recommend this movie, even if you know a lot about animal cruelty. It will change you for the better. – Danielle
Link to film (free to watch online): http://earthlings.com
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