Earthling, a noun, one who inhabits the earth.
“Since we all inhabit the earth, all of us are considered earthlings. There is no sexism, no racism or speciesism in the term earthling”. - Earthlings
Most of the time, we humans think that we are more superior than others simply because we are humans. We tend to forget that we are one of those who inhabit this planet earth, that we live together along with other living beings. Living beings apart from humans are often regarded as “nonhumans” who then will be under the control of humans. You are probably one of the humans who think so and even if you don’t, you’re living in a world that is.
Give this documentary a watch, it will change your mind.
Earthlings is a confronting and emotional documentary that highlights the exploitation of animals, in which showing human dependence on animals for Pets, Food, Entertainment, and Science. Even Peter Singer, an ethical and political philosopher who is known for his book Animal Liberation, highly suggests to watch this documentary - “if I could make everyone in the world see one film, I'd make them see Earthlings”.
To be honest with you, I might have missed some parts of the documentary because there were moments I wanted to stop watching; they were too hard for me to look at, but I knew I had to face the truth, so I continued watching through the cracks between my fingers.
All life has equal value. When one thinks their life is more important than the others, the rest would think the same, too. Of course, there are differences between humans and nonhumans as we aren’t the same in all respects, but we do share some of the same desires such as the desire for food and water, shelter and companionship, freedom of movement and, most importantly, avoidance of pain. However, humans are too selfish to value money over lives, nonhuman lives specifically. We tend to dominate the earth, oftentimes treating other fellow earthlings and living beings as mere objects; that is what is meant by speciesism.
We know that dogs are humans’ “best friend” because of their selfless love and loyalty, they are always there for us no matter what, even if they are being treated awfully. It is because they have compassion not only for their own species, but their peers, all earthlings, which is what humans lack. Dogs’ lives are often linked to humans, as if dogs cannot live without us, as if there would be no dogs without us, but it seems to be the other way round. Dogs bring so much love and happiness to everyone on this planet earth, while humans breed inhumanly just to satisfy their wants, to have a 100% pure Doberman or Italian greyhound. What is behind a dog’s life? Where are they from? How are they “produced”? We never know. Meanwhile, strays are always the ones being left behind before they are not pure. Anyone can be a breeder. The documentary shows footage of a dog circling in his kennel endlessly and another’s eyes swollen; no one will ever imagine how they feel on the inside and we will never have any idea of how scared and helpless they feel.
As humans often only enjoy what is presented in front of them, we tend to also neglect the sources of our food. One of the same desires of all earthlings is avoidance of pain. No one likes the feeling of suffering while we, humans, are the ones who put nonhumans under sufferance due to our own wants and selfishness. We’re so used to seeing all those freshly sliced steaks, ready and prepared for humans to consume without having a second thought of where they are from. We normalize eating meat by saying “meat-eating” with the ideas of eating pork and beef, instead of referring to it as “corpse-eating” for eating pigs and cows. We rephrase killing animals as meat-eating, normalizing violence and “crimes” that we’re committing. Murder? Killing? Hoisting cows in the air and slitting their throats while saving their blood in buckets. They have done nothing to deserve all this, but solely because they were born animals, nonhumans. Aren’t we all animals? These slaughterhouses have to stop.
“Ask yourself the question, where does this come from? Let’s all try to be aware of what we’re eating and consuming. Be curious." - Co-Founder of Aveita Limited, Sarah Kalmeta
However, in recent years, we are seeing changes. Many have stood up against animal entertainment. A German circus has replaced its animal performances with an animal-themed hologram light show. It is amazing progress because a circus show is highly unnatural. Elephants and monkeys comply with animal trainers’ commands out of fear; they know that they will get hurt and beaten with sharp tools if they don’t do what they are told. The ‘behind the scenes’ of the wonderful show we witness is unbearable and cruel. If only you ever hear their scream and cry, find out from the documentary, you will hear their pain and sorrow. Humans never think from that, the pain of these lovely and living animals, and their lives being taken away for no reason. The only way to change is to not support the circus anymore. When no one visits, they gain no profits, and they will stop.
As many as we have seen on the rise of promoting cruelty free and plant-based products these days, especially make-up and skincare products, medical experiments on animals still sails today. Under the name of “medical purpose”, it somehow gives humans the right to test on animals, so that humans can find the cure and that we can be safe from using certain medicines by torturing and sacrificing animals’ lives. The tests include electric or traumatic shocks, unanesthetized operations, and more, which lead to mental imbalance and infections. However, there are two fundamental errors on finding remedies through animal testing - the assumption that results obtained on animals are applicable to mankind and the inevitable fallacy of experimental science in respect to the field of organic life. Since animals react differently from human beings, the documentary suggests that products/methods tried out on animals must be tried out again on man to be accurate.
In recent years, we realize that winter is no longer cold, but with a drastic temperature drop from one in a while; or that we feel suffocated by the air we are breathing, we are finally aware that something is wrong with our planet earth. We have also seen images of polar bears stranded on ice with other broken pieces around them, and news of adorable animals becoming endangered. These are signs that the earth is failing.
When global warming is said to be one of the major environmental problems, and the main cause of such a problem is the ones who say so - human activities, which causes other animals to suffer, too. As Peter Singer writes in Not for Humans Only: The Place of Nonhumans Environmental Issues, “the harm that humans do the environment, however, does not rebound solely, or even chiefly, on humans, it is nonhumans who bear the most direct burden of human interference with nature. We slowly start to realize our relationships, as humans, with nature and other living things, that our day to day activity fully contributes to the earth.
“We are all animals on this planet. We are all creatures. And non-human animals experience sensations just like we do. They too are strong, intelligent, industrious, mobile, and evolutional. They too are capable of growth and adaptation. Like us, first and foremost, they are earthlings. And like us, they are surviving. Like us, they also seek their own comfort rather than discomfort. And like us, they express degrees of emotion. In short, like us, they are alive; most of them being, in fact, vertebrae, just like us.” - Earthlings
As I said before, it’s now very difficult to turn a written page back to white, but what we can do is to use our brand-new page properly. There’s no way to undo the damage that we have done to this earth, to our animal friends, but what we can do is STOP damaging and work on our mistakes. Take a small step at a time. The easiest way to start is from our diet. Eat your veggies, instead of eating your animal friends.
“It’s all about a gradual process, not an overnight shift! If we all take steps towards a better world, we can eventually get there.” - Our founder, Chandni Sacheti
Written by Cissy So
Edited by Chandni Sacheti