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Earthlings: A Devastating Documentary on Humanity's Lack of Respect for Other Living Creatures

This post was originally published in March, 2007.

It is with sadness that I write this blog entry. I just finished watching a documentary called Earthlings that contains the most abominable acts of cruelty towards animals that I have ever seen.

It's hard to believe that this important documentary has been available for more than a year on DVD. I am so thankful to have come across it, and I hope that all of our readers take time to view it.

To view the entire feature length documentary, narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix, scroll down and click the play button on the video screen that follows. Be warned, though, that this documentary contains gruesome footage that was captured by hidden cameras. It's been about an hour since I finished viewing it and I still feel somewhat physically ill.

I hope that this documentary can persuade the masses to be mindful of the ways in which their everyday dietary and lifestyle choices affect the lives of other living creatures.

Please share this documentary with family members and friends who may be interested. Thank you.

Related Article:

More Thoughts on Earthlings Documentary, Including Potential Problems with a Strict Vegan Diet

 
 

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Wow! I am in shock and in tears! What a horrible way for anyone to be treated! Everyone adult should see this documentary. How profound! I am still in complete shock and feel a deep need to makes some changes in my family's lifestyle. Although I found it extremely difficult to watch and often had to turn my head away, thank you for sharing this.

Everyone PERIOD should see this. Why just adults? If kids can sit and watch the mind-numbing violence in films and TV, they should be able to relate such violence to a greater awareness of their role as world citizens--earthlings, as the documentary would say. This will ensure they don't grow up to be comfort zone adults, too lazy to see the difference, too busy to really care.

Mahatma Ghandi, once said something to the effect that the moral and ethical nature of a country can be seen in the treatment of its animals. However, I do not feel that this quote is reserved for any one country or place, but rather, is applicable to the whole of mankind.
Although I have been aware of the subject of this documentary for some years now being once upon a time (but no longer) a member of P.E.T.A. where I first learned of such goings on to meet mankind's daily demands, I have not seen the information put together all in one place quite so well nor so succinctly as in this particular documentary, as this is truly a most difficult and vast subject to cover completely in any one effort. It is very well done indeed!
Upon first learning the truth of such atrocities committed for human benefit several years ago, I immediately gave up the wearing of all fur and leather nor do I use animal-derived products on my person or in my home. However, despite repeated personal attempts over the years to live a vegan, or at the very least, a vegetarian, lifestyle, I must confess to great human weakness of character and so I have always failed in this regard, generating much ongoing and
despicable feelings towards both myself and humanity in general. So, I volunteer and donate monies to a variety of animal charities when and if I am able to do so, in vain attempts to appease my guilty conscience. And I try to placate myself further by telling myself that at least, I do 'something' and that I never stop trying to change. Still, I know that this is not nearly enough and it does very little to help me feel better about my failings.
Whenever I broach the subject to most of the people whom I know, they outright refuse to view or even to read anything at all about the subject. I am sure that they suspect the truths discovered would be too harsh for them to bear and so simply prefer to remain ignorant that we humans are the cause of such continuous, immeasureable agony and suffering inflicted upon the poor creatures below us on the evolutionary scale, each and every single day of each and every single year that we each are alive. We even use an animal-derived saying about just such an avoidance behaviour - saying that he/she is 'like an ostrich with its head in the sand' - in the feeble hope that what we know not of, cannot hurt us.
All I can say is to urge people to at least TRY to change, if even in some small way. It takes a multitude of drops to fill an entire bucket and so I do not believe that anyone's efforts are in vain, no matter how small. All of these cruelties are driven by human demand and so, if the demand were removed, these practices would have to cease.
If you don't succeed, try, try again.

Please know that you do not have to give up eating animals entirely to make a difference. I eat meat, but I only eat what I have raised myself. There are many homesteaders and farmers out there that raise their own beef and slaughter it themselves as well. Find someone in your area that you can support rather than shopping in grocery stores and supporting the feed lots.

My sentiments exactly. I had to turn away several times and my heart is truly broken. I cannot get the film out of my mind. As an animal lover, this film documents my ultimate fear. Every evening I pray for the well-being of all voiceless creatures of God. They are the innocent ones. What are we doing as a human race?? It is atrocious. I want to do something, anything. But where do I even begin and with whom? So many questions, so few answers. I read about the film in a recent issue of Jane Magazine. There was a small blurb about an actress not wearing leather sandals b/c of her viewing of the film. I googled the name and watched almost all of it. What breaks my heart the most---- that these animals can feel -- feel pain and some are highly intelligent. No matter their position on our so called "social ladder of evolution", everything and everyone needs respect in this world. When will we learn??

Dr Ben........I can't even push the play button as I'm afraid of what I'll see. I, as many do, have a special affinity for dolphins and just knowing what the film is about makes me sick to my stomach.......I can't stop crying. Martin Luther King Jr said "the only way to change an enemy into a friend, is with love." I am going channel my meditation today and send love to these monsters of men and pray that a glimmer of enlightenment opens their eyes to the reality of what they are doing........."Man is not King of the Hill"

Like Kathie, I have not viewed the film. Knowing what people are capable of is frightening. I must take issue however and say that mankind IS "king of the hill" and as such we have a responsibility to care for the earth and her creatures. In these times I can only take comfort in the fact that we have a gracious Creator and that this world is not my home.
Prayers,
CieCie

I was so sad after seing the documental ,,, It made me think about so many thing that are wrong in this world , not only in the way that we eat but in the way that we think and close are eyes to this unhuman treatement to animal , I ask my sefl they say eat fish is healthy after this documental I dont want eat anything that comes from animals , or feed my children , WOW it really made me think twice to put that piece of bifteck in my mouth ,,,

Like Kathie and CieCie, I have not watched the video and have decided not to watch it in it's entirety. The little I saw left me physcially nauseous and I knew if I continued to watch it I would be affected greatly and not necessarily in a positive way. These horrendous acts and the depth of evil rampant on this earth makes me long even more for the return of my saviour Jesus Christ. There is a devil and he is "seeking whom he may devour." We see this evil manifest in how we treat our fellow man and how we treat the animal kingdom that has been put under our authority. This is not our final home, though we will answer for the decisions we make and life we led while on it. I thank God there is much more than this.
God bless you.

Those of you who have not watched the documentary must ACT! You do not need to watch it to change things but if you weep and remain silent in your wider communities then you are betraying those who have no voice. You are their only hope. Speak, write, challenge - even in the face of ridicule or hostility - as all humane pioneers have done. Do not talk only of God and this not being your true home. This is THEIR home at this moment as well as yours and what worth is your religion if you know of cruelty and do not seek to alleviate it? The Bible says of animals: 'into your hands are they delivered' Into YOUR hands! What is dominion if it is not the duty to protect and care for? Please act.

Yes, Kathy (and others) I also could not push the play button, as, it even bothers me when I see dead animals on the side of the road, I"m on the verge of tears just reading the responses, as well as, the believability of what some people can and will do in the name of the almighty dollar!!!
And as I also believe that it is all humankind that needs to take responsibility for the treatment of animals and mammals alike, no matter where they live, some are better at acknowledging and stepping up-to the plate than others. Ultimately, however, it's up to the people, of any country, to speak-up on the behalf of these animals to stop this type, and other brutalities going on. A few things some can do that don't take much effort- just a little concern- don't purchase Veal, attempt to purchase make-up (if you're a woman)and other personal items that do not, or have the least amount of animal TESTING, as well as, their bi-products etc.

So Sad!!

I couldn't watch any more than about 20 minutes. It is too disturbing.

Obviously we are in the midst of a dolphin holocaust that will only end when these brutal acts of inhumanity are exposed to the global public. I have to applaud the fortitude of the person who captured the footage without being discovered. I think I would have broken down into hysterics at the first sight of the torture being conducted. As it is, I made the mistake of viewing this footage at work, and had to be comforted out in the hallway by the office manager since I couldn’t stop crying, horrified tears. I urge people to watch it, though. This is something that is occurring and that needs to be stopped. How heartbreaking for the person filming this to have to see this happening and do nothing. The practice is nothing short of a moral outrage.

My question is this: what can we, as Americans do to persuade another country’s government to give up its cruel practices? How can we help? There must be something we can do?

With regard to changing the hearts & minds of another nation....there is much work to be done right here in the U.S. If you've never seen a downer cow being dragged by chain to its' death, or a Butterball Thanksgiving turkey being bashed against a wall, or a KFC chicken being stomped, you'd know that we need to look at our own food choices and change inwardly before we can think that Japan's collective heart will be moved to compassion. After crying over another dead animal on the side of one of our highways, I made the decision to "go veg" at the age of 53, and am working my way toward veganism. Will I make it? Only God knows. But I know that I have greatly reduced my contribution to the suffering of other species. There is much to be done right here!!! And, we have the power of the dollar we spend to support these cruel companies, or change them by changing our own choices.

yeah there is something you can do...stop eating meat products and stay away from all that, that comes from animals and in some cases even milk....then you can of course stop it...set an example for others..i have done that

we send LOVE and light to raise the consciuness of this people and stop this cruelity. Please add this to your daily inner thought. I believe LOVE always win on Ignorance. Peace Peace Peace

If we are to bear the atrocities witnessd here on each of our shouldes, we would surely evolve into an awareness able to discern just what is necessry to live in harmony with Nature. To you, loving creatures of earth, I have but only one thing to say: I'm sorry...

Yes, this video is disturbing - and no, I didn't have the "heart"? to watch it through to the end - but I couldn't help but think of the now-enshrined "right" to human abortion. As a University grad student in health research, I heard lots about "selective reduction" - ie, too many embroyos are implanted during IVF, and so some must be killed - surely that is as cruel as killing dolphins! Why do we assume that killing a human being with a heartbeat and other senses, doesn't hurt that creature (ie, fetus) as much as killing an animal hurts it? I fear the emphasis on vegetarianism is causing us to lose sight of some basic human values...ie, compassion.

I found the video of the dolphins obviously difficult to watch. I myself am vegetarian because I believe meat should be eaten in times of necessity. I wanted to say a big "AMEN" to Jacalyn Miller's comment about losing sight of basic human values. Human life is sacred and animal life is also. Animals were sent to this earth for the use of man BUT!!!, man will be held responsible for their abuse of this blessing from our Creator. Taking that into consideration, imagine the wrath of God after slaughtering so many of his children through abortion!!! So all those vegetarians getting abortions...where are YOUR priorities!?!?!?!?

Because Tiffany, you still believe God is out there judging. That we will be punished or rewarded (yes I know you can quote scripture). Its the exact same type of thinking that is behind all cruelty. Do you get it yet? Jackie

Jacalyn,you write:'I fear the emphasis on vegetarianism is causing us to lose sight of some basic human values...ie, compassion.' You do not explain why you think this is so, but I have heard this specious argument many times before and it assumes some fallacies. The first is that if we cared less about animals and more about humans we would be more compassionate. In fact, those countries which have the worst records of cruelty towards animals also have some of the worst human rights violations. Humans that are cruel to animals are also cruel to humans. Mahatma Ghandhi said;'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.'The second fallacy is that humans warrant privilege over other animals. In this regard I would direct you to Peter Singer's essays on speciesism. Animals are neither more, nor less entitled to compassion than humans.They are equal.We,as humans,treat animals today much as we treated each other in the past. This might seem too radical for some humans, but remember that the arguments for enslaving humans in the past are today recruited in the continuing enslavement of animals (intelligence,ability,capacity to suffer,etc.).The third is the fallacy of the belief of the mutual exclusivity of the arguments for the protection of humans and those for the protection of animals.I have no doubt that when foetuses are destroyed suffering is caused as it is when a dolphin is slaughtered. How would less concern for the dolphin raise more concern for a foetus? Vegans (I am one)and vegetarians are among some of the most compassionate people towards all life. There are some who may have some misguided notions,but in that regard we have all been there. What is necessary is the cultivation of ever more compassion for everything,not the distribution of what there is ever and ever for humans.

I am not at all certain that those who are vegans and vegetarians are amongst the most compassionate people in the world! I do not dispute that many are, however, I know of some animal activists who would condone violence against humans in the "fight" against animal cruelty & exploitation. Some of them would rather see a person die than an animal as they think badly of humankind. This is misguided in my view - we should have compassion for all species.

Dr. Kim, I admire your work, and respect your opinions, and agree with you so much of the time. I do not understand your thoughts on this. Could you please clarify why you want to share this blood curdling footage? I am very interested in what good comes from spreading heartache like this? I know that violence is a way of life for many earthlings. It hurts so much that I cannot even watch the news anymore. I am aware of abuse and pain, yet feel powerless to stop it. What can be done, besides just to cry and wonder? Thanks for all that you do. I just need a little help in fathoming this one.

Because with the internet quickly becoming the biggest form of accessible media, if you want something to be heard by the whole world, if you want people to unite on one medium, the internet is the place to do it. It's not about the tears we shed for this mindless slaughter, this has been going on for years and years. Yet people are JUST starting to notice? The time for tears is long since become a thing of the past. As are the lives of the innocents who've died(animals) to cry for them gains nothing. Be productive and use that overwhelming emotion and instead of shedding water and flooding your mind with questions, turn it into an overwhelming flame of passion and ignite other people's passion towards things like this. You as an individual may not be able to stop this, but a street, a city, a country UNITED cannot be ignored. The voice of one may be ignorable, but the voices of millions is far too loud to drown out.

i am 14 years old and i have just finished watching this video that my aunt has sent to our entire family....not only did i feel the need to turn away from this horrible violence against the animals of the world ,but i also cried knowing that my fellow humans can do this to the poor animals and still go home to their families and friends just to go and do it again tomorrow. do they just not care? i myself eat meat but my sister and mom are both vegan...and i had been thinking about becoming vegan myself before i ever saw...or heard of this documentary, but now there is no way i am not going to become vegan....after seeing this i dont think i will ever be able to eat steak or chicken again not only those but thats what meat i mostly have in my diet.i am very glad i saw this and also not in some ways but thank you for sharing this ....and i think not only adults should view this but children should as well....i think it would help them to understand how and where their meat came from and also to understand what is going on.i am going to let my friends and family know about this video and hope they try and help as well .

Whenever I see "Academy Award" these docu-dramas turn me off. They shoot only what is advantageous to their cause and not the whole story. Similar to PETA who defends the killing and eating of animals yet they don't defend the most defenseless among us....the unborn child.... I do not trust most extreme driven agenda groups like this.

I totally agree with Dr. Kim here:
"I still believe that it is difficult for most people to experience their best health while following a 100 percent vegan diet for more than several years at most."

All things in moderation....A gift from God.... all that is on the earth.

These comments repulse me. Did you actually watch the full documentary? Did you see the dog skinned while it was still living and struggling to free itself? Did you see the cows in India? They are forced to keep standing and walking for days while being transported out of the country to be slaughtered, because India does not allow the slaughtering of cows in its own country. Along the way, they are deprived of food and water, and forced to remain on their feet. To keep them on their feet, pain is deliberately inflicted on them -- their tails broken, fingers with mace shoved deep into their eye sockets, they are kicked and prodded. Some die. Many appear to be near death and keep falling to the ground by the end of the journey -- only to be forced via pain back onto their feet. And what are these particular cows then used for at the end of all this? Leather jackets, purses, and shoes in the West.

When you say, “They shoot only what is advantageous to their cause and not the whole story,” what context could possibly be added that would justify this horror show? NONE! There is nothing you could add, no “whole story,” that would budge any of this an inch closer to being justified.

I have no problem with anyone eating meat, and I eat it myself. But there is no good reason why a single animal needs to be mistreated in the process -- EVER. Animals can and should be treated humanely while alive, and then killed in such a way that minimizes their pain and suffering. Too often this is not what happens.

When we feel we must kill an animal for some legitimate purpose, death should be instantaneous, unsuspected, and as non-traumatic as possible. If at any time, for any reason, it looks as though a quick, non-traumatic death of an animal is not possible to deliver, then it should be postponed until it IS possible.

“All things in moderation....A gift from God.... all that is on the earth.” What part of a person’s humanity must be missing or underdeveloped that THIS is the comment they wish to make in response to such horrific brutality and suffering as is shown in this documentary? Animals are a gift from god -- therefore we can skin them alive, shove mace-covered fingers into their eyes, make their skin blister with blowtorches, and ram electric rods up their anuses? If a god does exist, and that god has even the smallest measure of decency, then that god is on the side of the makers of this film, not the side of anyone who would do anything other than categorically condemn such brutality.

Dr. Kim, as upsetting as this film was to watch, I can’t thank you enough for recommending it. I would never want to live in ignorance and denial. I will try to get others to watch it.

What does animal rights have to do with abortion? Moreover, how is seeking to end animal cruelty an extreme agenda? Just because you disagree with PETA in some instances does not make these images any less horrifying. Maybe you should watch the videos rather than taking the opportunity to push your views on abortion (which has nothing to do with these videos).

I have seen this over and over - getting off on an unrelated subject such as the Academy Award issue. This documentary speaks for itself - as others filmed and produced by animal advocacy groups. AND, most importantly, is that you and other blind-sighted people always think animal activists have a hidden motive. The motive is nothing but our compassion for the creatures of our world, and our goal is to relieve them from the criminal, immoral acts of man kind in their quest for profit at any expense to the animal. Industrialized Factory Farming and the USDA cares nothing for animals, it is all a profit driven enterprise only interested in a quick, large peice of meat for the ignorant consumers who don't want to know the truth of suffering behind each bite you take. If you think the Earthlings is a manipulated piece of film, then why don't you visit a real production site for "producing" animals for food, and go on to the slaughterhouse Then, state your doubts about the film, if you can.

the most shocking horrendous thing ive ever seen !! why????? GREED, WEALTH, PLEASURE, JEALOUSY, HATETRED, where has the love gone ? what has happened to mankind ? this is a cruel world we live in and i dont like it one bit !! what can we do to help? is there an answer? the elephants shocked me so much i cried and cried for an animal to hate humans that much i cant begin to imagine what suffering it went through and then to be shot almost 20 times or more its inconcievable !! where has the love gone ??? xx

I can't watch it. I know what will happen to me if I do. I saw some horrible footage years ago that Dateline NBC aired about companion animal slaughter in Asia for fur to trim winter jackets for we humans. I was on the couch for weeks after watching the beginning of the process to skin a dog (tail-wagging) alive. It still makes me nauseous to think what we humans are capable of. I stopped eating animal protein for years and filled up with soy. Unfortunately soy took a toll on my health (anemia, hypothyroid), so I'm back on seafood. I would still like to find a way to go vegan. We are really custodians of this earth and all it's creatures. Unfortunately we seem to think it is all at our disposal. I'm going to go hug my kitty now.

While I completely sympathize with and understand the points of view here I have to ask everyone in my own hazy state of confusion -- what is the difference between torturing a dolphin and stepping on part of an ant on the sidewalk? I try to respect all of animal life, but how is a mosquito any different than a dolphin or another human? I live in Japan and see the active seafood trade here. How is killing a dolphin or a whale different than killing tuna, flounder, sardines, etc, not to mention cows, chickens, pigs, etc. I don't think being a vegan is the answer here, but respecting life in general. Humans have become too self-centered and superior-minded, and they have forgotten how to respect other life forms and the role they play in their own survival. Shame, shame, shame.

Great comment Greg!!!! Agree 100%!!

My husband and I were in tears over this disgrace and disrespect. We have both been vegan in the past for similiar reasons but never saw footage so gruesome. Since my pregnancy and becoming anemic, we decided to add dairy and poultry to our diet. However I haven't been able to touch meat in days and I have random visions of these suffering animals.
As a mother, I try to buy only organic products for our family. However, as we can see not everything is 'Kosher'and/or organic. I've done some research about all the organic products we buy and our milk supplier (top organic dairy) has been caught abondoning USDA regulations. What is the USDA going to do, obviously nothing at this point. I have also researched our local grocery store's products (organic and not) and found out that they are mass producing farms. So are we supporting this horrific ordeal buy just shopping there? Small, local farms are going big to stay in business. What do we do as people with a conscious?
I am also hystarical about the rest of the film, stray pets, pollution, clothing, entertainment, and medical experiments. We live near a very well known mountain town, popular for it's wealth and famous people. It has always upset me to see men and women in full length coats but never did I say anything. However yesterday while walking through town I questioned a few of them, Do you know how that animal died unwillingly and brutally for you coat? And I walked away with my little son in tow.
I will and am making a difference. Thank you Dr.Ben Kim for this. I knew it was always there but did not have it imprinted in my mind as I do now.
I have emailed a HUGE talk show hostees (one I random watch if not ever)and wrote about this film. If anyone can get the word out it is her. and I will be contacting the animal foundations that we make donations to, to see what they are doing about the dolphins in Japan, the fur farms, the strays, etc.... and we will contribute the money we have put aside to try and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

I was a vegan for 5 years, and I found I really need to eat some meat to feel well, but this is why I ONLY buy organic meat from local farms where I can go and see how the animals are treated and meet and know the farmers who raise them. I don't think the answer is veganism for everyone, but it is in doing the research to make wise decisions in your purchases, even if it takes more drive time, or costs more money.

I haven't watched the video since I've heard enough about the topic to have made the changes in my life and don't need to see the images. I've seen what they do to chickens in Canada and it's disgusting. Haven't eaten that in several years now. I won't allow chicken in the house, although we do buy eggs from a local organic farmer. I stopped eating tuna a long time ago. Until a few weeks ago I'd eat meat perhaps once a month but now am a totally raw vegan and plan to stay that way. Getting all the amino acids you need will build protein in the body so there is no need to consume protein as commonly believed. Even in a fasting state, the body doesn't get depleted of protein.

Except for some old shoes we don't use leather either. This is a whole other issue. What's worse? A pair of shoes that will last for many years and eventually decompose or some plastic ones that sap energy from the body and that will be around forever in a landfill site and break within months of wearing them? Until the whole world goes vegan, there will be a lot of leather from the animals that are already being killed for meat.

Sharon

I'm not sure what this video is promoting, and actually, it's not really that important. What is important is how we need to hold other countries (not just the US) responsible for their acts that harm the environment and other living things. There seems to always be a political focus on how the US needs to change their ways, but never a call for other countries to do the same. I'm not saying that the US is innocent. What I am saying is that we need to let our polititians know that they need to put pressure on other countries to respect all living things.

I do my best to act locally; however, these kind of problems can only be solved if there is a global effort to protect the environment and all living things. We have to demand more from our polititians if we want the things depicted in this video to stop. We have to rely on them to put the pressure on foreign governments to cooperate.

thanks Dr. Ben Kim for your bravery of publishing this video on your website. it's a bold statement. it poses a bold challenge. a lot to digest on my day off.

but it's important to be informed and to know what i'm eating. i am slowly switching to organic foods as i am a chef and care about sustainable and healthy production methods.

i want this generation of humans, living right now on earth, to be the generation that "woke up", (something melissa etheridge said as she accepted her academy award for her work on "an inconvenient truth").

we don't have to stop eating meat or utilizing animal products for clothing or medicine, but can't we run our lives more manageably? can't we live in a world where we don't have to crowd, overrun, accumulate, overtake, or conquer? or create the next "biggest thing" or the next "runaway trend"?

don't we owe it to ourselves to try to find a way to create an environment that isn't a consumption/dumping zone? is it possible that humans can combine restraint and a higher quality of life? can we think beyond striking it rich or becoming billionaires? because it seems to me that all this "progress" hasn't so much improved the quality of the world as people's personal bank accounts and personal agendas. it makes me sad and mad!!! i'm part of the problem being a human but i am willing to change. are you?

I still believe that it is difficult for most people to experience their best health while following a 100 percent vegan diet for more than several years at most.

I totally disagree that it is difficult to experience best health on a 100% vegan diet. I personally know of many people who follow a 100% vegan diet, take no supplements, and were on this diet for as many as 55 years and are some of the healthiest people I have ever met. I do not know what makes you believe this? Science has proven to the best of man's ability that humans are frugivores and do not do well on animal proteins. There is a lot of literature such as the China Study that proved that animal protein contributes to cancer in humans. It is a wives tale that people need to eat any amount of animal protein to be healthy. The meat and dairy industry love the fact that people think this way. Please reconsider and look around to see people who thrive on a vegan diet who are in better physical and mental condition than the vast majority of the animal product eating population. If human's consume the right vegan foods they will thrive and outperform non-vegans at any sport and live a better healthier and in most cases longer life.

Is the extremely cruel and needless torture of dolphins and other animals any different from stepping on an ant or killing a mosquito?? YOU BET!! It is not wise to spout such comparisons. I am no scientist but I do believe that number one, insects are just a little bit different type of species than humans and other animals, wouldn't you agree? Insects do not have the complex nervous system that humans and animals have. Also, when killing insects it is usually done very quickly. Any animal that is killed for an honorable purpose as sanctioned by God should be done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Yes, killing dolphins in a slow, sadistic manner is QUITE different than swiftly ending the life of a disease-carrying pest or by stepping on an ant in ignorance. I do agree with you about respecting life of all creatures, including insects, and we should all give careful thought to the role they play in our ecosystem.

Also, anyone who cries out against the painful killing of animals cannot at the same time support abortion. Unborn children feel pain. God never said it was okay to kill unborn children, while he did allow animals to be killed in a humane way for food or clothing NEEDS. I would encourage anyone confused about these issues and their own responsibilites to ignore political debates and fanatical approaches. Instead, seek guidance from our creator through his word, the bible. Our God will "bring to ruin those ruining the earth" and we all are accountable for the way we treat our home and animal companions. Rev.11:18

I have just finished reading all of the comments thus far and am moved to make a comment of my own. A lot of people have decided they are not going to eat meat any more based on what they saw. Some were already vegens and this video bolstered their viewpoints. I could care less about someone's way of eating as long as they were trying to make it a healthy diet, which, by the way, I tend to believe includes saturated fats. However, the eating of animals was only ONE aspect of this movie. This video had something to say about irresponsible pet owners, animal research, animal entertainment, etc. The whole point of this video was the absolute, needless, disrespect and cruelty for another living creature, as a matter of fact, millions of them, not the fact that we eat them. Animals are killed to be eaten by other animals all of the time; that is life. However, animals were created by God for our pleasure, not another source of abuse. When Native Americans killed animals they gave thanks and they used every bit of the animal that they possibly could. What they couldn't use they returned to the earth. They were not wasteful and they were thankful. I have to respect that. What I don't respect and I can't support are all of the behaviors this video strove to show us. I did decide to show this video to my children in the hopes that it would influence future decisions on their parts. And it did because children are passionate about animals and about what is right. Like them, we need to use our voices and our choices. We need to spread the message of this video around to our families and our friends right now while the ire of the images are still forefront in our minds. We need to make choices of what to buy and what not to buy. We need to make these choices intelligently. As someone said, a pair a leather shoes lasts a long, long time. If you have a pair, take care of them. If they wear a little, take them to a shop and get them repaired, don't throw them out for another pair. As Dr Kim said, he appreciated the HUNDREDS of emails he got in response to this video. Imagine the power of all of us taking action in our own communities, in our emails, on our web sites...Do like my daughter did and make a statement on your myspace site; there is much to say and many who read. As the commercial says, "she tells two friends and they tell two friends... It all boils down to supply and demand and the many against the mighty.

alikatrn, you say:'...a healthy diet,which,by the way,I tend to believe includes saturated fats.'
I believe you meant to say 'animal fats' as all vegetable and nut oils contain saturated fats. The major health problems in the developed world (which is where most meat is consumed) are recognized by medical science to be directly related to meat and animal saturated-fat consumption. These include heart disease (at present the number one killer)but also includes gastrointestinal tract cancers and diseases like Jakob-Creutzfeld and strains of influenza which are zoonotic.The bird-flu viruses are but one of the developing crises as are the continual and growing threats to our water supplies by the meat industries and its effluents, in particular manure and its e.coli content. Only so much manure can be used for fertilizer after that it becomes a liability.
I am a vegan and suffer none of the health problems attributed to a vegan diet. All the rest of my family who are meat eaters are developing or have developed serious problems with their health including heart disease and obesity. I am 49 years old and have no health problems. My resting heart rate is 50-54bpm, my blood pressure is 120/70 and from sea level I can mountain hike at the rate of 3000 vertical feet per hour. I give you those statistics not out of smugness but to demonstrate a proper vegan diet is sufficient to maintain both health and energy levels,which is the criticism leveled most frequently at vegans.
Having said that,let me move on from my health to that of animals which suffers terribly under humans.
You go on to say:'Animals are killed to be eaten by other animals all of the time;that is life.However,animals were created by God for our pleasure,not another source of abuse.'
You don't explain if you eat animals partly or wholly because animals do prey on other animals,but there are meat-eaters who do use this analogy,so I will address this first.There are animals who are obligate carnivores (like cats)who,in the wild, need a meat diet to survive. Other animals are omnivores (like chimps) who supplement their diet with meat even though there is no need. They are ignorant of the suffering they cause to these other animals. We humans can claim neither obligation nor ignorance of suffering as our justification for eating meat.
The view that animals were created by God for our pleasure sounds a lot like Old Testament but remains just that,a view or a belief. Not only that, it is an anthropocentric view that reeks of arrogance and has done its fair share of damage to animals through history.
Even 'God' gives us differing views on the subject (can anyone tell me who is the real 'God'?)and I am most inclined to follow the 'God' described in the Vedic scriptures which pre-date Christianity,Islam and Buddhism. In the Manu-samhita it states:"Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures and injury to sentient beings is detrimental to the attainment of heavenly bliss;let him therefore shun the use of meat." The Ten Commandments state, "Thou shalt not kill." There is no clause under it that states "...but animals are OK."
You mention next that native Americans showed 'respect'to the animal as they were killing it and that they did not waste any of it. That is the very least we should expect from a human being, but certainly not the most. I started on the path to veganism this way, it was the first step not the destination.It is of small comfort to the animal as it tries to escape the knife that its executioner 'respects' it or that none of its body will be wasted. It needs, above all, to live.Every animal shows this. I was finally able to see my false piety for what it was; an attempt to assuage what vestige of guilt still lingered as I attempted to justify my lifestyle. Humane killing is still killing and it isn't necessary. I can do without it and so can everyone. And think of how much better we'd treat other human beings.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I have been haunted by some of the images since watching this video and am deeply shocked to see the truth behind my streak/pork/chicken etc, I only managed to watch 25 minutes of the film but have been told about the rest by my family, I can't bring myself to watch anymore.

Personally what I have seen here is the very sick side of our species and has led me to belive that in the battle of the beasts we really do come last. Animals live for themselves, they are the innocent ones, we are riddled with power and the right tools to makes us dominant over every other living thing. There is no right in skinning an animal alive, throwing our dogs in the trash, playing at killing an animal, cutting up fish in the street, beating animals so they do as told, where is the humanity and the respect in this? What a beautiful world we live in but what a hell we are creating.

Needless to say I am now leeding a very healthy vegetarian life because although I can't help the thousands of animals killed each day, I can do something to help myself feel closer to nature and healthier for it.

Thank you again.

I watched the short video and was almost sick to my stomach. I cannot believe that human beings can be so insensitive to these wonderful gentle creatures. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO STOP THIS cruelty. Dr. Kim, I hope that you can somehow convey our concerns to the Japanese Gov't. on this horrible practice that is totally unaceptable. If there is something we as concerned individuals can do to accomplish this, please let us know.
Thank You

Thank you
I am vegetarian...and always happy to find information that will speak to anyone of the needless cruelty that goes on Everywhere! I could not continue to watch the short clip and of course did not even attempt the video. I will however pass it on.
Peace for All who live!

Dear Dr. Kim,

I am an avid fan of your blogs. However, you got it wrong this time. I can assure you that you put up images of cows being slaughtered, you will get the same reaction, and I am not talking about reaction from Hindus. What about, countries like Philippines, China, and South Korea, where dog meat is quite common. I grew up in India eating goat meat. However, to many Americans, that sounds disturbing. The bottom line is, it is very easy to exert our morality on someone. Well, if we want to be politically correct, let us all take a pledge and start eating only vegan diet. I am sure the idea won't go far. I hope you don't censor my comment. I was as appalled by the images as you were. I am just presenting a different point of view.

Ash

I agree and disagree.

Yes, it is ALL WRONG FOR ALL, to include, eating dog meat!
And yes, again, there are some of us that do much as much as they possibly can in attempts of preventing these horrible happenings from occurring. I believe, a criticle factor in some not doing more is their ignorance when it comes to things like this, as, just like all the industrialized countries we look at convenience and not the consequences of these same privileges.

Dear Dr. Kim,
I love reading and recommending your blog.
I did not watch the movie, because
a) I am on dial-up (yes, such places still exist!) and
b) I have already limited my own animal-based purchases to products that are humanely produced.

I even produce some of them myself. My meat chickens have a brief but pleasant life and
a quick and merciful death.

A word to the vegans: apart from the health issues, sustainable organic small scale
farming is best done with a mixture of plant
and animal products.

Read the works of Rudolph Steiner and Wendell Berry on this topic.

I share your horror at the cruelty.
I applaud your decision to make your dollars
a vote for what you believe in.
About 50% of the dinners at our home are vegan.
But going 100% vegan may not be the best thing either for your health or that of our Mother Earth.

Keep an open mind!

Ien in the Kootenays
http://freegreenliving.com

I really appreciated what Ien had to say - as a matter of fact, it is the voice of reason that I was hearing as well.
I refuse to believe that eating meat is wrong, as we see food chains in every aspect of nature. Humans are part of the food chains, for better or worse. Denying that fact denys a basic fact of biology.
However... I was appalled at the few minutes of the documentary that I watched. After a minute or two, I had seen all I needed to.
The point is; we (humans) can and should exercise mercy in the manner whith which we obtain any of our food. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest... we had beef, poultry, fish and pork available to us growing up, as well as fresh veggies from the garden, fruit from the trees, and herbs that my grandmother grew. I have seen my dad kill animals to butcher for food, and I can tell you that he is a man that took no joy in the act of, but treated each animal with respect, and killed as quickly and painlessly as possible. I'm the eldest; I hepled him butcher the animals, and likewise, we children were never allowed to make crude jokes or play with anything that came from the animals. Not the feathers from the birds, not the hair from the animals. Respect for life was instilled into us at a very young age.
I know that most of the meat available to us on the general market is not treated with the same regard, but we can change that without becoming radical on either side of the argument. It doesn't have to be all or nothing - a wild predator would kill (and mostly does) in ways that are horrible to watch. If you've ever seen a documentary of the killer whales playing catch in the open ocean with baby seals that they have been ripping to shreds, you know just what I mean. It is also not a fun watch.
Change HOW they are doing it - don't try to eliminate what people eat - the forbidden just ends up on the black market and the cruelty continues anyhow.

Your point of view represents the view of many, too many, who don't want to admit that the modern Industrialized methods of animal production is wrong. You can quote and refer to any culture you desire, but pain is pain, torture is torture and when we, as human beings commit these acts against innocent beautiful animals, it does not take a bunch of books and education to know that we have sunk to a level in which I, personally, will have no part in. Minimizing the despair, real suffering and comparing weird cultural traditions of cruelty doesn't wash in this area. The public is becoming more educated in regard to so-called modern Agriproduction of animals for food, research and clothing - and we, as animal advocates gather strength and resolve from statements such as yours. We will speak for the voiceless, helpless inmates of a cruel society with every breath we take, until the last breath, realizing these beautiful creatures have NO hope - But us. Just like Porno, one cannot define exactly why it is offensive, wrong. Animal Abuse in any form is definitely wrong, anyway you want to spin it. We don't buy the clever spin anymore.

I purchased the Earthlings DVD recently, and watched with disbelief that some people can actually sink so low that they butcher an animal while it is fully conscious as if they were buttering a piece of toast. I watched the live dog being tossed in a garbage truck. I watched the gased cats being thrown in the trash if if they were pieces of garbage. I kept repeating over and over....What is wrong with people? (meaning all of us!?)

Until we humans realize that animals are not objects to be used for profit/entertainment, but a different species who speak and sense differently from us, the despicable acts shown in the DVD will continue. Just because animals can not speak like we speak does not represent 100% proof of lesser overall intelligence than we human beings. We need to show the same level of respect and emphany towards animals that we show to each other. Animals are just like us for the simple reason that each animal represents a life that we humans have no business extinguishing whenever we feel like it. Who are we as to be so arrogant or our importance in the overall scheme of things?

I sometimes wonder if animals are actually smarter than us in some regards; just think the world's problems such as wars, genocide, drug addiction, environmental degradation, global warming, AIDS...and so on, are of our own doing. I believe if the natural balance of nature was left alone, we humans would not be up against these problems. An animal may show violence toward it's prey, but I highly doubt that an animal does it for sport as we do. An animal only takes what it needs for survival...do we?

So let's get off our high horses and coexist with animals and not subjugate them. I believe in the overall scheme of things... that what goes around comes around.

Hey Ash,

I'm a cannibal, so watch your selective morality ass or I'll sneak up behind you and slash your neck and eat you while you convulse on the pavement with your belly full of goat meat.

One is complicit to evil to the degree that one chooses ignorance over awareness.

Teebs

Very comprehensive clips - demonstrating all the reasons why I've been a Vegan for 18 years.
The calves of the milk cows are taken away from their mothers hours after birth, it's a stong bond & the calves aren't normally kept alive.The cows would normally have a much longer life-span. All for humans to drink another mammals milk - why? People must absorb some of the pain the animal suffered when slaughterd & eat it's meat or flesh - can't be healthy meat/fish?

I saw some fragments of the movie. And read many replies on this subject. And I see we totally miss the point.... I want to ask you all a question. When a human is murdered, we try to prosecute the murderer, right? Even if we catch a glimse, we try to do that (at least some of us do...). Now for some reason, the automatic solution to the murders we see in this footage (because they are nothing but murders), is "we become vegetarians"... Damn, this does not solve the problem. Man needs food. Every kind of food. This is a proven fact. No, man does not need to skin dogs alive, this does not provide any kind of nutrition to him. Nor does he need to "ritualistically" torture a cow alive. This has absolutelly nothing to do with our eating habits. So, becoming a vegetarian is simply a defiance to our nature. It is a passive solution. It does not, in any way, prevent the above seen mockery. The people you saw torturing those poor souls would do so, even if we stopped eating meat. What we should do is to KNOW what we are eating. A deer hunted and killed by a hunter, or a chicken slaughtered in the village by the farm owner is not treated the same way. But man has the tendency to go from one end to another. Man used to eat whatever he hunted. But now it is easy to simply eat a stake or a burger every day for 5 bucks. Well, if we simply considered WHERE our food comes from, and tried to eat what wasn't tortured like that, and keep our good health we live as we should. Meanwhile we fight against those people by exposing them to our friends and hope others will do the same as well. More than half of the atrocities we saw have nothing to do with food. So by excluding entirelly meat from our diet does not stop anything. Yes, I understand excluding furs. We are not in the ice age. A fur is not important for our well-being. The same applies to cosmetics as well. And so on. Yet, still a leather wallet, hand made from a source we are familliar with, and made by leather that came of an animal slaughtered for eating, is more than welcome. Cosmetics not tested on animals are as welll. We miss the forest by looking at the tree. So, instead of focusing on wether we eat meat or not, we simply have to focus on what meat we eat, what artefacts we carry, and so on. Otherwise, we are as ignorant as those we supposedly are trying to enlighten. Focus on passing laws equivalent of those for murder. This is a solution for what we see above. Out of 10 people who would kill a dog, 9 do it because they are not afraid of gong to jail for a life sentence. Yes, there are sick people out there. There will always be sick people in the world. But many of them would not be doing that, if we had proper law and education.

Some of the comments to this sickens me almost as much as the video did. I don't even know where to begin! Comparing this to abortion is bad enough, add to that, care LESS about animals and more about humanity? I'm sure it would be possible to care less about how we torture animals, but I don't wanna know how.

After seeing this video, conidering the human race as the most "intelligent" just doesn't fit in anymore. Being so "intelligent" we should know that this is WRONG, no discussion.

We ARE able to find ways to kill these animals in a second! Well we already have, but do we use them? No. How easy would it be to SHOOT them? They wouldn't feel a thing. Instead we slaughter them part by part. They die ... piece by piece. On top of that it's the ABUSE, beating, cutting out their eyes, cut off their nose and grind salt into the wound. The LUCKY ones are beaten to death before the slaughtering process begins.

Transportation ... heard about all the the animals that freeze stuck to the wall of the truck, of course still alive? What do they do? They RIP them off, leaving behind the skin of the entire side of the animal. Yeah, this must be ok since it NOTHING happens. Instead we should CARE LESS about animals and more about humans.

We do know very well how we can give these animals a good life while they are alive, but do we? No, we might lose too much profit or it could take a little extra effort. So confine them to the point where they can either stand up or turn around, beat them, let them eat each other alive from starvation and frustration, use them until they collapse, then drag them along the ground or beat them, elecrocute them until they stand up.

SKINNING animals alive, toss them aside and let them die on their own. It would take ONE second to kill them painlessly. Instead we let them suffer for up to how long? 30 minutes? An hour? Two?

COULD we care less?

Please forgive us ... I cannot.

Your comments say it all. I feel the same way about forgiveness of "us" and believe me I am having a hard time. Our so called intelligence makes us the dumbest of all..because it brings us our greed and the arrogance that we are better than all other creatures on this planet. It also brings us the sense of denial of their pain which is the worst of all.

The only thing that will keep me going is the belief of a God and a world beyond earth where animals can have the freedom and joy that has been so elusive for them here. And my belief that what goes around comes around.

 

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