I saw recently a movie called “Earthlings” by Shaun Monson. I learned of it from blog pal, Sabio Lantz at Triangulations.
This movie was very difficult for me to watch. Some scenes were so painful that I turned my eyes away. But I’ve come to know that suffering arises, as the Buddha taught, from ignorance. If watching this movie would dispel some of my ignorance and empower me relieve some small bit of the suffering in this world, then, painful as it might be to watch—and it was very painful to watch, I must make myself see it.
I am almost sixty years old, and I felt my naïveté evaporate as I watched this movie. It is only about an hour and a half long but felt, without question, like the longest movie I’ve ever seen.
This movie disabused me of some of my delusion about animals as they encounter humans, a delusion I have a hand in perpetuating. As a kindergarten teacher I often paint fairy tale picture about animal husbandry practices in the America today, a fairy tale which suggests the norm in America is something resembling the Arable’s family farm in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. (My son reminds me that in some parts of the world, as in Togo, West Africa, where he just spent two years in the Peace Corps, people follow more humane animal husbandry practices.)
This movie, Earthlings, takes an unflinching—and horrifying—look at how it really is in America and other parts of the “developed” world. We allow our animals to be treated—I’m sorry, but “tortured” is the apt and accurate word here—in order to fulfill, at minimal economic cost, our desires for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and “scientific” research.
So, if you’re interested here’s a link to the movie’s website. You can watch it there or see the trailer: EARTHLINGS.
Here's the trailer. Warning: Don't watch it unless you're prepared to see a disturbing side of reality (and contemplating becoming a vegetarian).
Make the Connection. EARTHLINGS.com