Earthlings (2005)

“For those who watch Earthlings, the world will never be the same.”

Tom Regan, Philosopher                                                                                                                     

  • Run time: 1h 35mins
  • Director: Shaun Monson
  • Narrator: Joaquin Phoenix
  • Language: English
  • IMDb rating: 8.7/10

In One Sentence What Is Earthlings About?

A harrowing portrayal of humanity’s exploitation and treatment of animals for financial gain.

Brief Synopsis

A title that will upset, shock and live long in the memory with some of the most graphic and tragic scenes of animal cruelty one is likely to see. Split into five parts, Earthlings gets behind the workings of the main sectors of industry that use animals to reveal how they are treated as mere units of production, their sole purpose to ultimately provide income with no consideration towards their physical and mental wellbeing.

Earthlings demonstrates how animals have come to serve mankind where the weak are remorselessly exploited by the strong. In effect, humans are engaging in speciesism on a global scale, that is, discrimination against all other species. All other Earthlings.

The Trailer

Why Is Earthlings A Vegan Documentary?

If a film falls under the title of ‘horror documentary’ then it’s sure to contain scenes that are at best disturbing, and at worst, liable to make one shed a tear in despair.

Although it wasn’t until a few years after watching Earthlings that I converted to veganism, there are numerous stories of people for whom this film was the catalyst to do so. It will certainly have an emotional impact, with scenes that will live long in the memory. A stray dog being thrown into the back of a bin lorry. Dolphins, tails tied to the back of trucks, and dragged along roads. They writhe and contort in sheer agony after being cut open and left to bleed to death. Once magnificent creatures whose final destination is nothing more than a mislabelled packet of meat resting on a shelf amongst a myriad of shiny foil wrappers.

Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, himself a vegan, Earthlings is not pleasant viewing, but has the power to make one to reflect upon behaviour and views towards animals and their treatment by humans, not only for consumption but in all areas of society. It may even leave you questioning the validity of the arguments that are used to justify keeping animals in zoos.

People often rely on ignorance to defend their decisions, to make themselves feel better and to continue with long held practices, practices they have often carried out for as long as they can remember. Earthlings will go some way to nullify those excuses and even provides a list of key actions people can take to make a difference, with becoming vegan one of those.

In conversations I have with people about the best documentaries, I always ask “Have you seen Earthlings?”

Where And How To Watch Earthlings

Watch the 10th Anniversary Edition online for free on the official website.

Rent and buy the orginal as well as non-English language versions on the official website.

Rent and buy the orginal online from Vimeo here

Official Website:

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