Earthlings (2005) - full transcript

Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

Since we all inhabit the Earth,
all of us are considered earthlings.

There is no sexism, no racism,
or speciesism in the term "earthling."

It encompasses
each and every one of us:

warm- or cold-blooded,
mammal, vertebrate, or invertebrate,

bird, reptile, amphibian, fish,
and human alike.

Humans, therefore, being not
the only species on the planet,

share this world with millions
of other living creatures,

as we all evolve here together.

However, it is the human earthling
who tends to dominate the Earth,

oftentimes treating other
fellow earthlings and living beings

as mere objects.

This is what is meant
by "speciesism."

By analogy with racism and sexism,
the term "speciesism"

is a prejudice or attitude of bias
in favor of the interests of members

of one's own species and against
those of members of other species.

If a being suffers,
there can be no moral justification

for refusing to take that suffering
into consideration.

No matter what the nature
of the being,

the principle of equality
requires that one's suffering

can be counted equally with
the like suffering of any other being.

Racists violate the principle
of equality by giving greater weight

to the interests of members
of their own race

when there's a clash
between their interests

and the interests of those
of another race.

Sexists violate
the principle of equality

by favoring the interests
of their own sex.

Similarly, speciesists allow
the interests of their own species

to override the greater interests
of members of other species.

In each case,
the pattern is identical.

Though among the members
of the human family,

we recognize the moral
imperative of respect,

every human is a somebody,
not a something,

morally disrespectful
treatment occurs

when those who stand at
the power end of a power relationship

treat the less powerful
as if they were mere objects.

The rapist does this
to the victim of rape.

The child molester
to the child molested.

The master to the slave.

In each and all such cases,

humans who have power
exploit those who lack it.

Might the same be true
of how humans treat other animals

or other earthlings?

Undoubtedly there are differences,

since humans and animals
are not the same in all respects.

But the question of sameness
wears another face.

Granted, these animals do not have
all the desires we humans have.

Granted, they do not comprehend
everything we humans comprehend.

Nevertheless, we and they
do have some of the same desires

and do comprehend
some of the same things.

The desires for food and water,
shelter and companionship,

freedom of movement
and avoidance of pain.

These desires are shared by
nonhuman animals and human beings.

As for comprehension, like humans,
many nonhuman animals

understand the world
in which they live and move.

Otherwise, they could not survive.

So beneath the many differences,
there is sameness.

Like us, these animals embody

the mystery and wonder
of consciousness.

Like us, they are not only
in the world, they are aware of it.

Like us, they are
the psychological centers

of a life that is uniquely their own.

In these fundamental respects,

humans stand "on all fours,"
so to speak,

with hogs and cows,
chickens and turkeys.

What these animals are due from us,
how we morally ought to treat them,

are questions whose answer begins

with the recognition of our
psychological kinship with them.

So the following film demonstrates,
in five ways,

just how animals
have come to serve mankind.

Lest we forget.

Nobel Prize winner
Isaac Bashevis Singer

wrote in his best-selling novel,
Enemies, A Love Story,

the following:

"As often has Herman had witnessed
the slaughter of animals and fish,

he always had the same thought:

In their behavior toward creatures,
all men were Nazis.

The smugness with which man could
do with other species as he pleased

exemplify the most extreme racist theories

the principle that might is right."

The comparison here to the Holocaust
is both intentional and obvious.

One group of living beings anguishes
beneath the hands of another.

Though some will argue the suffering
of animals cannot possibly compare

with that of former Jews or slaves,
there is, in fact, a parallel.

And for the prisoners and victims
of this mass murder,

their holocaust is far from over.

In his book, The Outermost House,
author Henry Beston wrote:

"We need another and a wiser

and perhaps a more mystical
concept of animals.

Remote from universal nature
and living by complicated artifice,

man in civilization
surveys the creatures

through the glass of his knowledge

and sees thereby a feather magnified
and the whole image in distortion.

We patronize them
for their incompleteness,

for their tragic fate of having
taken form so far below ourselves.

And therein we err and greatly err.

For the animal
shall not be measured by man.

In a world older
and more complete than ours,

they move finished and complete...

...gifted with extensions
of the senses

we have lost or never attained... by voices
we shall never hear.

They are not brethren.
They are not underlings.

They are other nations...

...caught with ourselves
in the net of life and time...

...fellow prisoners of the splendor
and travail of the Earth."

For most of us,
our relationship with animals

involves the owning of a pet or two.

So where do our pets come from?

Of course, one of the most obvious
ways animals serve man

is as companions.

For these pets,
it starts with a breeder.

Though not all breeders
are considered professional.

In fact, in this profession,

just about anyone and everyone
can be a breeder.

For pet stores, most of their animals
are acquired from puppy mills,

even if they may not know it.

Puppy mills are low-budget
commercial enterprises

that breed dogs for sale
to pet shops and other buyers.

They are often backyard operations
that expose animals

to filthy, overcrowded conditions

with no veterinary care
or socialization.

Dogs from puppy mills often exhibit
physical and psychological problems

as they grow up.

Strays, if they are lucky,

will be picked up
and taken to a shelter or a pound,

where they can only hope
to find a new home again.

An estimated 25 million animals
become homeless every year.

And as many as 27% of purebred dogs
are among the homeless.

Of these 25 million
homeless animals,

an average of 9 million
die on the streets from disease,




or some other hazard
of street life.

Many others are strays,

some of whom were presumably
dumped in the streets

by their caretakers.

The remaining 16 million
die in pounds or shelters

that have no room for them
and are forced to kill them.

Sadly, on top of all this, almost 50%
of the animals brought to shelters

are turned in by their caretakers.

Many people claim
they don't visit shelters

because it's depressing for them.

But the reason animals are crowded
into such dreary places as these

is because of people's refusal
to spay or neuter their pets.

Several pet owners feel,
particularly men for some reason,

that neutering a pet emasculates
the owner somehow.

Or they may just want their children

to someday experience
the miracle of life, so to speak.

In either case, pet owners like these
unknowingly take part

in the euthanasia
of over 60,000 animals per day.

Euthanasia, generally defined
as the act of killing painlessly

for reasons of mercy,

is usually administered
by an injection in the leg for dogs

and sometimes in the stomach
for cats.

It is a quick and painless procedure
for the animals

and by far the most humane.

But not always the most affordable.

Due to the increase
of euthanasia in shelters

and the growing, constant demand
for drugs like Euthasol,

some shelters
with budget constraints

are forced to use
gas chambers instead.

In a gas chamber,
animals are packed very tightly

and can take
as long as 20 minutes to die.

It is, by far, less merciful,
more traumatic, and painful.

But the procedure is less expensive.

Perhaps some of the tough questions
we should ask ourselves

about animals that we keep
as companions are:

can we keep animals as companions
and still address their needs?

Is our keeping companion animals
in their best interest,

or are we exploiting them?

The answers to these questions

may lie in the attitudes
of the human caretakers

and their abilities
to provide suitable environments

for companion animals.

Most human beings are speciesists.

This film shows
that ordinary human beings,

not a few exceptionally cruel
or heartless humans,

but the overwhelming
majority of people,

take an active part, acquiesce in,

and allow their taxes to pay for
practices that require the sacrifice

of the most important interests
of members of other species,

in order to promote the most trivial
interests of our own species.

The hope for the animals of tomorrow
is to be found in a human culture

which learns to feel beyond itself.

We must learn empathy.

We must learn to see
into the eyes of an animal

and feel that their life has value
because they are alive.

What happens in slaughterhouses
is a variation on the theme

of the exploitation of the weak
by the strong.

More than 10,000 times a minute,

in excess of 6 billion times a year,
just in the United States,

life is literally drained
from so-called "food animals."

Having the greater power,

humans decide
when these animals will die,

where they will die,
and how they will die.

The interests of these animals
themselves play no role whatsoever

in the determination of their fate.

Killing an animal is, in itself,
a troubling act.

It has been said
that if we had to kill our own meat,

we would all be vegetarians.

Certainly very few people
ever visit a slaughterhouse,

and films
of slaughterhouse operations

are not popular on television.

People might hope
that the meat that they buy

came from an animal
who died without pain.

But they don't really
want to know about it.

Yet those who, by their purchases,
require animals to be killed,

do not deserve
to be shielded from this

or any other aspect of the production
of the meat they buy.

So where does our food come from?

For those of us living on a meat diet,

the process these animals undergo
is as follows:

For beef, the animals are all branded.

In this instance, on the face.

Dehorning usually follows.

Never with anesthetic,
but rather a large pair of pliers.

In transportation, animals
are packed so tightly into trucks,

they are practically
on top of one another.

Heat, freezing temperatures,

fatigue, trauma,
and health conditions

will kill some of these animals
en route to the slaughterhouses.

Milking cows are kept chained
to their stalls all day long,

receiving no exercise.

Pesticides and antibiotics

are also used to increase
their milk productivity.

Eventually, milking cows, like
this one, collapse from exhaustion.

Normally, cows can live
as long as 20 years.

But milking cows
generally die within 4.

At which point, their meat is used
for fast-food restaurants.

At this slaughterhouse,
the branded and dehorned cattle

are brought into a stall.

The captive bolt gun,
which was designed

to reduce animals unconscious
without causing pain...

...fires a steel bolt that is powered
by compressed air,

or a blank cartridge,
right into the animal's brain.

Though various methods
of slaughter are used,

in this Massachusetts facility,

the cattle is hoisted up,
and his or her throat is slit.

Along with the meat,
their blood will be used as well.

Though the animal has received
a captive bolt to the head,

which is supposed to have rendered
him or her senseless,

as you can see,
the animal is still conscious.

This is not uncommon.

Sometimes they are still alive
even after they have been bled

and are well on their way down
the assembly line to be butchered.

This is the largest glatt kosher
meat plant in the United States.

Glatt, the Yiddish word for "smooth,"

means the highest standard
of cleanliness.

And rules for kosher butchering
require minimal suffering.

The use of electric prods
on immobilized animals is a violation.

Inverting frightened animals
for the slaughterer's convenience

is also a violation.

The inversion process
causes cattle to aspirate blood,

or breath it in, after incision.

Ripping the trachea and esophagi
from their throats

is another egregious violation,

since kosher animals are not
to be touched until bleeding stops.

And by dumping struggling and dying
steers through metal chutes

onto blood soaked floors,

with their breathing tubes
and gullets dangling out...

...this "sacred task" is
neither clean or compassionate.

Shackling and hoisting
is ruled yet another violation,

nor does it correspond
to the kosher way of treating animals.

If this was kosher,
death was neither quick nor merciful.

Veal, taken from their mothers
within two days of birth,

are tied at the neck
and kept restricted

to keep muscles from developing.

Fed an iron-deficient liquid diet,
denied bedding, water, and light,

after four months of this miserable
existence, they are slaughtered.

Sows in factory farms
are breeding machines,

kept continually pregnant
by means of artificial insemination.

Large pig market factories
will "manufacture,"

as they like to call it,

between 50,000 and 600,000 pigs
a year each.

Tail docking is a practice
derived from the lack of space

and stressful living conditions

so as to keep pigs
from biting each other's tails off.

This is done without anesthetic.

Ear clipping is a similar procedure,

also administered
without anesthetic.

As well as teeth cutting.

Castration is also done
without painkillers or anesthetic

and will supposedly produce
a more fatty grade of meat.

The electric prods are used
for obvious reasons: handling.

Electrocution is another method
of slaughter, as seen here.

Throat slitting, however,

is still the least expensive way
to kill an animal.

After knife sticking,
pigs are shackled,

suspended on a bleed rail,
and immersed in scalding tanks

to remove their bristle.

Many are still struggling
as they are dunked upside down

in tanks of steaming water,

where they are submerged
and drowned.

In regard to poultry,

Americans currently consume
as much chicken in a single day

as they did in an entire year in 1930.

The largest broiler companies
in the world

now slaughter more than
8.5 million birds in a single week.

Debeaking prevents feather-pecking
and cannibalism

in frustrated chickens, caused
by overcrowding in single areas,

where they are unable to establish
a social order.

Today, done with infant chicks, the
procedure is carried out very quickly,

about 15 birds a minute.

Such haste means the temperature
and sharpness of the blade varies,

resulting in sloppy cutting
and serious injury to the bird.

As for their living conditions,
anywhere from 60,000 to 90,000 birds

can be crowded together
in a single building.

The suffering for these animals
is unrelenting.

It is a way of life.

Although their beaks are severed,
they attempt to peck each other.

For hens,
they live in a laying warehouse,

crammed inside so-called
"battery cages."

Many lose their feathers
and develop sores

from rubbing against the wire cage.

Crowding prevents them
from spreading their wings,

and the hens cannot even fulfill
minimal natural instincts.

During transportation,
all animals suffer and many die.

And they suffocate when
other animals pile on top of them

in overcrowded,
poorly loaded cages.

Chickens and turkeys
are slaughtered in numerous ways.

Some may be clubbed to death
or have their heads cut off.

But most are brought through
the assembly lines of factory farms.

Dangled upside down
on a conveyor belt,

their throats are slit,

and they are left
to bleed to death.

Others may be placed head-first
in tubes to restrict their movement

while they slowly bleed to death.

Surely, if slaughterhouses
had glass walls,

would not all of us be vegetarians?

But slaughterhouses
do not have glass walls.

The architecture of slaughter
is opaque,

designed in the interest of denial,

to ensure that we will not see
even if we wanted to look.

And who wants to look?

It was Emerson who observed,
more than 100 years ago:

"You have dined,

and however scrupulously
the slaughterhouse is concealed

in the graceful distance of miles,

there is complicity."

Fuck on, bitch!

Fuck on, bitch!

And for those
who think eating seafood

is healthier than land animals,

just remember
how much irretrievable waste

and contaminated sediments
are dumped into our oceans.

In the past,

oil, nuclear, and chemical industries
have done little

for the protection
of marine environments,

and dumping on or under the seabed

has always proved a convenient place
to dispose of inconvenient wastes.

Today's commercial fishers intensify
this situation on massive scales.

They use vast factory trawlers
the size of football fields

and advanced electronic equipment
to track and catch fish.

Huge nets stretch
across the ocean,

swallowing up everything
in their path.

These factory trawlers, coupled with
our increased appetites for seafood,

are emptying the oceans of sea life
at an alarming pace.

Already, 13 of the 17
major global fisheries

are depleted or in serious decline.

The other four are overexploited
or fully exploited.

The recent outbreak of Pfiesteria,

a microorganism 1,000 times
more potent than cyanide,

spawned from millions of gallons
of raw hog feces and urine,

poured into rivers, lakes,
and oceans,

turning their ecosystems
into unflushed toilets,

is proving the most alarming.

Threatening sea life
and humans alike,

Pfiesteria has killed
over one billion fish,

the Southeast's largest fish kill
on record.

And it's spreading.

Traces of Pfiesteria
have already been found

from Long Island to the Florida Gulf,
at distances of up to 1,000 miles.

In fact, this water-based
Pfiesteria invasion

stands as one of the worst outbreaks
of a virulent microorganism

in U.S. history.

It is a Level 3 Biohazard.

Ebola is a 4.

AIDS is a 2.

And this bug mutated
as a direct result

of our mass consumption
of animals, particularly pork.

With hog farms fattening
millions of pigs for slaughter,

grain goes in and waste comes out.

This waste finds its way into our
oceans and water-supply systems,

contaminating the animals
that live in it,

as well as those who eat from it.

Finally, whaling.

Though the International
Whaling Commission

prohibited commercial whaling
in 1985,

many countries continue to kill whales
for their so-called "exotic meat."

They use harpoons...


...blunt hooks...

...even explosives...

...or drive them
into authorized whaling bays,

where they are made to beach

and can be killed with knives
in the shallows.


Every winter, between the months
of October through March,

thousands of dolphins
are confined and brutally killed

in small towns across Japan.

Sounding rods
beneath the water's surface

interfere with the dolphins' sonar.

Once disoriented and enclosed
within the nets, the dolphins panic.

Fisherman often injure
a few captive dolphins

with a spear thrust or knife slash,

since dolphins never abandon
wounded family members.

Mothers and babies call out
in distress as they are separated,

hoisted up, and dragged off,

soon to be mercilessly
hacked to death.

These are benign
and innocent beings.

And they deserve better.

Yet here,
as they lay stricken and needful,

writhing helplessly on cement floors,

they are cut open with machetes...

...and left to slowly suffocate...

...convulsing and contorting
in the throes of agony,

while schoolchildren walk on by.

Such images of slaughter
and bloody red water

clearly show
the Japanese government

has little respect for the state
of the world's oceans

with their inhumane methods
of fishing,

often in violation of international
treaties, laws, and conventions

designed to protect
over-exploiting the oceans

and the creatures that live in them.

Dolphin meat is later sold
in markets and restaurants,

though often mislabeled
as "whale meat."

But as though cruelty toward animals
raised for food wasn't enough,

we've also found ways of making use
of them for all our clothes:

jackets, shoes, belts, gloves,
pants, wallets, purses, and so on.

The next question is obviously:
"where do our clothes come from?"

The demand for leather comes
primarily from the United States,

Germany, and the U.K.

Just about everybody wears it,

with little or no thought
of where it came from.

Thousands of India cows
are slaughtered each week

for their skins, purchased from
poor families in part of rural India

who sell them
only after the assurance

that the animals will live out
their lives on farms.

To relocate the animals to a state
where they can legally be killed,

since cattle slaughter is forbidden
in most of India,

the animals must be shoed and roped
together in preparation

for a harrowing "death march,"
which could last for several days.

Forced to walk through the heat
and dust without food or water,

coupled with the sheer stress of this
terrifying experience for them,

many of the animals collapse
and are unable to continue.

Bear in mind that most of the cattle
are being placed in a truck

for the first time in their lives
and are likely to be frightened,

especially if they have been handled
hastily or roughly

by the men loading the trucks.

The noise and motion of the truck
itself is also a new experience,

one which makes them ill.

After one or two days inside the truck
without food or water,

they are desperately thirsty
and hungry,

especially since it is normal
for such cows

to eat frequently throughout the day.

But when the cattle become weary
and grow faint,

the bones in their tails are broken

in an effort to get them
back up on their feet.

This is done by repeatedly pinching
the tail in several areas.

Handlers must constantly
keep the cattle moving,

pulling them by nose ropes,
twisting their necks, horns, or tails.

They lead, or rather force,
the cattle down embankments

and in and out of trucks
without ramps,

causing injuries like broken pelvises,
legs, ribs, and horns.

Chili pepper and tobacco are also
used to keep the animals walking.

This practice is done by rubbing
the pepper directly into their eyes,

in order to stimulate the animal
back onto his or her feet.

And all this before the slaughter.

As many as half of the animals
will already be dead

by the time they arrive
at the slaughterhouse.

But to make the experience
even more traumatic and terrifying,

they are often killed
in full view of each other.

And instead of the required

"quick slice" across the throat
with a sharp knife,

they are generally killed through
hacking and sawing with a dull blade.

the skins from these animals

are sent to tanneries
that use deadly substances

like chromium and other toxins
to stop decomposition.

Remember, leather is dead flesh.

It is dead skin,

and, therefore, it's natural for it
to decompose and rot away

unless treated
with such potent substances as these.

And for people, the health effects
of such chemicals in tanneries,

in lieu of the continued demand
for leather goods,

is yet another issue.

Ultimately, leather from Indian cattle

make their way to clothing stores
all around the world.

Most major chains
sell Indian leather.

Leather that comes from completely
different cows than those we eat.

And what about fur?

Over 100 million wild animals are
murdered for their pelts every year,

25 million in the United States alone.

These animals,
obtained by hunting and trapping,

are kept on fur farms
in conditions like these.

Naturally, these undomesticated,
wild animals

are not accustomed to being caged.

And cage madness develops when
frightened and frustrated animals

are driven crazy
from the stress of confinement.

These wild, free-roaming animals
and their offspring

find themselves
unable to live a natural life,

can never take even a few steps
or feel the earth beneath their feet.

Instead, they are reduced
to scratching,

circling, and pacing endlessly.

The physical injuries
these animals endure on fur farms

involve broken and exposed bones...


...ear infections,

dehydration and malnutrition,

exposure to freezing temperatures,

lack of veterinary care,

and slow death.

No laws indicate
the killing of animals on fur farms.

Therefore, the least expensive
methods are the most appealing.

Carbon-monoxide poisoning,
strychnine, suffocation,

breaking the neck,
and anal electrocution

are some of the more common
methods used.

Removed from his or her cage
with a heavy neck pole,

the animal is walked past the rows
of bodies of slaughtered foxes,

sables, raccoons, and wolves,
among others.

Death by anal electrocution
is a crude process

that requires a probe
to be inserted in the rectum

while the animal bites down
on a metal conductor.

Oftentimes this inept procedure
must be repeated

to actually kill the animal.

And the skinned carcasses seen here

will later be ground up
and fed to the animals still caged.

And so we move on to entertainment.

Mark Twain once said:

"Of all the creatures ever made,
he (man) is the most detestable.

He's the only creature
that inflicts pain for sport,

knowing it to be pain."

In rodeos, bulls and broncos
don't buck because they're wild,

but because they're in pain.

A belt called a flank strap
or a bucking strap

is secured around the animal's body,
over the genital area.

As the animal leaves the chute,
a tight jerk on the belt

is enough to start him
bucking in pain.

Apart from other injuries
animals incur at rodeos...

...such as broken legs...

...they are also worked up
by being slapped, teased,

given electric prods,
and otherwise tormented,

to bolt out of the chute in a frenzy.

Roping, as seen here,
involves throwing a rope

around the neck
of a frightened animal

running full speed,

jerking the poor creature to a halt,

and slamming him or her
to the ground.

Like any other business,
dog racing and horse racing

are industries motivated
by a common denominator:


At fair grounds across the country,
animals are used to race,

bet with, and spectate over.

Training for these events
is accomplished

by withholding food
and sometimes water.

These animals,
unfamiliar with their surroundings,

the noise, the crowds,

even what they're supposed
to be doing,

are all too often
injured and discarded,

in pointless, trivial,
outlandish contests

designed to make profits
and entertain.

Besides loss of habitat,

hunting is the number-one threat
to wildlife today.

Hunters kill over
200 million animals every year.

Deer, rabbits, and squirrels
top the list of desirable targets.

There is no denying it.

If hunting is a sport,
it is a blood sport.

The targets are living,
and they undergo violent deaths.

Fishing is also a death sport,
wherein the nonhuman animal suffers.

Researchers have distinguished
that fish show pain behavior

the same way mammals do.

Anatomically, physiologically,
and biologically,

the pain system in fish is virtually
the same as in birds and mammals.

In other words,
fish are sentient organisms,

so of course they feel pain.

For those who think
fish die "gentler" deaths,

consider that their sensory organs
are highly developed,

their nervous systems complex,

their nerve cells
very similar to our own...

...and their responses to certain
stimuli immediate and vigorous.

When going to the circus,

rarely do we stop for a moment
and consider:

What incites an animal to do
something unnatural, even dangerous,

such as jumping through flames,
balancing on one foot,

or diving into water
from shaky platforms high in the air?

Animal trainers would like
for the public to believe

that animals are coaxed into such
behaviors with the promise of rewards.

But the truth is that animals perform
because they fear punishment.

Let's go, let's go, let's go!

All right, let's go.
Let's get going.

In essence, circuses condemn
animals who are wild by nature

to live out their days
isolated in tiny, barren cages,

denied normal exercise
and socialization...

...shuttled around
from place to place...

...and shackled in chains
for up to 95% of their lives.

Elephants are taught to perform
with positive reinforcement

and never hit.

Never hit.

Never, never, never will you see
anyone use the ankus

as anything other
than a guide or a tool.


Dominance, subservience, and pain

are integral parts
of the training process.

We know animals feel.

They feel fear, loneliness, and pain,
just like humans do.

What animal would choose to spend
their entire life in captivity

if they had a choice?

Are zoos valuable educational
and conservation institutions?

Sure, zoos are interesting,
but they are only educational

in the sense
that they teach a disregard

for the natures
of other living beings.

Besides, what can we learn
about wild animals

by viewing them in captivity?

Zoos exist because we are intrigued
by exotic things.

And to zoo-goers,
zoo animals are just that:


In both cases, at circuses or zoos,

wild and exotic animals are captured,

caged, transported, and trained
to do what humans want them to do.

At best, the term "bullfighting"
is a misnomer... there is little competition

between the sword
of a nimble matador,

which is Spanish for "killer,"

and a confused, maimed,
psychologically tormented,

and physically debilitated bull.

Many prominent former bullfighters

report that bulls
are intentionally debilitated

with tranquilizers and laxatives,
beatings to the kidneys,

and heavy weights hung around
their necks for weeks before a fight.

Some of the animals are placed
in darkness for 48 hours

before the confrontation,

then are released,
blinded, into the bright arena.

In a typical event, the bull enters

and is approached by men
who exhaust and frustrate him

by running him in circles
and tricking him into collisions.

When the bull is tired
and out of breath,

he is approached by picadors,

who drive lances
into its back and neck muscles,

twisting and gouging to ensure
a significant amount of blood loss

and impairing the bull's ability
to lift his head.

Then come the banderilleros
who distract and dart around the bull,

while plunging more lances into him.

Weakened from blood loss,
they run the bull in more circles

until he is dizzy and stops chasing.

Finally, the matador,
this "killer," appears

and, after provoking a few exhausted
charges from the dying animal,

tries to kill the bull with his sword.

And this bloody form of amusement
is bullfighting.

The pleasure derived from
all of these activities and sports...

...a communion with nature,
some would say,

can be secured
without harming or killing animals.

The commercial exploitation
of wildlife

erroneously assumes
that the value of wild animals

is reducible to their utility
relative to human interests,

especially economic interests.

But wild animals
are not a renewable resource,

having value only relative
to human interests.

That perception
can only be that of a speciesist.

Nevertheless, these practices exist

only because we do not take seriously
the interests of other animals.

In this light, are humans not
the most callous speciesists of all?

The term "vivisection"
is used to apply

to all types of experiments
on living animals

and is said to be a form
of medical science.

The reason for experimentation
of this type

is to allegedly discover cures
for human ailments and illnesses.

But those who hope
to find remedies for human ills

by inflicting deliberate sufferings
on animals

commit two fundamental errors
in understanding.

The first is the assumption
that results obtained on animals

are applicable to mankind.

The second concerns the inevitable
fallacy of experimental science

in respect to the field
of organic life.

Since animals react differently
from human beings,

every new product or method
tried out on animals

must be tried out again on man
through careful clinical tests,

before it can be considered safe.

This rule knows no exceptions.

Tests on animals
are not only dangerous

because they lead
to wrong conclusions,

but, furthermore,
they retard clinical investigation,

which is the only valid kind.

Just remember the fact that
any disease deliberately provoked

is unlike any disease
that arises spontaneously.

such methods still sail today

under the flag of science,

which is an insult to true science,
as well as human intelligence.

And so, vivisection applies
to medical experiments,

done with the administration
of noxious substances...

...electric or traumatic shocks...

...unanesthetized operations...


...drawn-out deprivations
of food and drink...

...physical and psychological tortures

that lead to mental imbalance,
infections, and so on.

Head-injury research involves
partially or fully conscious baboons

strapped down with restraints

and their heads cemented
into a metal helmet,

which will be thrust
at a 60 degree angle

at a force of up to 1,000 gs.

The purpose of this experiment
is to simulate auto crashes,

football, boxing,
and other head-related injuries.

And this process is often repeated
again and again on the same animals.

And finally, military research.

This one speaks for itself.

From sending monkeys
into outer space...

...and testing atomic blasts
on helpless dogs,

to exposing primates
to nuclear radiation.

20 years ago, the number of animals
dying of tortures

through the practice of vivisection
was astronomical,

estimated at 400,000
per day worldwide

and growing
at an annual rate of 5%.

Today that number
is almost beyond comprehension.

19,000 per minute.

10 billion per year.

Some uneducated persons
pretend to know

that less-intelligent animals
don't feel pain the same way we do.

In truth, we know very little about
how specific animals may "feel,"

except that they must also submit
to the universal law

that causes every organism
dying by unnatural means

to suffer greatly
before that final release.

But it's nonsense to say
that animals do not suffer

because they have
a lower order of intelligence.

Pain is pain,
conveyed by nerves to the brain.

And there are other nerves
than those of intelligence,

nerves such as sight,
smell, touch, and hearing.

And in some animals, these nerves
are much more highly developed

than in man.

We know that there
has never been an epoch

in which we could learn something
about the physiology of man

by torturing animals.

We only learned something
about animals.

And if there is something we can learn
from them on the psychological level,

it is not by means
of steel or electricity,

much less so
through psychic violences.

The systematic torture
of sentient beings,

whatever the pretext
and in whatever form,

cannot achieve anything
more than it already has:

to show us what is the lowest point
of debasement man can reach...

...if that's what we want to know.

Ignorance is the speciesist's
first line of defense.

Yet it is easily breached by anyone
with the time and determination

to find out the truth.

Ignorance has prevailed so long

only because people
do not want to find out the truth.

"Don't tell me.
You'll spoil my dinner,"

is the usual reply
to any attempt to tell someone

just how that dinner was produced.

Even people who are aware
that the traditional family farm

has been taken over
by big-business interests,

that their clothes
come from slaughtered cows,

that their entertainment
means the suffering and death

of millions of animals,

and that some questionable
experiments go on in laboratories,

still cling to a vague belief
that conditions cannot be too bad,

or else the government
or the animal welfare societies

would have done something about it.

But it is not the inability
to find out what is going on

as much as a desire
not to know about facts

that may lie heavy
on one's conscience,

that is responsible
for this lack of awareness.

After all, the victims
of whatever it is that goes on

in all these awful places

are not members
of one's own group.

It all comes down
to pain and suffering.

Not intelligence, not strength,
not social class or civil right.

Pain and suffering
are, in themselves, bad

and should be prevented
or minimized,

irrespective of the race, sex,
or species of the being that suffers.

We are all animals of this planet.

We are all creatures.

And nonhuman 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,
vertebrate, just like us.

As we look back on how essential
animals are to human survival,

our absolute dependence on them,

for companionship,



sport and entertainment,

as well as medical
and scientific research...

...ironically, we only see mankind's
complete disrespect

for these nonhuman providers.

Without a doubt,
this must be what it is:

to "bite the hand that feeds us."

In fact, we have actually stomped
and spit on it.

Now we are faced
with the inevitable aftermath.

This is evident in health reports

due to our over-excessive
consumption of animals:

Cancer, heart disease,
osteoporosis, strokes,

kidney stones, anemia,
diabetes, and more.

Even our food has now been affected,
and at its very source.

With antibiotics
used to promote weight gain

in animals who can't gain weight

under the stressful, overcrowded
living conditions in factory farms,

with the overuse
of pesticides and insecticides

or artificial hormones

designed to increase milk production,
litter size, and frequency,

with artificial colors, herbicides,
larvicides, synthetic fertilizers,

growth and appetite stimulants,

it's no wonder that Mad Cow Disease,
Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Pfiesteria,

and a host of other
animal-related abnormalities

have been unleashed
on the human public.

Nature is not responsible
for these actions.

We are.

So a change is inevitable.

Either we make it ourselves,

or we will be forced to make it
by nature itself.

The time has come for each of us
to reconsider our eating habits,

our traditions,
our styles and fashions,

and, above all, our thinking.

So, if there is any truth
to the age-old saying:

"What goes around,
comes around,"

then what do they get for their pain?

Do we even give it a second thought?

If what goes around comes around,
what do they get for their pain?

They are earthlings.

They have the right to be here
just as much as humans do.

Perhaps the answer is found
in another age-old saying...

...and one equally true:

So of course animals feel,
and of course they experience pain.

After all, has nature endowed
these wonderful animals

with wellsprings of sentiment
so that they should not feel?

Or do animals have nerves
in order to be insensitive?

Reason demands a better answer.

But one thing is absolutely certain.

Animals used for food,

used for clothing,
used for entertainment,

and in scientific experiments,

and all the oppression
that is done to them under the sun,

they all die from pain.

Each and every one.

Isn't it enough
that animals the world over

live in permanent retreat
from human progress and expansion?

And for many species,
there is simply nowhere else to go.

It seems the fate of many animals
is either to be unwanted by man

or wanted too much.

We enter as lords of the Earth,

bearing strange powers
of terror and mercy alike.

But human beings
should love animals

as the knowing love the innocent
and the strong love the vulnerable.

When we wince
at the suffering of animals,

that feeling speaks well of us,
even if we ignore it.

And those who dismiss love
for our fellow creatures

as mere sentimentality

overlook a good and important part
of our humanity.

But it takes nothing away from
a human to be kind to an animal.

And it is actually within us
to grant them a happy life

and a long one.

On the heath,
King Lear asked Gloucester,

"How do you see the world?"

And Gloucester,
who is blind, answered,

"I see it feelingly."

"I see it feelingly."

Three primary life forces
exist on this planet.



And humankind.

We are the earthlings.

Make the connection.