Earthlings was a film produced to expose the harsh truths of the practices of one of the largest industries in the world. Using hidden cameras—hidden for obvious reasons—the film tells us what animals go through in order for us to be able to enjoy the products that mankind utilizes daily.
There are several central arguments covered in the film, all of which run along the main theme of equality amongst the different species on Earth. The film puts forth the idea that humans and animals inhabit the same space in the universe, we rely on similar eco-systems, and we are able to certain degree, we are able to experience the same type of pain and emotions, hence we should be equal. The basis of our treatment towards them, therefore, shouldn’t be the comparison of our intelligence; rather, we should understand that to living creatures, pain is pain. That alone should be enough to drive mankind to treat these animals humanely.
The film further suggests that all the suffering the animals go through is for the sake of facilitating efficiency in the production of animal-based products. Efficiency, however, comes at the cost of treating the animals in a humane manner; morality therefore takes a backseat when it comes to energizing the capitalist system, a sentiment that has also been adopted by the workers in these factories, despite the fact that they are merely a cog in the complicated machinery.
The film also brings up the fact that humans are the only beings on