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Maybe I'm somewhat biased due to my own eating habits, but this movie does the utter opposite of its apparent desired goal. Yeah, the graphic images are unsettling at times, but we’ve seen those images before. I was far more disgusted at the fact that the film doesn’t use logic to address the issues it brings up. Essentially, the film is a long and incredibly unsubtle exercise in heartstring pulling, the idea being that like the Nazis, human society has systematically built a world in which animals are tortured and eliminated because of their identity as the other. When you equate all of society in general to the Nazis for something humanity has done since the dawn of its history, you're just going to look preachy. Moreover, by presenting the problem from the urban, narrow viewpoint of animal rights activists, they’re ignoring too many aspects of man’s complex relationship with animals.
Yes, I myself love meat; however, I prefer to eat it if I know the animal has been treated and killed humanely. This movie takes an All or Nothing approach, stating that humankind is OH SO EVIL for eating meat and doing animal testing to increase our scientific knowledge and we're all basically Nazis. That’s just being downright emotionally manipulative in a nutshell. The film also makes sure to never show any act of compassion by people towards animals. It only shows suffering. It’s the equivalent to watching a movie about human beings and showing nothing but war, famine, slavery, cruelty, rape, and murder, while ignoring all human acts of compassion and kindness towards others that we know exists everywhere.
Oh and hilariously enough, the people who made this are all vegans and associated with PETA, which has killed a lot of animals. And the PETA Vice President at the time was a diabetic using insulin... which was derived from tests on animals.
All I’m trying to say is that you don’t need to think about whether or not you want to eat that hamburger/chicken tender/piece of sushi/ham. However, I do think you will want to think about how that animal was treated, and research ways to really help animals and the environment in a real and sustainable way. Do not let nonsensical biased films such as “Earthlings” alter your current lifestyle, and don't let Joaquin Phoenix make feel like you're a Nazi because you like enjoying that hamburger/chicken tender/piece of sushi/ham.
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