I recently heard about a documentary called The Earthlings (full documentary below). wi It's about speciesism devastatingly cruel, fascist way humans treat animals (domesticated farming, pet stores, puppy mills). Being the idiot that I am, I decided to watch it as a way to wind down after a day of essay writing. I did not wind down and I feel as depressed as ever about just how much us humans have managed to fuck up the planet in the past 2 centuries.
Essentially, humans have lost sight of the fact that animals are sentient beings and - just as almost everything has been since the industrialisation - their lives are commoditised for what they are able to provide for us, whether it's meat or companionship. *The Story of Stuff is very worthwhile to watch about consumer culture. And their suffering is completely overlooked in the process. Some of the scenes are shot really beautifully. Scenes of the natural world seems to contrast how their lives should be and the damage that's been done by humans. There are a number of documentaries like this out there but Earthlings is especially unforgiving in its graphic depiction of these industries.
I don't think there's anything unethical about eating meat but the ways that people are doing about it is questionable. We're too complacent about how the meat where meat, fur, and all animal products come from. The fact is, if more people are aware of how the animal is treated before it's slaughtered, then meat consumption would definitely decrease. But like to many other things, we just take for granted that someone has done the job.
Most of us rarely consciously wonder and scrutinise on a regular basis where how our milk, jeans, or tissues are produced. The answer to those questions unfortunately is: (1) a cow that is milked for 24 hours a day before it collapses and dies of exhaustion (2) a sweat shop worker who has sustained permanent respiratory problems because of the toxic dyes and fumes from the factories and (3) a forest that had previously stood in India for thousands years before it was leveled. When things are produced on a massive scale, the grey area for ethicality inevitably spreads. We thing that there are values that we'll never compromise but the reality is, were probably going it everyday. Why is it so easy to forgive the unforgivable?
What can actually be done about a system that is integral to most people's day-to-day lives? How self-interested must us human beings be to disregard intergenerational, interspecies, and environmental responsibility to the level that we do?
Watch below and let me know what you think.