Earthlings - review

Review by Kerri Milam

The beginning and ending are so beautiful and inspiring - with the intervening parts so heartrending and shaming - but each in its own way should confirm and renew our commitment to the animals.

Human beings wallow in the quicksand of eternal narcissism. The only rights that matter are their own. The only lives that have worth are their own. The only suffering that merits consideration is their own. We can send rockets to the moon - but when it comes to moral evolution, we are still cave-dwelling Troglodytes torturing and murdering each other and animals under the banners of sexism, racism, religion, nationality, and speciesism. It is the latter that is most pervasive and resistant to reform.

Personally, I think psychopathology has become indelibly encoded into the human genome. And like any other affliction, it has its degrees. We easily recognize the blatant evil in the acts of wanton abuse displayed in this documentary - but we are less willing to acknowledge its more subtle form cloaked in the ignominy of indifference.

It is my unwavering observation after twenty years in the animal rights movement that those who are most cavalier toward the pain of others are the most sensitive to their own - and those who are the most dismissive of the rights of others are the most vociferous about their own.

The movement says it quite eloquently: "Human beings have an infinite capacity for suffering, as long as it's someone else who's suffering." Here is my own - albeit significantly less poetic - translation: "As long as it's not MY fat ass, WHO CARES?"

Even if you can't get through the middle portions (though, if they have to go through it, we should bear witness), at least watch the first segment. The photography and narration are exquisite and will reaffirm and validate - critical in the current political milieu attempting so fervently to marginalize, demonize, and criminalize - who we are and what we do.

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,