Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Revelry Review: Earthlings

Last week one of my co-workers let me borrow the film "Earthlings". I knew it was about the treatment of animals but that was about it. It wasn't until afterward that my co-worker said, "What do you call someone who has seen Earthlings?" When I said I didn't know, she replied, "A vegan."

So true.

I've seen plenty of footage of how farm animals are treated and killed. I've seen and read about the treatment of circus animals. However, I've never seen anything quite like this. I had to watch it in 20 minute increments because it was that difficult to get through. I cried several times. And after viewing it, I made a decision. No more fish, regardless of my B-12 problems. It's full-fledged vegetarianism for me now.

The tagline of this movie is "Make the connection", which refers to the connection that we and all animals are all earthlings. However, I started to think about the connection between dairy farms and the animal industry in general, between leather and animals killed for meat, etc. It was disturbing to say the least. Thinking of my new Marc Jacobs bag as just pretty and not a former cow is much easier to digest.

I'm not sure where I am headed on this eating preferences journey of mine but it may very well be to full veganism, complete with no leather and honey and dairy. Recently I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject. It will be easier to explore when grad school is over and I am home more often to cook. As Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says in many of her Vegetarian Food for Thought podcasts, even if you can't do it all right now, you do what you can. Only time will tell.


Christine Claire Reed said...

Movies and books like this always leave out a part of the overall equation: the idea of local, sustainable, and humane.

It is possible to get all of those things in your dairy and eggs AND honey...AND meat, actually.

And then there is soy. The thing a lot of people rely upon. For example, to make a vegan "pie" of sorts, a lot of people use Silk -- a completely over-processed food that is NOT good for you and is based on giant agribusiness mono cropping.

Lauren said...

For me, it's more the thought of eating something that was once alive, regardless of how it was treated at the farm. I've never eaten red meat or pork and gave up chicken awhile back. It just grosses me. The dairy stuff is more for health reasons (I don't have a gall bladder and have other intestine issues that make it hard to eat dairy). This movie just reinforced those decisions for me.

Carolyn said...

I agree, Lauren - I used to think, well, if I bought a cow from a farmer who treated his animals well, then it'd be okay. But now, I just can't even bear the thought of something being slaughtered for my eating pleasure. I see Lola's face on everything! That being said, being vegan... well, that'd be hard. Giving up leather?? SUPER hard. But it's still something I think about and struggle with a lot.

Heather said...

I've been meandering the path for a while, after reading Diet for a New America. I still eat meat but it's from a family member's farm or a friends health food store/market. I'd like to get to vegetarian/vegan. Maybe this movie will help. Thanks for the suggestion!

Eco Yogini said...

i guess... i had a difficult time after watching food inc... and overall i avoid vegan movies. I agree with Christine, I'm more of a 'sustainable and humane' kinda gal.

especially since plants are alive... i mean, the connection is in us all. I try to foster a sense of connection and respect. Since i'm not a fan of soy or tofu (ick pesticides and GMO!), giving up meat would mean giving up a huge portion of protein...

that being said, I think it's wonderful that you've thought long and hard about your decision and are making an informed one that is right for you :)
Except for the soy part, being a vegan-vegetarian is fantastic for the environment :)

yosoyblog said...

As a long time vegan, I haven't been able to sit through all of Earthlings--it's very intense. To all the commenters who follow a local, sustainable diet--keep in mind that regardless of what kind of farm you buy meat from...even if your animals are frolicking around playfully all day--those animals are still slaughtered in slaughterhouses. It's a very cruel and inhumane way to die.

I'll also add that many vegans, including myself, have very little soy in their diets. It's very easy to get ample protein from vegetable sources as long as you pay a little attention to your diet.

I recommend Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals" for anyone interested in this topic. He does a great job at looking at all sides of the debate.

Analiese Marie said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I hadn't heard of Earthlings. I will check it out.