Recently I watched a documentary with the rather catchy title “Earthlings“. It turned out this was not the only thing catchy in the production. I came across some very unfamiliar terms, such as speciesist, among others.
The film was unsurprisingly shocking. For the uninformed, this is a documentary about the way we use animals for food, clothing and entertainment. The monstrous way we do that, to be more accurate.
Being a biologist by training, of course I am an animal lover. I might not be vegetarian, but I still understand the importance of knowing where our food originates from and taking measure accordingly. I believe that organic farming is the future and the one way we can make this happen is to influence the food industry by buying organic products.
I agree with 90 percent of the film and strongly encourage everyone to watch it.
This being said, the 10 percent with which I disagree were just too important to ignore.
In Earthlings, scientific research is shown as one of the main reasons for our utilization of members of the animal kingdom. So far so good, this is a very well-known fact. But in the documentary this was portrayed as being nightmarishly cruel, brutal and most of all – utterly unnecessary.
I have to agree that scientific procedures of the past were questionable at best, and nightmarish at worst. All kinds of experiments were performed on everything animal, reaching till highest echelons of the mammalian kingdom, in the form of chimpanzees (recall, they are 98% genetically identical to humans). At that time human test subjects were the norm, clinical trials started at phase 4, and chemotherapy is pale in comparison to the test areas that were explored then. My father once told me an old joke in the soviet army – in the case of a nuclear blast nearby, you must make sure you hold your Kalashnikov at an arms length, so that it does not melt on your feet. (footnote: marching thousands of troops into an area of a nuclear fallout is a true story). Even in the UK, LCD experiments were performed on military personell. Read the rest of this entry »