Let’s begin with a tale of two movies. Actually, not two movies, just two very valiant (and ultimately successful) attempts to watch the same movie. I first tried to watch “Earthlings” after reading about it in some glossy’s interview with Ellen Degeneres, wherein she spoke of her veganism (which was news to me), and recommended the film. I added it to my queue and forgot about it.
Shortly thereafter, my sweet kitty Annabelle (pictured) died unexpectedly, which weirdly coincided with the arrival of the documentary in the mail. I made it through about five minutes before my uncontrollable sobs got so loud that my then-SO marched in from the other room, turned it off, and immediately deposited the DVD in the outgoing mailbox.
I finally made it all the way through the film a few months ago. I powered through it, and an entire box of tissues, because I felt I needed to — my strict vegetarianism had faltered over years of being worn down by the usual crap a vegetarian has to take, ranging from innocent curiosity (being asked to exhaustively explain your reasons for not eating meat gets about as old as being asked to exhaustively explain your sex life), to outright animosity: “But you need meat, c’mon eat meat, what are you sumkindahippiefreak growin’ armpit hair and eatin’ tofu and bein’ all uppity *head shake tongue wag tsk tsk*?”
In middle and high school, my friends would constantly try to get me to eat meat. Their more bald-faced tactics included shoving cold cuts in my face and chanting “eat it!” In rural Southern Oregon, I was the only vegetarian I knew of (turns out there was another one at my school, a couple years ahead of me, who now has a very worthwhile blog on just this topic!) We had to drive a long way to get to a conventional grocery store, and an even longer way to get to a hippie grocery store that sold Mysterious Things like tofu and organic spinach.
Various SOs have also served to derail my goal of eating compassionately. One insisted that the lifetime of pain and suffering animals raised for food endure was all “worth it” so long as meat was cheap; another’s steak cravings overpowered reason. ANYWAY, long story short: I had devolved into eating lots of bacon, which is delicious, but dag nab it, piglets are the cutest little things, and I needed to connect the two, viscerally, again. Get back to my hippie roots.
So I watched Earthlings. And you should too. I want you to watch this so much that, if you leave me a comment or send me an email or something telling me what you think of the movie after watching it, I will promise to send you something neat or funny or random in the mail (provided I am able to procure your mailing address in some safe manner, say, DMing me on Twitter, or e-mailing me. You also kind of deserve a cookie anyway for reading to the end of this long post and not just skipping to the video or skimming the topic sentences, which would be a fairly inefficient method here, as topic sentences are for chumps.
How do you find this movie? Well, you can watch it for free on the internets. You can also add it to your Netflix queue if you have one. Your favorite local independent video rental store probably has it, too. A word of warning: You probably shouldn’t show it to small children, unless you don’t want them to ever sleep again.