The Effects of Speciesism on Animals

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From an analysis of the documentary Earthlings, the first part was titled Pets, and it covered the aspect of animals as pets and what they go through. The narrator in the documentary tells of how humans like to keep animals as pets but in some cases neglect them. The documentary portrays how animals lack proper food and health care and are left to suffer and die rather than being given the help and attention needed. Furthermore, the documentary also shows how animals are taken to animal shelters where they are euthanized in horrific and terrifying ways. From the images I saw in this part, it was very saddening to see how humans treat animals which are meant to be their companions. Furthermore, it is also sad to see that those animals that lack people to adopt and take care of them. Instead of people being considerate and trying to offer animals a home and proper facilities as a way of conserving nature, they decided to end their lives by killing them in gas chambers in a horrific manner.

This part seems to focus on the lack of consideration of humans when deciding to end animal’s lives since they consider consists over the feelings and the experiences of the animals. Adopting animals and learning to live with them as pets are among the significant behavior changes that could affect this aspect of killing animals. Since animals are killed because they lack people who want to take them home and take care of them it is better to release them to the wild or just find them a home where they can be cared for by people want and can do it. With this in mind, speciesism exists in today’s world since animals that are meant to be man’s best friend end up being subjected to unfavorable conditions and finally death.  


This section was one of the most disgusting and sad sections in the whole documentary. The aspect of speciesism reveals itself in this section vividly showing how animals are slaughtered in order to feed the human population without consideration on how this affects the animals. To make matters worse, the conditions that animals for slaughter are kept in and transported in leave them injured and in pain or dead. Furthermore, the method of slaughter is not considerate of the animal’s feelings regarding pain and suffering. Animal’s throats are slight, and they are left to bleed to death while others are shot to death. However, there are those who are remaining conscious through the whole ordeal.

From the images portrayed in this section, it becomes evident that what people actually believe regarding the slaughter of animals is clearly misinformed. Many people want to believe or believe that the food they eat from animals is acquired as a result of the painless slaughter of the animals. However, the truth is that the slaughter of animals in neither painless nor considerate. Animals that are raised for food purpose usually experience pain, fear, and torture during the process of their lives up until their death. Nonetheless, people insist on being in denial so that they do not have to deal with their conscience when eating meat and other animal products. I believe that eating meat, and other animal products like milk and eggs lead to the high demand of these commodities in the market and as a result the increase in animal slighter globally. However, development and embrace of lifestyles such as vegetarianism may be crucial in eliminating such harmful practices and encouraging the proper treatment of animals.


In this section, there were a lot of sad depictions of how animals are tortured before being killed for their skin and fur. There are depictions of animals that are skinned alive and left to die once they fur and skin has been harvested from them. After this horrific and sad act, the skin is treated with harmful chemicals and sent to be used in cloth making industries. The skin of animals has increased in demand due to the increase in demand for products such as leather shoes and coats as well as fur coats. However, consumers use these products without any knowledge on where they come from or what the animals provide these materials actually go through.

            From the pictures and explanation in the movie, it is evident that humans have sunk deeper into their own requirements and needs and forgotten about other species that coexist with them. Due to the increase in consumer behavior among people all over the globe, animals have become victims of cruel behavior in the name of satisfying the demand for clothes and shoes and in the process animals continue to suffer and decline in number. If humans can be capable of considering not just themselves but the rest of the species that exist together with them on this planet, then such aspects can be eradicated to ensure that animals are also treated in a more considerate manner.


Unfortunately, animals experience pain when being used as a form of entertainment. The documentary depicts that animals in zoos, circuses, and those used in competition are treated harshly by people. Evidently, many individuals use animals to make profits, and that is why they spend much money caging and training them so that they may appear unique. The public is not aware of the difficulties the animals endure while being trained, and that is why many enjoy the competitions and circuses. Furthermore, most animals appear to be in pain after being subjected to these adverse treatments by individuals, but they have to comply to avoid being punished.

Many people do not understand that animals have feelings and are lonely if they fail to interact with their species. When animals are used as a form of entertainment, most of them spend most of their time in cages, because they are continuously being moved. Besides, human beings utilize harsh methods to make them indulge in human-like behaviors such as sitting down or standing. In the documentary, an elephant is gunned down because of injuring some people in a circus after it went rogue. However, the news will not showcase the challenges the animals endure in these places; rather they will present their harsh activities that have resulted in people getting injured or dead.

 Before watching the film, I considered animal entertainment as fun. Watching trained animals do humanlike activities in YouTube was fascinating, but now I know the difficulties they go through before being perfect. Individuals do not care as long as the animals behave according to what they expect, meaning they can use different torture methods to make them afraid. I think I will reconsider supporting some games such as horse racing since they only benefit the people, but make the animal lives miserable.


Many science experiments use animals to determine whether they are safe to use on humans or not. As a result, the animals are subjected to extreme activities such as electric shock, vivisection, burns and unaesthetic operations to study their reactions towards various experiments. These medical practitioners are never concerned about the reactions the animals can encounter such as psychological torture, starvation or pain. Instead, they do this to get a breakthrough for their experiments, even though it means using many animals before they get the results. Moreover, exposing animals to adverse experiments such as bombing them, or exposing them to nuclear radiation violates their right to live.

Science is among the factors that have prevented people from showing animals compassion. In the documentary, animals are starved, their heads broken and electrocuted because the scientists want to discover a particular vaccine or treatment that can work on humans effectively. Nonetheless, what they fail to understand is that people and humans have different reactions to the experiments they perform.  I wonder why they cannot use human beings as experiments, but I guess they know that human beings cannot withstand the pain and torture. These means that these people do not believe that animals can feel pain, which is why they use them as specimens.

 I have always heard that different scientists have heard breakthroughs in their experiments and I have always wondered how they did it. The documentary clearly shows the way animals are used as specimens for the clinicians to find their results. Electrocuting, burning and breaking animal’s heads shows how inhuman people are towards animals since the scientists can use other means to find their results.

The orator of the documentary states an interesting quote stated by Mark Twain, “Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it”. The quote depicts the cruel activities subjected to animals by man. Individuals enjoy the meat they see in shopping malls, the fancy leather and fur clothes in stores, pets, and the animal entertainment they see on the screens. However, the truth is, they do not know what the animals endure before the humans get what these items. Obviously, people are happy when they make profits, and this prevents them from identifying the pain they inflict to animals to get food, clothes, entertainment or scientific breakthrough. From the documentary, individuals presume that animals have no emotions and this forces them to cage the animals, deny them food and punish them. However, the truth is that animals desire comfort, freedom and interacting with their kind. It is unjust to cage them for too long in order to get fur or leather since they have a right to live and reproduce. When we continue with these negative acts towards the animals, they might go extinct as some of the species such as sea turtles. Therefore, as humans, we need to reconsider how we treat the animals. People should stop assuming that animals have no emotions and leave them in their habitats to enjoy nature and live how they were meant to be. The documentary has really showed the dark side of humans, and we need to find ways to punish those who use animals for their personal interest.

Work Cited

Wolf, Vegan. “Earthlings [Documentary].” YouTube, 8 Nov. 2017,

September 25, 2023

Environment Science


Nature Zoology

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