Earthlings (film)

Earthlings is a 2005 American documentary film about humanity's use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research. The film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, features music by Moby, was directed by Shaun Monson, executive produced by Libra Max and was co-produced by Maggie Q. A sequel was released in 2015, titled Unity.[2]

Festival poster
Directed byShaun Monson
Produced byShaun Monson
Libra Max
Nicole Visram[1]
Brett Harrelson[1]
Babak Cyrus Razi[1]
Maggie Q[1]
Persia White[1]
Narrated byJoaquin Phoenix
Music byMoby
Libra Max
Brian Carter
Natalie Merchant
Gabriel Mounsey
Barry Wood
CinematographyMark M. Rissi
Edited byShaun Monson
Distributed byNation Earth
Release date
  • September 24, 2005 (2005-09-24)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States


Covering pet stores, puppy mills, and animal profession, Earthlings includes footage obtained through the use of hidden cameras to chronicle the day-to-day practices of some of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely on animals. It draws parallels between racism, sexism, and speciesism.


The film started off as footage that writer, director, and producer Shaun Monson had shot at animal shelters around Los Angeles in 1999. Monson originally shot the footage for PSAs on spaying and neutering pets but what he saw moved him so much that he turned it into a documentary. The film would take another six years to complete because of the difficulty of obtaining footage within these industries.[3]


Joaquin Phoenix commented on the documentary, "Of all the films I have ever made, this is the one that gets people talking the most. For every one person who sees Earthlings, they will tell three."[4] Animal rights philosopher Tom Regan remarked, "For those who watch Earthlings, the world will never be the same."[5][6]


In 2005, Earthlings premiered at the Artivist Film Festival (where it won Best Documentary Feature), followed by the Boston International Film Festival (where it won the Best Content Award),[7] and at the San Diego Film Festival (where it won Best Documentary Film, as well as the Humanitarian Award to Phoenix for his work on the film).[8][9]

See also


  1. "Single Most Powerful Information With Professional Cast and Crew in EARTHLINGS". Nation Earth. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  2. Dave McNary (April 22, 2015). "Documentary 'Unity' Set for Aug. 12 Release with 100 Star Narrators". Variety. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  3. "About |". Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  4. New Zealand debut screening a sell-out success! Archived June 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine SAFE
  5. Earthlings review-press Archived August 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. Brightshop. "Unity - Not The Same, But Equal". Official Unity Website. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  7. "Boston International Film Festival Announces 2005 Winners". Boston International Film Festival | BostoninterFF. June 26, 2005. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  8. "Joaquin Phoenix to Be Honored at San Diego Film Festival; Film Selection and Celebrity Line-Up Announced for Fourth Annual Festival Held Sept. 21-25". September 14, 2005. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  9. "Earthlings, 2004, 95' | Activitats". CCCB (in Catalan). Retrieved October 11, 2019.
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