Byron Bay artist, author and animal activist Celeste Knight, at just 91 years of age, has toiled for at least 60 of those years in support of our furred, feathered and finned family. She is so passionate about the fair treatment of animals that she is presenting a free showing of the film Earthlings this weekend in Byron.
Earthlings is a feature-length documentary about humanity’s absolute dependence on animals – for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research – but the film also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called ‘non-human providers’.
The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby.
With an in-depth study into pet stores, puppy mills and animals shelters, as well as factory farms, the leather and fur trades, sports and entertainment industries, and finally the medical and scientific profession, Earthlings uses hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage to chronicle the day-to-day practices of some of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit. Powerful, informative and thought-provoking, Earthlings is by far the most comprehensive documentary ever produced on the correlation between nature, animals, and human economic interests.
The title of the Earthlings documentary reflects the notion that animals, humans and nature are all equal as earthlings. The word earthlings simply refers to the fact that we all inhabit the same Earth. Throughout the documentary what the film calls speciesism is defined as the belief that we are innately better than the other earthlings we coexist with on the planet simply because we dominate them.
The most poignant question that the movie asks is what makes people a superior species to animals. We all exist on the earth together, are all aware of our surroundings, and have all evolved together. Though the other earthlings do not speak our language, they have their own languages.
The Earthlings film points out that as humans, we are using our power to dominate animals as the reason why we can disrespect them as fellow creatures. Instead, humans should treat their power over animals as a responsibility to help protect them when they cannot protect themselves.
Celeste is inviting one and all to watch this amazing film – she asks that those who can give a gold coin donation to help with the hire of the venue.
Earthlings will screen on Sunday August 25 at the Byron Bay Community Centre.