I read an article that is in favor of vegetarianism. The author goes through different aspects of fishing and explains why it is wrong and should not be practiced as a means of eating. She first writes a disclaimer that states that the reader should hold a utilitarian position while reading the article. The author obviously has a purpose of convincing the reader that fishing should not be used as a means of food. The occasion for her most likely came from her one day deciding that this was wrong and was not something she agreed with. She stays on topic throughout the entirety of the article and keeps the reader engaged and in full focus of her original concept.

The very first proposal brought forth is, “some people may believe that fish have no interests, that they cannot feel pleasure or pain, thus we don't need to consider them directly. I make my case as an appeal to authority, the authority being biologists.” The majority of this argument is built off pathos. Right here she is making a pathetic case by stating fish can not feel. She then follows up the thought with, “I ought not need to prove that fish can feel pain, only that it seems likely that they can.” This part seems very unclear for me. The author was just arguing a valid pathos subject and then totally undermines it with a statement saying she doesn’t need to prove it, which would be demonstrating a logical appeal via logos. If one is not going to demonstrate a point through a rhetorical approach than just having an unsupported logos argument does nothing to influence the reader in one way or another. It is simply saying that the author knows that there is evidence against this, but she is not going to share it with the audience.

Another argument presented is: “This death, it seems very likely to me, is a very worse one than nature offers - I guess that most would naturally be eaten by other fish or marine mammals, a fate involving only brief suffering. The death by a thousand gasps is horrific in comparison. I have little evidence - but where is the evidence that I am wrong?” Once again, no logos here, the author is essentially running off internal ‘guesses’ and predictions to form her conclusion. If I wanted to get really abstract I suppose I could say there is a tad bit of ethos in this argument. She goes off the assumption that death by other marine animals and predators inflicts brief suffering. There is no evidence backing this up, but from everyday life experience people have come to understand that nature fluctuates in the friendliest and most flawless fashion possible. Animals killing others because of rank in the food chain is a normal event creating no threats of unjust acts; concordantly, the postulation of humans being an imbalance to the harmony of nature’s perfection is the author’s ethnical reinforcement for her case.

Logos makes a dim entrance with: “The evidence is that humans do not need to eat fish to survive - generations of vegetarians have proved this.” The author relies on evidence to get her point across that fish are not a necessity to the survival of the human race. Even though no specific evidence is presented in the argument, the statement that it has been proven through generations justifies its certainty, granted there is evidence for it if called upon.

Given the rhetorical situation of this argument, I think the author provided a decent, but not phenomenal, offer of claims as to why killing fish is wrong, and ultimately why one should become a vegetarian. Pathos and ethos are presented fairly well, while logos is a bit on the weaker side in my opinion. I feel that if the author could have touched on one or maybe two solid facts from the logos side of things then the success of the argument would attain higher results.

 Filed under: Misc, Misc

About The Author

Quinton Figueroa

Quinton Figueroa

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El Paso, Texas

I am an entrepreneur at heart. Throughout my whole life I have enjoyed building real businesses by solving real problems. Business is life itself. My goal with businesses is to help move the human ...

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