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Criticizing "The Evil of Animal 'Rights'" by Alex Eipstein and Yaroon Brook.


Submitted:May 10, 2013    Reads: 257    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


A Bad Approach

One of the most discussed and debated topics from the 21st century has been animal rights. As of today, the problem still continues, but the animal rights activists have gained a lot of influence all over the world. Alex Epstein and Yaron Brook, both authors of the "The Evil of Animal 'Rights'" argue that animal rights activists use violence in order for enterprises to accept their requests, which they consider terrorism. Epstein and Brook strongly support animal testing, because it is vital for the research of a cure to diseases like cancer and aids. The authors support the right side; however, their arguments lose credibility, because of the use of an offensive vocabulary. The logical fallacies and wrong use of citations in their article makes their arguments weak. The authors' focus on defaming and portraying the opposition as evil human beings that want the human race to extinct, and this does not contribute any good to the article's arguments.

Through Epstein and Brook's essay a strong and particular vocabulary is used to make readers perceive animal activists as evil people. In Epstein's article the word "terrorist" is used to refer to the activists, in fact, Epstein uses the word "terrorist" six more times than the word "activists". Epstein uses this word, because he knows that his audience fears terrorists. The constant use of the word gets the audience bored and loses that initial fear that it had created in the introductory paragraph. Furthermore, the authors seem desperate to make the audience believe that SHAC's (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) activists are evil people, and it's hard to believe to desperate people. Another particular word that the authors use to describe SHAC's actions and Last Chance for Animals director's statement is "man-hatred." This word is very strong, because he is actually defaming them, and both authors could even be charged for it. The use of this particular word implies that animal rights activists hate humanity, and they really do not. Animal rights activists are against animal cruelty, and this is an ad hominem fallacy, because the authors are now attacking the actual person of the activists, instead of their position. The authors lose a huge amount of credibility in one sentence. The word choice in this essay was not the adequate. The authors were trying to make very strong points, but by using these types of words their arguments are weaken. The authors probably thought that by defaming the animal right activists they would support their argument, but their decision only proves their deficiency to support their argument.

Some of the statements that Epstein and Brook make do not contribute anything when trying to make the audience believe that animal testing should be allowed, instead they make the audience doubt of the authors' arguments. The article is filled with logical fallacies. One of the biggest and most recognizable fallacies in the essay is the either-or reasoning fallacy. The authors state that "the only goal of a doctrine that demands such a sacrifice of man to animals can be the annihilation of man." The authors expressed that animal rights could lead to the annihilation of man. At the end of the essay he ends up by stating that "our lives depend on rejecting this evil idea." They try to tell the audience that either they reject this doctrine of animal rights or humans die. The slippery slope logic fallacy is also committed in the essay. The authors try to appeal to the audience's fear by suggesting that "millions of people will die unnecessarily if it is not permitted;" they insist on making the audience believe that if animal rights are not banned, people are going to die. These types of statements make the authors' argument weak; therefore, losing their credibility and making them look as unskilled writers.

The authors quote authorities to appeal the audience's ethos, but these citations at the same time reflect the authors' belligerent position, which affects the way their main argument is perceived. The quoted statement of Michael Fox that "the life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration;" reflects that these animal right activists really take their doctrine serious. However, the authors try to mock and make the audience think that these people are crazy and do not know what they are saying. The writers use their opponents' arguments to make them look bad, but arguments like this one cannot be used to make the audience believe that ideas like this one are going end humanity. The authors are very aggressive through the article, which is good, but they divert from the main argument, which is that animal testing should be allow for medical research. The authors instead of choosing this aggressive path that reflects vulnerability in their arguments and that gives the sensation that they had no other way of defending their point, they could have chosen a different approach to the topic. Citations could have been better used and picked, because most of them do not contribute and support the authors' position.

"The Evil of Animal 'Rights'" presents the right argument that animal testing should be allowed for medical research, but the authors commit the mistake of focusing so much on defaming and criticizing the animal right activists that they divert from the main argument. The word choice combined with the many logical fallacies all around the article reduces their credibility and weakens their argument. The citations again supported their criticism against activists instead of supporting why animals testing should be allowed. A different approach like suggesting and proving that scientists are now close to find the cure of cancer and other diseases might have been more effective on the audience. There are many different ways that they could have approached the topic, but instead aggressiveness and violence was chosen, which shows vulnerability in the article.





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