Top-Rated Free Essay
Preview

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Good Essays
884 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Eugenia Lee
Callie Ingram
English 102
17 February 2015
So This Is Our Food? “The Carnivore’s Dilemma”, an essay by Nicolette Hanh Niman, incorporates rhetorical elements, such as logos, ethos, and rhetorical questions, in an attempt to convince the audience that meat itself is not the root of global warming. Written from a rancher’s point of view, the essay relies on studies and logic to prove itself. Niman starts out with a short acknowledgement that the meat industry has a hand in the increasingly noticeable global climate change. She then quickly changes gears, stating that the studies that show the meat industry is a major player in global warming only take the prevailing methods of producing meat into account and spews facts that show the flip side of the food industry.
The author starts off strong with logos, which appeals to logic. In response to the comments about animals in our food production, she writes, “the studies show only that the prevailing methods of producing meat — that is, crowding animals together in factory farms, storing their waste in giant lagoons and cutting down forests to grow crops to feed them — cause substantial greenhouse gases” (Niman), meaning that small farms and farms can cut down on greenhouse gases if, “they keep their animals outdoors on pasture and make little use of machinery.” (Niman) She points out, “In contrast to traditional farms, industrial livestock and poultry facilities keep animals in buildings with mechanized systems for feeding, lighting, sewage flushing, ventilation, heating and cooling, all of which generate emissions,” which are what most statistics pointing the guilt finger at meat production are referring to. The author, being a “rancher…who raises cattle, goats and turkeys the traditional way (on grass)” (Niman), neatly brushes off relations of “meat (especially beef) is closely linked to global warming” (Niman), to her own farm. Meat and dairy would certainly win the greenhouse gas competition if not for the fact that, “Wetland rice fields alone account for as much 29 percent of the world’s human-generated methane.” (Niman) Following the logic that people do not simply subsist on rice alone, how much more methane is produced by the rest of agriculture business?
Ethos, the appeal to ethics, is applied next. The author reassures us, “Meat and dairy eaters” (Niman), that we “need not be part of this” (Niman). In contrast, it is the vegetarians and vegans among us who ought to worry, given that, “Methane is agriculture’s second-largest greenhouse gas” (Niman), and as such, would mean that their lifestyle may not be as pristine as they previously thought. “World agricultural carbon emissions…result primarily from the clearing of woods for crop growing and livestock grazing" (Niman), which means that ethically speaking, crops may be more harmful if we consider that, “Much Brazilian deforestation is connected to soybean cultivation. As much as 70 percent of areas newly cleared for agriculture in Mato Grosso State in Brazil is being used to grow soybeans.” (Niman) On top of that, the author points out that soy product labelling is not sanctioned as much as we think, “as the Organic Consumers Association notes, Brazilian soy is common (and unlabeled) in tofu and soymilk sold in American supermarkets.” (Niman) People who partake in meat and dairy products however may rest assured in their dietary choices, since the greenhouse gases aren’t, “a problem at traditional farms. “Before the 1970s, methane emissions from manure were minimal because the majority of livestock farms in the U.S. were small operations where animals deposited manure in pastures and corrals,” the Environmental Protection Agency says” (Niman), so if they take a little extra care when choosing ground beef, their meatloaf can be eco-friendly as well.
Perspective is strategically used to cement the arguments from the author’s point of view. To the readers, who are first world consumers, this is a view that most do not think of on a regular basis. Stating that she is a rancher who raises livestock in the traditional fashion stabilizes her position on this matter as someone who knows their facts. On the other hand, it also makes Niman appear unreliable since in a small part, her work relies on people thinking the meat industry can redeem itself. In that way, this essay appears to be a direct attack on the vegan and vegetarian political activists against the meat industry. She certainly pulls no punches when it comes to bluntly stating that most soy comes from Brazil, where it is a major factor in rainforest deforestation and production of that country’s greenhouse gases.
The essay is a great example of an appeal to logos, or logic. Unfortunately, logic alone is not enough. Niman only throws out studies and facts, and leaves the evidence to support itself, which is not enough to be persuasive. Furthermore, there is no “side” she takes, rather the author appears to be asking the reader to pass judgment on their own, so there is not really anything to persuade the readers of. In terms of rhetorical elements and their usage, Niman has written a well organized, informative essay, but has failed to persuade anyone of anything with, “The Carnivore’s Dilemma”.

Works Cited
Niman, Nicolette Hahn. "The Carnivore’s Dilemma." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

Cited: Niman, Nicolette Hahn. "The Carnivore’s Dilemma." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Bill McKibben’s essay “The Only Way to Have a Cow” establishes a sense of comfort as his approach to the meat eating controversy is superbly logical. The current industrial approach to livestock has birthed an issue pertaining to the sustainability and healthy feeding of our lives. Yet there is another problem in relation to our consumption, which tends to be overlooked. If the pricing of meat reflected in the damage done to our environments, feedlot beef would cost more than grass-fed beef both financially and environmentally. It is the rapid, inhumane dietary feeding of the cow which is insulting, not the consumption of it, and taking no responsibility for the run-off is an offense to the earth and it’s inhabitants. These costs alone are part of the reasoning for the current system which is inefficient and uneconomically feasible. The…

    • 506 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The omnivore’s dilemma is a clever twist on a dilemma we face each day. What should we have for dinner? Since humans are omnivores, they can eat whatever they please. All of the things that people could eat have the potential to affect both the individual and our world. Having to take into account these implications is where the dilemma arises. The omnivore’s dilemma is that the choices we make regarding food have consequences. In my personal life the question “what should I have for dinner,” comes up a good amount of time. Although this is a popular question in daily life, I have yet to question how what I eat affects the world. We all ponder whether or not to eat that unhealthy pizza, but how does this effect the world? The main question Pollan raises can be resolved through cultural influences.…

    • 532 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    In almost every culture, one of the most cherished pass times is food. We eat to sustain or health, to celebrate, to morn, and sometimes just to do it. Yet, how often do we question were that food comes from? Most everyone purchases their meals from the grocery store or at a restaurant but have you ever wondered where that juicy steak grazed? How about how those crisp vegetables? Where were those grown? The Omnivore 's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, analyzes the eating habits and food chains of modern America in an attempt to bring readers closer to the origin of their foods. Not only where it comes from, but where it all begins, as well as what it takes to keep all of those plants and animals in production. In part two of the Omnivore’s Dilemma: Pastoral: Grass, Pollan gives background on what all produce and livestock need to be the best it can be. As simple as it may sound, it starts with the grass. Yet, Pollan makes it very clear it’s not always as simple as it sounds. After starting The Omnivore’s Dilemma I had a few expectations. Firstly, I enjoy a blend of humor and philosophy; I want what I read to make me think, for the words to flow nicely from one completely thought to the next, and for the overall of the chapters to hold my attention.…

    • 1316 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, analyzes the eating habits and food chains of modern America in an attempt to bring readers closer to the origin of their foods. Pollan’s blend of humor and philosophical questions about the nature of food serves both to enlighten readers about the environment from which their food is harvested and to teach readers about alternative ways of eating.…

    • 649 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    As the article was ending he began to try too hard to convince the reader and ended up losing the interest. He seemed to be blaming the entire world's problems on meat consumption. The problem is not eating the meat; it is how the meat is processed. Pace stated “Most of today's modernized farms have long, windowless sheds in which animals live like prisoners their entire lives” (Pace 355) He is saying that the way farms are being run now a days are destroying the environment and that is why eating meat is bad. Think back hundreds of years ago when the Native Americans used to roam North America. The animals were free, then hunted down and eaten. No one seemed to have a problem with animal consumption back then. The way to improve farms and the environment is not by not eating them, it is by changing they way they are processed. Even if most of the world decides to become a vegetarian the processing process will remain the same and the overpopulated animals will be killed the same, but this time it will go to waste because no one will eat it.…

    • 501 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Michael Pollan’s purpose for writing this book was to inform the reader of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, the secrets behind what we eat. As omnivores, we humans have the a dilemma about our food, where it comes and what it comes from. Pollan informs the reader this because many people in America and around the world do not know where our food that we ingest comes from. After Pollan discovers himself the lies and truths of what actually happens through the process of our food, he shares the knowledge and information to many more in this memorable book. “I had to go back to the beginning, to the farms and fields where our food is grown. Then I followed it each step of the way, and watched what happened to our food on its way stomachs”(1.4) In chapter…

    • 266 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Today’s world is filled with media that aims to influence its viewers. However, not all media is true. Websites and articles try to persuade their viewers that being vegan is what consumers need to do to end animal cruelty. One such article that discusses this matter is Animal, Vegetable, Miserable by Gary Steiner. Steiner claims that meat eaters are self-righteous and commit mass murder against animals (846). However, several articles have proven that Steiner’s claims are false. These articles include: Defense of Eating Meat by Timothy Hsiao, Vegetarian Diets and Bone Status by Katherine Tucker, and Animal Protein Good for Health by Amanda Radke. In addition, the movie Temple Grandin portrays that feedlots have improved the treatment of cattle…

    • 2255 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, is a book that explains the roots of the food we eat. Pollan explores industrial farming, organic and sustainable agriculture, how foods get their sources from nature, and more. However, this book might not be as appealing to some readers as it does others. Did the book hold my interest? Was the book easy to read? Did it provide me with new knowledge? These were the questions I kept in mind while reading the first three chapters of this book. Mixed feelings surfaced.…

    • 559 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by American writer and journalist Michael Pollan, was published in 2006, and the following year it was nominated as a winner for the best food writing. The author of the book describes four fundamental ways that people have obtained food: nowadays industrial system, the big organic operation, the local independent farm, and the hunter gatherer. Along the way, Pollan insists that there is a basic relation between the logic of nature and the logic of human industry; the way we eat represents the depth of engagement with the natural world, and that industrial eating ruins important ecological connections. In fact, the modern agribusiness has lost touch with the natural cycles of farming, in what respect livestock and crops bound in relatively beneficial circles. Thus, Pollan discusses the common question of what people should have for dinner. The question posed in this book has profound political, economic, psychological, and moral suggestions for all omnivores, the most unselective eaters. Pollan suggests that particular dilemma of food preservation and technologies have created hardship by making available foods that were prior seasonal or geographical. Indeed, relationship between society and nature, once moderated by culture, now finds itself disoriented. Also, Pollan, in his book tells about serial visits and explorations of the food-production system from where the majority of American meals come from. He explains that this industrial food chain is extensively based on corn, whether it is eaten directly, fed to livestock, or processed into chemicals. Doubtlessly, nowadays the corn plant is developed to manipulate American diet through different mixture of biological, cultural and political factors. Moreover, the author comes to the point where the principles of organic farming have lost the purpose of the organic movement and thus, have adopted many methods of industrial…

    • 341 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Meet Your Meat!

    • 2649 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Lappe, A. (2011, March 29). Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It. Bloomsbury, USA: Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Retrieved from:…

    • 2649 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Nibert argues about the treatment of domesticated animals on factory farms. Many campaigns, legislations, and ballots have made people switch over to a safe and friendly way of obtaining our food. This strategy called the new welfarism promotes continued oppression of domesecrated and the underlying global injustices and dangers that accompany it (Nibert 259). The welfarism reflects the historical pattern of elites consuming our “meat.” The more affluent consume our chemical free, “humanely” produced “meat,” while the majority consumes the cheap toll that the animal industrial complex profitably can produce. There is not enough land to “free range” the amount of individuals necessary for the growing, socially created need for the domesecrated animal products. All of this can cause the scarcity of water, oil, global warming, diseases, and etc (Nibert 261). In Kenya for example, where ten of thousands are poison have been poisoned, or raised by ranchers who ordered the murder. Facing the reality, not the least of which is violence and exploitation against the growing number of domesecrated animals, is to practice and promote global veganism. Affordable plant based food is all around the world, criticism of people who have no motive to exploiting show be redirected…

    • 528 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Mankind differentiates itself from other species in its willingness to exhaust its environment in order to satisfy its immediate needs of the essential components: food and water. In order to satisfy the demands of an ever-increasing global population, we rely on an international, industrial food system. When it comes to global warming we think about how climate change will impact farming, but not how farming will impact climate change. The impact of the food system on global warming is enormous. It accounts for roughly one-third of the human-caused global warming effect (Lappé 854). Further aggravating the situation, the food we consume is processed leaving it with fewer nutrients and proteins. Anna Lappé in the essay “The Climate Crisis at the End of Our Fork” and Michael Pollan in the essay “Why Bother?” explain the ongoing…

    • 1223 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The consumption of meat is a better or dietary option then vegetarianism. Not only does it have added health benefits that vegetarians don’t receive. It is also a easier harvest to produce. Author Barbara Kingsolver writes about the importance of livestock harvests and how the resources for animal harvests are much smaller than the resources for vegetable harvests. In her essay you can’t run away on harvest day she also talks about the geographical locations that can’t grow vegetables and the native people who can only survive on the harvest of livestock. David Biello talks about the resources that go into agriculture and the negative affects like deforestation or wasted produce in his essay will organic food fail to feed the world.’…

    • 525 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The menace of global warming is looming to destroy humanity and it is absolutely crucial for us to pay utmost importance to this cause and do everything possible in to ensure that we are not contributing to Global warming, if not taking measures to undo it. Global warming is caused due to excessive wastage of resources and energy. Ocean levels have been rising, the ice caps are melting at a faster rate, while the cities are getting warmer every day. All these show how human activities have disrupted the ecosystem. Through our numerous activities human beings have been contributing to the heat energy in the earth’s atmosphere. This might be by burning fossil fuels, nuclear fission or through numerous factories and industries which keep spewing harmful gases into the atmosphere. One thing that passed un-noticed was our individual contributions which together accumulate into a huge amount. As per a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and the like to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry.” (Fiala , 2009).This report also found that the production levels of meat were contributing close to 14 to 22 percent of the “36 billion tons of CO2 equivalents” greenhouse gases produced by the entire world. So basically it would seem that a half pound hamburger for a person’s lunch as big as two decks of cards of would be producing as much harmful gases as driving a 3000 pound car for 10 miles!…

    • 949 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Another ingredient

    • 1336 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Meat production is an issue that impacts on the environment. Some of effects that have been associated with meat are pollution, fossil fuels, and water and land consumption. In March/April of 2010 Bill McKibben published an article called “The Only Way to have a Cow” in Orion magazine. In the article, McKibben discusses the benefits of eating less meat which can result in a reduction in carbon emissions as cattle breeding has a big greenhouse effect. He believes that people should rarely eat meat or eat grass-fed beef because it would be better for the environment. He uses metaphors, imagery, and examples throughout the article to support his argument. In the beginning he uses ethos to tell us something about him as a person. Later he uses logos to tell us we should eat less meat. McKibben uses these literary techniques to make an effective argument.…

    • 1336 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays