Week one: the crickets are active and appear healthy. Week two: the crickets are less active, but otherwise appear fine. Week three: the crickets are all lying on their backs, still breathing, but completely paralyzed. Timberline Live Pet Food, a company that breeds insects to feed to reptiles all around the world, created an advertisement promising virus-free crickets in response to a cricket paralysis virus that nearly wiped out the entire European cricket population ten years ago (“Clean Farm”). As someone who purchases crickets on a regular basis to feed to my three leopard geckos, this claim concerned me. Could the crickets I buy and feed to my babies be sick? Could they cause my reptiles to become ill? What do I really know about where the food that creates the backbone of my reptiles’ diet comes from? In an advertisement filled with subtle visual and textual rhetorical strategies, Timberline successfully convinces readers that virus-infected crickets are no longer an issue to worry about when purchasing from them. Timberline’s argument pulls the reader in with a photograph: A giant, scaly reptile (specifically, a bearded dragon) scooping up an unsuspecting cricket, its tongue glistening with saliva. Reptile lover or not, the image will surely catch the attention of everybody. For those not so fond of reptiles, they’ll probably think “Oh, neat picture,” or shake his or her head in utter disgust. On the other hand, owners of reptiles are reminded by the photo of how voracious reptiles are for crickets. A possible subtle argument lies in the photo that if your reptiles eat the same type of cricket that the bearded dragon is eating, you too will have an animal as beautiful and healthy as it is. While the image is attention catching by taking up half of the standard 8½ inch by 11 inch magazine page, the bulk of rhetorical strategies used by Timberline lie in the text below the image. Timberline takes advantage of varying font sizes...
Cited: “Clean Farm Standards.” Timberline Live Pet Food. Web. 21 Sept 2012.
Ghann, Clay. "New Crickets Are Here!" Ghann 's Cricket Farm. Web. 03 Oct. 2012.
Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz. Everything’s An Argument. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.
Timberline Live Pet Food. Advertisement. Reptiles USA 21 Sept 2012: 19.
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