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Discourse Analysis on Zoos are internment camps for animals and should be shut down - Essay Example

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This essay is directed at any reader from the general public who has an interest in animals and their welfare. It is a well-structured essay consisting of an introduction, two main arguments, one counter argument, and a strong conclusion which repeats the main points and proposes that zoos should be shut down…
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Discourse Analysis on Zoos are internment camps for animals and should be shut down
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Download file to see previous pages The arguments that the author uses are mainly factual, which shows a reliance on logos in terms of rhetorical appeal. In the introduction there are some historical details about the origin of zoos in ancient history, and this situates the topic as a phenomenon which human beings have experienced over many centuries. A particularly offensive kind of zoo with human exhibits is cited and this example is an appeal to pathos, because the reader cannot fail to feel pity for the human beings who were treated in this offensive way.
The first main argument concerns the rights of animals. An extended analogy is made between animals in zoo and human beings who are not able to think for themselves. This refers to young children, some very old people, and individuals who suffer from illnesses or conditions that prevent them from using full rational faculties. In human law, these individuals who cannot think for themselves have the same rights as other human beings. The author relies on scholarly literature to show that the same rights should be available to animals, who are similar to this category of non-rational human beings.
Some evidence is drawn from PETA, which is an animal rights organization, and although it is useful in pointing out the worst examples of zoo mismanagement, it is a rather biased source. There is a lack of information on examples of remedial work or good care in zoos, for example in rehabilitating animals that have been rescued from poachers or from scientific experiment labs and this is a weakness in the essay. The reader feels somehow tricked if one side of an argument is pressed too strongly, and the other side is treated with less thoroughness, and with extreme examples. Anecdotal evidence about tigers dying of malnutrition in China represents a special case, and it is not very reasonable to cite this as a typical practice in zoos across the world. The author could have made the essay better by acknowledging that in a very few cases, there may be an argument for letting people view animals, in return for paying an entrance fee that helps to support these animals when they are not well enough to return to the wild. The second argument against zoos is the harm that is done to animals, and the behavioural symptoms that animals show when they are badly treated in zoos. This is a logical, factual account that supports the main argument. The counter argument, that zoos help endangered species, is cited to demolish any views that the reader might hold in favor of retaining zoos. This is the weakest part of the essay, because further research would have shown that some species have been brought back from extinction through programs organized by zoos. The author uses a calm and reasonable tone throughout the essay, even though the subject is quite an emotional one, and many people have strong feelings about it. The persuasion mode is direct, starting with the assertion that zoos should be shut down, and citing a number of reasons why this is the case. One important rhetorical device that is used is the key metaphor expressed in the title: “zoos are internment camps”. This metaphor is very clever because it forces the reader to think of zoos from the point of view of the animals in them. It makes the reader think of animals as prisoners, which is a sort of personification, and the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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