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