Animal Welfare: An Analysis

    Animal welfare is a broad topic that presents many issues concerning the treatment of animals. One prominent issue that has received ongoing attention is the mistreatment of animals in the entertainment business, specifically in circuses. Circus animals are often abused in order to be trained to put on entertainment acts. Elephants, often associated with circuses, have been victim to this abuse. The article “Crippled Elephants at Garden Bros. Circus Are Why Animal Acts Must End,” by Zachary Toliver from the organization PETA, primarily uses the rhetorical strategy pathos through word choice and imagery to argue that animal mistreatment in the entertainment business needs to end.

  • This article is presented in a way that has a particular audience that the message is being conveyed to. The article is most likely designed to capture the attention of an animal rights activists, or those who advocate for animal welfare. People who read this article probably have been exposed to and are keenly aware of the issues of animal cruelty as a whole; therefore the audience will be quickly persuaded that these cruel acts must be stopped (strategy: word choice).

  • The purpose of this article is to not only educate animal right’s activists on these issues, but to also spread awareness to people that these violent acts are happening behind the scenes of the entertainment industry. As more people are aware of these malicious acts, this could potentially result in the end of what is occurring in the entertainment industry. Through emotional depiction of the brutality that these animals have to live through, the issue of circus animal mistreatment will be easily identifiable to the audience.

  • The author of this article has an obvious stance on this topic as seen in the title of this text. He presents specific reasons why this abuse must end. His stance represents the position of the organization of PETA itself which is to protect these animals against abuse (strategy: word choice ).

  • They successfully demonstrate their stance by including media into the article. This was the most persuasive piece of the article itself because there is actual disturbing footage of the elephants getting abused by trainers. There are multiple videos that prove why there should be no animal acts in entertainment (strategy: imagery). Through imagery, the audience feels disgusted and horrifed that people  would do this to innocent animals. The videos that are posted within the article trigger an emotional response that further reminds the audience of the issue at hand which is animal abuse within circuses.

  • (somewhat connected with the claim above).  When discussing the persuasive appeals of this article, there is a large presence of pathos within the text and the videos. While watching the videos, most people feel disgust and horror about the abuse and mistreatment that these elephants have to suffer. The article focuses on two specific elephants named Libby and Bunny that are barely surviving being circus animals. Rather than writing about elephants in general, the author includes a specific story. This personal connection increases the pathos within this article because not only is the article talking about elephants in general, but two that the audience has now been introduced to. In one of the videos, a blurb of text appears in the corner of the screen saying “elephants in the circus need your help” (Toliver). By adding this message in the video, the audience is more likely to be persuaded to help these animals because what they are seeing is emotionally distressing.

    From an initial standpoint I believe that this article is effectively persuasive not only through diction and tone, but largely through the media that is included within the text. Without the videos, the article is still persuasive, but at the same time could seem solely educational on the cruelty of circus animals. I am confident that with more research I will be able to present a strong analysis on why inhumane animal acts should be stopped in the entertainment business.