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Foer Eating Animals Analysis

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Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals is a book about persuasion. Foer seeks to convince his readers to take any step in reducing what he believes is the injustice of harming animals. To achieve this, Foer employs many persuasion techniques and often changes his approach when he targets specific groups. His strategies include establishing himself as an ethical authority and appealing to his readers’ emotions, morals, and reason. In order to convince readers to accept his conclusions, Foer first attempts to establish himself as a credible and reliable source. To achieve this, Foer uses a dictionary-style method of defining slippery or ambiguous terms. He states in his book that, “Language is never fully trustworthy, but when it comes to eating…show more content…
One such appeal is an appeal in which Foer urges readers, either directly or indirectly, to imagine what it would be like to be an animal. Foer defines this concept as “anthropomorphism” (the urge to project human experience onto the other animals) (46). Foer either directly asks readers to picture themselves in the place of an animal, or he relies on anthropomorphism in a more subtle way. For instance, Foer states that, “Fish build complex nests, form monogamous relationships, hunt cooperatively with other species, and use tools” (65). Foer attempts to show that animals and humans are more alike than conventional wisdom suggests. By blurring the line between animals and humans, Foer attempts to persuade readers to treat animals like…show more content…
Foer recognizes this when he specifically addresses environmentalists, so he adapts his approach from emotional appeals to logical appeals. Foer argues, and supports with evidence from reputable sources, that the fruition of animal rights activists’ goals naturally benefits the environment. For instance, Foer presents statistics that show that farmed animals are significant contributors to climate change (58-59). By utilizing statistics from authoritative sources, Foer attempts to draw the logical conclusion that those who are concerned about the environment must be concerned about animal rights. Therefore, environmentalists who accept his logical construction may be more persuaded to accept his conclusions. Foer’s ultimate goal in Eating Animals is to convince as many people as possible to agree with his views. As such, Foer uses many kinds of persuasion techniques to appeal to the widest range of people as possible. To lend himself more credibility, Foer attempts to establish himself as an ethical authority with his readers. Foer then tries to persuade readers by appealing to their emotions, morals, and reason. By utilizing a variety of persuasion techniques and dynamically adapting his techniques to fit his intended audience, Foer is likely to persuade many of his readers with his
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