Writing Exercise: Finding Logical Fallacies

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Evaluating Writing for Logical Fallacies

Read through the information on Logical Fallacies in this module. Then, read the following paragraphs and write a paragraph identifying at least three logical fallacies. Briefly describe why the logic is faulty in each example you selected.

In Favor of Animal Testing

As the Oscar-winning director, Scavan Kleck has argued, “Animal experimentation saves lives.” Isn’t the life of a little girl more important than the life of a chimpanzee? We have to choose: we can either experiment on animals to find cures for life-threatening diseases or we can stand by helplessly while thousands of children die. Some organizations claim to to advocate for animal rights, like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), but how ethical are its members. Many divorced celebrities who have used illegal drugs belong to PETA, and the fact that the organization allows such members makes it seem less credible. For example, one of its spokespersons, model Janice Dickinson, recently walked out of rehab on the reality show Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab. How can we trust an organization that would hire a spokesperson who could not even commit to fighting her own drug addiction? Everyone knows addicts are unreliable and never tell the truth.

Animal experimentation is necessary because research is important. Why should we worry about what happens to animals in laboratories when the real problem is how people treat their pets? Think of how often you see stories in the news of dog or cat hoarders who keep their pets in torturous conditions, or puppy mill entrepreneurs who breed dogs without any care for their health or comfort, just to make money, or pets poisoned by irate neighbors. Based on what we see in the news, we have to assume that animals are often treated far worse by the average person than by scientists. Advocates of animal rights are a bunch of sentimental vegetarians who don’t care what happens to children, and they will never be satisfied with banning painful experiments on animals. If they succeed in getting legislation passed that restricts experimentation, it’s only a matter of time before the sale of meat is prohibited. Just look at the trouble they’ve already caused. The cost of research has soared since people started protesting against animal experimentation, and companies pass that increased cost along to the consumer. Shampoo and conditioner prices skyrocketed during the past twenty years since they stopped using rabbits to test if shampoo and conditioner irritates delicate eye tissue? Mascara and eyeliner manufacturers also used to rely on delicate rabbit eyes to test sensitivity. The prices of both have increased by 200% since the such testing was deemed unnecessarily cruel by liberal organizations like PETA who pressured companies into giving up such efficient testing methods. Everyone knows liberals always go overboard with sentimentality. Why should we all pay more for cosmetic products because the companies are forced to use non-animal testing? Most of us have better things we could do with that money, like saving for our retirements so we will not be a burden on society.

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