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Opposing Viewpoints- Vegetarianism Essay

When it comes to viewpoints there will always be an opposing side. You must develop your strongly focused opinion with examples and/or reasons. In order for a reader to accept your side you must use clear, powerful, and direct language to really capture them. Express your opinion clearly, and then base it on factual, researched or first-hand information. Hard facts and first-hand experience are so convincing to readers. The way to convince your audience to accept your opinion is through the combination of ethos, logos, and pathos appeals. These appeals are required for successfully appealing to the average reader and getting your point across in the most effective way possible. The vegetarianism lifestyle can be adopted for many different reasons. Aside from the main decision of preventing the cruel treatment of animals, many people choose this lifestyle for health reasons. Winston Craig supports this reasoning in his essay “Plant-Based Diets Provide Many Health Benefits,” while Ben Kim argues that this kind of diet causes many health problems in “A Strict Vegetarian Diet Is Unhealthy for Most People.” Their opinions, supported by facts, makes each case convincing.

The credibility of these writers and their sources make for a great ethos appeal. Both writers are creditable given that Craig is a professor of nutrition at Andrews University and Kim as a chiropractor having first-hand experience with once being a vegetarian. Craig refers to specific studies and scientific literature to rest his case. While Kim uses his personal experience with vegetarianism. Kim also spent time interviewing someone that was a part of an organization that promotes vegetarianism instead of capitalizing on hard facts.

In this aspect Craig was definitely more convincing. As telling as first-hand experience is, when it comes to health each individual is different. Just because Kim experienced these health problems doesn’t necessarily mean every vegetarian will. Kim didn’t use statistics as proof and that really weakened his viewpoint. Another weaknesses in Kim’s argument is that the organization he spent time interviewing was more focused on the prevention of cruel animal treatment instead of human health. Kim should have added just a few statistics to strengthen his standpoint and ethos appeal.

Both Craig and Kim use logos as their strongest persuasion device. Craig captures readers by presenting hard facts with percents and numbers. He states that the vegetarian life-style is consistently associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels along with less obesity and heart disease. Craig also refers to studies that prove vegetarians have one-half the risk of cancer and have a 35-44 percent lower risk of overall mortality. This information triples as a logos, pathos, and ethos appeal. This shows Craig’s credibility, its completely logical, and it even gets to the readers emotions a little by making them think about their own diet and how the should improve it and lengthen their own lives by doing so. Craig presents more hard facts such as, “The total direct medical costs in the United States attributable to meat consumption were estimated to be $30-60 billion a year, based upon the higher prevalence of hypertension, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, gallstones, obesity and food-borne illness among omnivores compared with vegetarians”(Craig).

That’s a good point that you wouldn’t necessarily think about. Kim states, “My experiences with my own body and in providing health care to many people over the years have led me to believe that a long term, strict vegetarian diet is likely to lead to the development of nutritional deficiencies and significant health problems for most people.” This sounds reasonable with protein as a necessity the lack of meat would have to have an effect on the human body. He is a chiropractor and maybe he has seen patients with significant health problems from their vegetarian diet, but he didn’t mention anything specific just that he has “had experience.” Craig mentions dry beans and lentils as great alternatives to meat that will prevent these nutrition deficiencies. Overall Kim’s use of logos appeal could use some work.

Another devise they both use to strengthen their stance is pathos. The authors use this device to attract the readers emotions. Kim brings up the cruel treatment of animals raised for food. It is understandable that he was trying to get the readers emotions going here, but honestly it is quite off topic. His point was to inform his audience how vegetarianism is actually not the healthiest choice. He brings up another point that the long term affects are what you have to watch out for.

That is a good example of pathos, the readers don’t want to hear that their eating habits will seriously affect them in the long run. Craig’s use of pathos comes in when he mentioned that over two hundred studies have proved that vegetarians have one-half the risk of cancer. The topic of cancer always pulls on heart strings. Just about everyone knows someone that has been affected by cancer. Both authors mention some information that they know will get an emotion response out of their audience.

While both authors discuss the same topic, their valid viewpoints differ. In the end, Craig more successfully convinced his readers to take his side on this issue. His hard facts and his credibility by far outshines that of Kim. Although Kim makes use of the persuasive appeals, overall his perspective isn’t completely clear or reasonable. All in all, Craig did an excellent job developing his strongly focused opinion through the use of pathos, logos, and ethos.

Works Cited

Craig, Winston. “Plant-Based Diets Provide Many Health Benefits.” Vegetarianism. Debra A. Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Health Benefits of Vegetarian Diets.” Vegetarianism and Vegetarian Nutrition, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.

Kim, Ben. “A Strict Vegetarian Diet Is Unhealthy for Most People.” Vegetarianism. Debra A. Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Don’t Let Philosophy Become More Important Than What Works.” Chet Day’s Health & Beyond. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.


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