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AHSS 1250 Critical Thinking
Long Argument Analysis
This assignment is worth 20% of your final grade and is graded out of 65 marks. It is due in class and
online on March 28. Please see the important notes on plagiarism and on late assignments after the
assignment instructions. Your task is to complete Parts 1-3. Please read the instructions carefully,
and make sure you are completing each step. Please follow the instructions re: format for each
section (correct formatting = 1 grade).
Part 1: Conclusion and Fallacies /14
Complete each of the following steps for each passage. Organize your work by passage, not by
question (i.e., go through each question for Passage One, and then again for Passage Two). Use the
letters here (A-B) to organize your work in the assignment you hand in.
A. What is the overall conclusion of each passage? Note that while you may find subarguments,
each passage has one overall conclusion. Identify the statement number that you believe best
sums up the overall conclusion of the passage. /2
B. In point form, identify three fallacies in each passage (all of which are fallacies of relevance that
we covered in class). Include the statement or statement numbers containing a fallacy (it is
possible for a number of statements to together contain one fallacy). After each set of
statement numbers, identify the fallacy, and briefly (in one or two sentences each) explain why
you think that statement or those statements contain that error in reasoning. Remember, here,
that relevance is relative to the conclusion. /12
Part 2: Arguments by Analogy /10
In each passage, a comparison is made between eating meat and a different kind of act or activity.
Using statement numbers, identify the argument by analogy in Passage One (including identifying the
analogue case) and in a few sentences, assess it for strength. In another paragaph, use statement
numbers to identify the argument by analogy in Passage Two (including identifying the analogue
case) and in a few sentences, assess it for strength.
In both cases, use the criteria we learned about in class to assess the strength of the arguments by
analogy, considering whether they help to show that eating animals is either morally acceptable or is
Part 3: Overall Assessment of Reasoning /40
Discuss the morality of eating meat in 3-3.5 pages, double-spaced (do not exceed this length). Your
job is to evaluate the relevant (non-fallacious) reasons supporting each conclusion and to defend
your own thesis that eating meat is moral or that it is not moral. Begin this passage with a thesis
statement that outlines what you will argue, and why (a full introduction is not necessary; simply
launch right into your thesis statement).
Your discussion should incorporate answers to at least five of the questions below, including at least
one related to each passage. However, please do not organize your answers in numbered form.
Rather, write a short passage that integrates answers to these questions in whatever order you find
1. In Passage 1, do statements (2-3) show that eating meat is wrong? Why or why not?
Generally speaking, is it true that we shouldn’t cause unwarranted pain to any creature that can
feel pain? Does eating meat cause unwarranted pain to animals? Is the fact that animals are
sentient beings that can feel pain a good reason not to eat meat? Is it enough of a reason not to
2. In Passage 1, do statements (4) and (6) show that eating meat is wrong? Why or why not?
Generally speaking, is it true that things that have a life that matters to them deserve to be
treated with respect, and not unduly harmed? Is the fact that animals have a life that matters to
them a good reason not to eat meat? Is it enough of a reason not to eat meat?
3. In Passage 2, are statements (16-17) good reasons for meat-eating being morally permissible?
Is the fact that meat eating causes pleasure something that helps show that it is morally
permissible? Is this relevant? Generally speaking, does the fact that something causes pleasure
show that it is morally permissible? Even if this reason is relevant, is it sufficient?
4. In Passage 2, are statements (6-7) good reasons for meat-eating being morally permissible?
Does the fact that we evolved in such a way that we are able to eat meat show that it is morally
permissible to do so? Generally speaking, if we evolved to do something, does it mean that we are
“meant” to do that thing, or that we should do it, or are allowed to do it?
5. In Passage 2, are statements (21-24) good reasons for meat-eating being morally permissible?
Is the fact that animals’ lives may be harder in the wild something that shows that eating meat is
morally permissible? Is it true that if they are treated well, farm animals can lead happy lives?
Does it matter, for the purposes of leading a happy life, if your life ends in death to be made into
6. In Passage 2, are statements (25-27) good reasons for meat-eating being morally permissible?
Is it true that animals don’t have the same moral standing as human beings – that is, that we
don’t have the same duties towards them as we do towards humans? Is this true or all animals, or
just some? Even if this is true, does it help to show that eating meat is morally permissible?
Overall, given your evaluation of these reasons, other non-fallacious reasons in the passages, and
your answers to Part 2, do you think that eating meat is moral? Your defense of your position here
should involve further defense of, or refutation of, some of the reasons given in the passages.
Whatever your position is, be sure to give relevant reasons for it, and to avoid committing fallacies in
your own reasoning. Your goal is to justify your beliefs by giving others good reasons for accepting
them. Consider why a reasonable person might disagree with your reasoning, and respond to a
potential objection to your views.
Misappropriation of another’s work is a serious academic offense. There are a number of ways that
this offense can be committed. Copying work from a website or a book without acknowledging the
source is plagiarism. Handing in work that is largely paraphrased from another source, and is not in
your own words, is also plagiarism. The aim of all academic work is to demonstrate your own
understanding of the ideas. In order to appropriately acknowledge the source of your ideas, you
must not only put direct quotes into quotation marks, you must use in-text citations or footnotes,
and include a references list (also known as a works cited page or a bibliography).
Misappropriation of another’s work also includes unauthorized collaboration with others when the
assignment is meant to be completed individually – and this assignment is meant to be completed
individually. Furthermore, it includes buying and selling academic papers.
Please note that you do not have to intend to plagiarize in order to commit this offense. You simply
need to include material in your assignment that is not your own work and that is not properly cited.
For more information about Guelph-Humber’s policies on academic honesty, please visit:
Assignment Submission and Late Policy
March 28, in class. You paper must also be submitted online (via Course Link) for a plagiarism check
and my records. However, please note that the official time and means of submission is in-class at
3:20PM on March 28. If you are unable to come to class, you should drop off your paper to the drop
box at the Learning Commons on the second floor.
I do not keep track of online submissions of the assignment, as I will be grading paper copies. This
means that if you have submitted your essay online, but have not given me hard copy, your paper is
considered late. It will not be graded until a hard copy is received. If, at the end of term, I am forced
to print out a copy of your essay, I will deduct the regular number of late marks per day of lateness.
If you are ill or have another documented emergency, please speak with me as soon as possible. If
you cannot come to class to submit your paper, please email me. Late work will be penalized at a
rate of 5% per day.
(1) Vegetarianism or veganism are the most ethical options for everyone. (2) Animals, just like
humans, are sentient beings that can feel pain, and (3) and we should not cause unwarranted pain to
any creature that can feel pain. (4) They also have a life that matters to them, (5) which we can see
from the fact that animals flee from danger and evidently suffer when they are in ill health. (6) Things
that have a life that matters to them deserve to be treated with respect, and not to be unduly
harmed. (7) We think that this is true even when it comes to beings that aren’t intelligent – (8) we
think it’s true of babies, for example. (9) When you think about it, farm animals like cows and pigs are
similar to dogs and cats. (10) Like dogs and cats, they are curious, social beings with distinct
personalities. (11) Given that it’s wrong to eat dogs and cats, it’s also wrong to eat farm animals.
(12) Animals undergo a lot of suffering on factory farms, in transport to slaughterhouses, and in
slaughterhouses themselves. (13) They may not have enough room to move around, which causes
muscle and joint pain. (14) They may be overfed, which causes general bodily distress. (15) Or, they
may be separated from their babies, which causes emotional distress. (16) In transport, they may be
denied water for days, (17) and at slaughterhouses, the means of killing might not kill animals quickly
and painlessly. (18) All of this shows that meat eating causes animals suffering. (19) And as to milk,
when you think about it, drinking milk is gross – (20) you’re drinking a liquid that comes from the
udders of another species of animal. Would you buy human milk to drink? (21) If not, it’s pretty
disgusting to drink milk from other species, (22) and that’s why it’s wrong.
(23) There are many cultures throughout history that have been vegetarian, like Jains and some
Hindus. (24) We know that it’s right if it has been practiced by such venerable groups for such a long
time. (25) On the other side of the question, you have people like Donald Trump selling Trump steaks
– people who like to feel a sense of dominion over others. (26) You know that eating meat is wrong if
the person endorsing it is Donald Trump. (27) All in all, eating meat is just not something good
people do, (28) so eating meat is wrong.
(1) Vegetarians and vegans want us all to believe that eating meat and animal products is wrong, (2)
but I think that eating meat is morally acceptable. (3) People have always eaten meat. (4) It’s part of
cultures and cuisines all around the world, (5) and 98% of people in western societies eat meat. (6)
Really, if you think about it, we evolved to eat meat. (7) We have teeth and digestive systems that
equip us to eat meat. (8) We can also add to this that other animals eat each other: (9) lions eat
antelopes, (10) wolves eat deer. (11) Meat eating diets are an efficient part of the natural ecosystem,
turning plant matter into energy in grasslands that humans couldn’t use to farm crops.
(12) People also like to say that vegetarians can be healthy, (13) but I have a number of friends who
tried to be vegetarian and they ended up quitting (14) because they got sick all the time. (15) These
cases show that vegetarianism is not a viable, healthy choice for people. (16) And eating meat also
gives us pleasure. (17) With the tough lives we have, surely pleasure is a good thing.
(18) Vegetarians talk about the fact that animals feel pain, (19) but no one has proved that plants
don’t have feelings, (20) so we should assume that they do. (21) When you think about it, life in the
wild would be harder for animals then it is on farms. (22) In the wild, they would have more of a
struggle to survive (23) and their deaths would be more violent and more painful. (24) If farm
animals are treated well, they can lead happy lives. (25) In the end though, it is apparent that animals
don’t have the same moral standing that human beings do. (26) We don’t charge people with
homicide when they run over squirrels; (27) we would all rescue a human child from a burning
building before rescuing a dog or a cat. (28) Euthanasia for pets has always been legal – (29) you can
take your dog or cat to the vet to have it put down if it’s old and sick. (30) But things are far more
complicated for human beings. (31) Deciding to eat meat is like deciding to euthanize an animal, (32)
because both involve the death of an animal by people. (33) Given that it’s okay to decide to
euthanize an animal, (34) it’s okay to eat meat.