A Rhetorical Analysis Of Vivisection

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In the 19th century, vivisection, the practice of experimenting on live animals, was widely debated over its contributions to the advancement of medicine and the subsequent impact it on animal subjects used in experiments. Leading opposing sides of this debate were John Dalton, a medical doctor and professor of Physiology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, and Francis Cobbe, a female animal rights activist. Dalton, in Vivisection: What It Is, and What it Has Accomplished (1866) effectively convinces his audience of highly educated and rational individuals in the field of medicine of the value and necessity of vivisection using a structured and logical writing style in downplaying the main objection of cruelty made by vivisection…show more content…
Dalton’s audience is composed of medical professionals in the New York Academy of Medicine. At that time, vivisection was legal and was accepted in the scientific community. Having already studied and practiced medicine, the audience is already knowledgeable in the contribution of vivisection to the advancement of medicine. Rather, their main concern revolves around the moral objections that encompass vivisection. To address this, Dalton employs a rational style in maintaining the appearance of being objective towards his audience. He does this knowing that, being a doctor himself, his audience is composed of educated thinkers who want to consider both sides of an argument. By stating that he wants to “discuss the objections which have been urged against it, and to show how far they are valid, and how far destitute of foundation” (Dalton,1) he makes it clear to his audience that he has thought about and intends to address both sides of the issue. This helps Dalton in effectively convincing his audience to consider his views as it is not a one sided argument that merely makes biased and unsubstantiated claims on mere subjectivity

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