Animal rights are widely known and accepted in western culture but despite this there are topics and events which happen every year that often cause much debate and controversy on the public and media forums. From high profile support from celebrities, outspoken models from the fashion world and animal campaigners, animal rights is an issue that has sparked outrage and even government debate. This is a list of 10 widely discussed topics of animal use that some support openly, while others refuse to accept them under any circumstances.??
?Worldwide it’s estimated that 40-50 million animals are killed every year for their fur, including raccoon dogs, rabbits, foxes, mink, and chinchillas. The fur trade has gathered much protest from campaigners for the inhumane way the animals are reared and killed, often in cages where they suffer from numerous physical and behavioral abnormalities induced by the stress of caging conditions and then killed methods that preserve the pelt, such as gassing, neck-breaking and anal electrocution.??Recently China has come under attack from extremist campaigners such as PETA and media over the cruel photos and videos of dogs and cats being kept in awful conditions and then bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, strangled with wire nooses, and even skinned alive so that their fur can be turned into trim and trinkets. Fur from China is often mislabeled as that from another species and sold throughout the world so it is difficult to know for certain where the fur you are buying came from.??
?Some people will say animal testing is necessary in the furthering of medical treatment for humans but the other side of this argument is that animal testing is completely unacceptable and treatment for humans should be only be tested on humans.? ?It is estimated that 50 to 100 million vertebrate animals worldwide are used annually in animal testing. Although much larger numbers of invertebrates are used and the use of flies and worms as model organisms is very important, experiments on invertebrates are largely unregulated and not included in statistics. Most animals are euthanized after being used in an experiment.??Most research is carried out within universities, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, farms, defense establishments, and commercial facilities that provide animal-testing services to industry.??Supporters of the practice, such as the British Royal Society, argue that virtually every medical achievement in the 20th century relied on the use of animals in some way, with the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences arguing that even sophisticated computers are unable to model interactions between molecules, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, and the environment, making animal research necessary in many areas. Despite this some scientists and animal rights organizations, such as PETA and BUAV, question the legitimacy of it, arguing that it is cruel, poorly regulated and that medical progress is being held back by misleading animal models among other reasons. Regulation on animal testing varies within various countries.??
Dolphin and Whale Slaughter
?Every year, hundreds or even thousands of dolphin and small whale are rounded up and forced into a small hidden cove in Taiji where they are slaughtered in the worlds largest scale kill of its kind, lasting up to six months. Once trapped inside the cove the animals are killed by having their throats slashed or by being speared. Media images of the event often show the usual blue waters of the cove blood red and some even go further to show the animals sounding in distress. Animal campaigners have challenged the Japanese government to change its laws but whale meat and counterfeit dolphin meat sold as whale meat help to keep this horrific event continuing while the Japanese governments response has been using pest control as an explanation. ??
?Seal hunting has drawn growing media attention due to the disturbing images of seals and their pups being clubbed to death. The main sealing states are Canada, Greenland, Namibia, Norway and Russia although it is Canada that has gathered the most controversy with celebrities such as Paul McCartney and former wife, Heather Mills speaking out against it. In Canada 2006, 325,000 harp seals, as well as 10,000 hooded seals and 10,400 grey seals were killed. An additional 10,000 animals were allocated for hunting by Aboriginal peoples. Canadian law forbids the killing of pup seals until they have began molting at 12-15 days. ??While the steal trade is an extremely controversial issue, many livelihoods depend on the seal trade. The total Canadian seal product exports were valued at $18 million (CAD) in 2006. Of this, $5.4 million went to the EU, although in 2007, Belgium became the first EU state to ban seal products. In 2009 the EU parliament successfully voted to ban the import of seal products. Denmark, Romania and Austria abstained form the law passed by the EU council on July 27, 2009. ??
?High numbers of animals are used each year worldwide for their use in medicine. China is probably the most notable for its use of endangered tiger.??Animals used in traditional medicine are tigers, leopards, sharks, saiga antelope, elephants, rhinoceros, pangolins, tortoises, seahorses, musk deer, as well as 7 of the 8 species of bear. The Asiatic Black Bear (more commonly known as the Moon Bear) are kept in captivity on Bear Bile Farms to enable the regular extraction of their bile acid. ??Tiger bones, skin, fat, whiskers, tail, penises and gall bladders among other parts are believed to cure ailments, keep black magic at bay and possess aphrodisiac properties. It is estimated that there are approximately 5,000 wild tigers left, only 5% of the population number that were alive in the 1900s. About 75 percent are in India while less than 50 are believed to be found in China’s forests. The United States is home to some 10,000 captive tigers, owned by zoos, sanctuaries and private individuals.?
?It is estimated that worldwide, 140 billion animals are killed for human consumption ever year. The UK, which has a projected 2009 population of 61,126,832, consumed an amazing 2.5 billion animals every year alone. ??Official figures show that UK abattoirs slaughter 900 million poultry, and 30 million cattle, sheep and pigs every year. These figures do not include imported meat; the UK is probably a net importer so it is likely that they consume close to 1 billion farm animals a year. Tonnage figures from the Marine Fisheries Agency together with estimates for average weight of fish suggest that, in addition, about 1,500 million sea fish and 80 million farmed salmon are consumed.??It’s easy to see why vegetarians and vegans are prominent campaigners for animal rights. Animals on factory farms have no legal protection from cruelty that could be illegal if it were inflicted on dogs or cats, including neglect, mutilations, genetic manipulation, drug regimens that cause chronic pain and crippling, transport through all weather extremes and gruesome and violent slaughter for human consumption.?
There are many types of sport in which animals are used for; hunting being the most recognized and debated. One of the most recently debated has been fox hunting in the United Kingdom which was outlawed in 2004 against large protests and backlash from hunters who wished for the sport to continue using live foxes. Over 250 million animals are killed each year by hunting in the US alone and this does not include the millions of animal figures that are not maintained by state wildlife agencies.
Animals in sport also include Bullfighting which is still practiced under Spanish and Portuguese traditions. Cockfighting is now illegal but legal fights still take place around the world including cow fighting and camel wrestling.
Horse and dog racing are also very popular around the world, attracting many people for legal gambling but even this has attracted debate. Thousands of greyhounds die each year from racing injuries or exhaustion and over 800 racehorses die each year from fatal injuries on US racetracks alone.
Pedigree breeding of dogs has attracted a lot of attention in the past few years and many think it is cruel and unfair to the welfare of the animal because of the effects on the lifespan of the animal. In 2008 the BBC dropped the dog show Crufts over concerns about breeding practices leaving dogs with debilitating conditions and inherited genetic disease such as a prize-winning Cavalier King Charles suffering from syringomyelia which meant that its skull was too small for its brain and also pugs suffering epilepsy.
It is not known how many dogs worldwide suffer the genetic effects of extreme pedigree breeding but the debilitating effect is well known. Because of the lack of genetic variation, birth defects and inherited diseases in breeds such as deafness in Dalmatians, heart disease in Boxer dogs and hip dysplasia (abnormal hip joint development) in German Shepherd dogs has become extremely common.
?Although most zoos are of a high standard nowadays and many are even encouraging breeding programs for endangered species, it is still argued that animals should not be kept in captivity but encouraged back into their native environment.??There are an estimated 5 million animals in zoos worldwide and a report by the World Society for the Protection of Animals showed that only 1,200 out of the 10,000 zoos worldwide are registered for captive breeding and wildlife conservation and that only 2 percent of the world’s threatened or endangered species are registered in breeding programs.??In some Chinese zoos, live killing is encouraged where people can feed wild animals. In the Badaltearing Safari Park, visitors can throw live goats into the lions’ enclosure and watch them being eaten, or can purchase live chickens tied to bamboo rods to dangle into lion pens. Visitors can drive through the lion’s compound on buses with specially designed chutes leading into the enclosure into which they can push live chickens. In the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village near Guilin in southeast China, live cows and pigs are thrown to tigers to amuse visitors.?
?The use of animals by filmmakers has often received criticism for allegedly harmful, and sometimes lethal, treatment of animals during production although laws on animal rights are now stricter. ??One of the most infamous examples of animal cruelty in film was Michael Cimino’s legendary flop Heaven’s Gate, in which numerous animals were killed and brutalized during production. Cimino allegedly killed chickens and bled horses from the neck to gather samples of their blood to smear on actors for Heaven’s Gate, and also allegedly had a horse blown up with dynamite while shooting a battle sequence, the shot of which made it into the film. After the release of the film Reds, the star and director of the picture, Warren Beatty apologized for his Spanish film crew’s use of tripwires on horses while filming a battle scene, when Beatty wasn’t present. Tripwires were used against horses when Rambo III and The Thirteenth Warrior were being filmed. An ox was sliced nearly in half during production of Apocalypse Now, while a donkey was bled to death for dramatic effect for the film Manderlay, in a scene later cut from the film.??Although there are now laws covering animal use in filmmaking in America and Europe, other eastern countries such as South Korea have been criticized for the use of animals such as in the film, The Isle, in which a real frog is skinned alive while fish are mutilated.
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A persuasive essay is a type of writing that attempts to convince the reader that the opinions being presented are right. They are very similar to argumentative essays except for the fact a writer presents a one-sided opinion giving valid reasons and solid facts on why that opinion or argument is correct. With an argumentative essay, the writer creates a discussion on the topic by presenting points on both opposing and proposing sides as is the case with verbal debates. The writer employs logic to reason with and sway the reader into adopting a certain view. Such essay assignments are commonly given to students in high school and junior college. They help students to master persuasive skills which can be useful for students in all disciplines including sciences and social studies; as well as in business and their social life.
Tips for finding persuasive essay topics
Sometimes, essay topics are not given by the professor thus writing persuasive essays begins with selecting a topic. In such a case, a student is required to select an appropriate topic to write about. To help you do that, here are a few tips.
- Think of subjects that interest you. Feel free to select a topic that you will enjoy writing about and not just one that you think will please your professor. Obviously, you should not purposely pick a topic that will bore your audience. Nonetheless, focusing excessively on what you think your teachers would like to read is a mistake. Most professors want to see you write in your own style and argue your own ideas, supported by facts.
- Select a topic you are passionate about; not one on which you are conflicted. You will likely be unable to present your views and convince your audience if you are conflicted about the side on which you stand. For example, it may not be wise to argue that every state should abolish the death penalty yet on the hand, you think that child molesters deserve the death sentence. The audience of your persuasive essay or speech must not detect any sign of internal conflict in your argument. Being passionate about the topic will also make the research and writing tasks enjoyable, and your emotion will also be reflected in your writing. This will help you persuade and change the reader’s mind.
- Don’t over-obsess on political correctness. You should avoid playing it too safe and shying away from a controversial issue. A point to note, however, is that for a school setting, you may want to strike a balance between boldly expressing your views and not offending your audience with overly inappropriate topics.
- Think about your personal experiences or those of people you know. Real life events can be a source of inspiration to help you formulate an interesting topic.
- Think about what you know. Start with general subjects that you are familiar with then narrow down to a specific topic. It will be easier for you to write a good persuasive essay if it is a subject in which you have knowledge. This is especially important if you have limited time to write your essay as you will be able to do the legwork faster.
- Read. Topics abound in books, newspapers, journals and the web if only you conduct research. The importance of research in persuasive writing cannot be overstated. Research is important for formulating your title and finding evidence to back up your ideas. A research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal could present the credible evidence you need. This involves reading widely and sometimes talking to experts in your subject of interest. Sample persuasive essays can also provide inspiration on topics to write on as well as serve as examples on how to write your essay. A point to remember as you conduct research is that your institution likely has a strict policy against plagiarism, therefore avoid presenting someone else’s work as your own.
- Brainstorming helps in coming up with an idea or refining the one you already have. Discuss your ideas with friends or other people around you, but this is not a license to copy someone else’s work. The purpose of brainstorming is to help you get ideas. Weave in your own perspective to make your essay unique.
- Persuasive essay topics are often inspired by contemporary issues in society so pay attention to current trends and events happening around you. It helps to come up with a list of several persuasive essay topic ideas and then carefully evaluate them further to pick the best one.
Selecting a good topic for your essay is one of the most important and often tricky parts for many students. Here are a few characteristics against which you should evaluate your topic before you start writing the essay.
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Qualities of a good persuasive essay topic
The topic should be specific. The essay topic should be broad enough for you to comfortably meet the required length of the essay, but not too narrow that you are unable to write more than a few short sentences on it.
- A great topic should have some complexity and depth.
- A good topic for a persuasive essay is one that is debatable. Pick a topic that society is talking or arguing about.
- The topic must not be overdone. Most times a topic that has been tackled over and over is not the best choice because it is likely that society has already reached a consensus on the matter and it is no longer being debated.
- Is there adequate literature to support your opinions/ideas? There should be enough literature to provide facts to back your ideas in order for you to write a good persuasive essay. You don’t want to start the writing process, then have to find a new topic because you realize, midway, that there’s no credible literature to back your ideas.
We have compiled a few ideas appropriate topics for your persuasive essay assignment.
Some Persuasive Essay Topic Ideas for High School
- Should students perpetrating cyber bullying be expelled?
Cyberbullying can undoubtedly have grave consequences for the victims. There has been agitation in some quarters to have cyber bullies in schools face the consequences such as expulsion.
- Is college education the key to a successful life?
There are varying views on whether a college education is required in order to have a successful life.
- Should the death penalty be abolished?
The death penalty has been abolished in some states, many more still practice it, and others have the death penalty allowing gubernatorial moratoria. Some say the death sentence is a fitting deterrent to serious crimes but is it a cruel, dehumanizing practice that should be abolished?
- Should civilians be allowed to carry guns?
Do civilians with guns to help stop crime such as mass shootings or does the freedom of civilians to carry guns pose more danger?
- Should the minimum voting age be lowered?
21, 18, 17, or 16; just how old is old enough to vote? Are teenagers’ old enough for the responsibility of voting or should voting be reserved for young adults and older citizens?
- National security prevails over individual right to privacy
Should violations of individual privacy rights be allowed for the sake of national security?
- Parental consent should not be required for teenage girls to access contraceptives.
Teenagers have free access to contraceptives, but lawmakers have come up with proposals that will require teenage girls to engage their parents before they can get access. Should the right of teenagers to freely access contraceptives be upheld?
- Smartphones are killing communication
Smartphones have changed the way conversations are carried out, but are they killing the art of communication? Are we missing out on crucial benefits of voice calls and face-to-face conversations?
- Should Medical Marijuana be legalized?
Marijuana helps relieve symptoms of various illnesses. There have been debates on whether Marijuana prescribed by a doctor should be legal. Do you think it should be legalized?
- Is commercial testing on animals, right?
Safety tests for products such as drugs and cosmetics are often tested on animals to ascertain their safety. Animal rights activists and other parties don’t agree with this practice.
- Should mercy killing be allowed?
Euthanasia, the killing of patients with painful, incurable diseases, irreversible coma, is done in order to relieve suffering. The practice is allowed in some states, but it is frowned upon and illegal in many more states. Is an ethical practice that should be legalized or not?
- Should mandatory sexuality and parenting classes be taught in school?
Parents have the responsibility of teaching their children about sexuality, contraceptive use, and parenting. However, do parents sufficiently teach their kids on these subjects?
College Level Persuasive Essay Topics
- Should guns be allowed on campuses?
Research shows that guns on campuses only pose a greater danger of violence and do very little to stop shooting rampages. Do you think guns should be allowed on college campuses or not?
- Should public breastfeeding be allowed?
Mums are given a hard time now and then for breastfeeding their babies in public. However, others are of the opinion that breastfeeding, just like bottle feeding a baby in public should not be controversial.
- Should the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries be implemented?
There have been mixed reactions on whether the executive order to ban visas issuance to travelers from six Muslim-majority countries be implemented.
- Should recycling be required by law?
Recycling helps preserve the environment, but not everyone practices it. Some think that by making it a legal requirement, more people will begin to practice recycling. What’s your position on this?
- Should workplaces have a more relaxed dress code?
Some employers feel that relaxed dress codes negatively impact productivity and should not be allowed in the workplace. Others think that it improves creativity and productivity in the workplace.
- Should the jury system be replaced by bench trials?
There have been arguments that juries are not made up of people with the necessary legal expertise and should, therefore, be abolished and replaced with bench trials where judges are solely responsible for making judgments. These are just a few tips to help you in persuasive essay writing. You can write persuasive essays on a variety of subject including health, food, technology, history, law, religion and governance. Just follow the guidelines stated above, and you’ll be well on your way to writing a good persuasive essay.
The Importance of Research in Persuasive Essay Writing
Whichever topic you choose, always remember the importance of literature sources. These sources serve to enrich knowledge, meet the academic community’s expectations, and identify and support arguments. The questions of whether a topic has been overdone or has enough literature to back it up must always be asked. The answers to these questions can only be found by immersing yourself in literature to filter out the overdone topics and find facts, examples, statistics and quotes to provide supporting evidence for your essay. It requires and demonstrates an ability to research, understand and integrate information from multiple sources. Common reliable sources of literature include journals, scientific magazines, textbooks and reports that can be examined for relevance to the topic at hand. There are multiple online resources and databases to find a book or a journal article that you can use in your search for relevant information sources on which your essay will be based. Possessing good research skills and selecting a good topic is crucial. However, good writing should accompany a good persuasive essay topic and extensive research thus a student must learn the skills of effective writing. Learning good writing skills will help you write better essays that will keep your readers interested and persuaded. This can be difficult for some students, especially for those whom English is their second language; but it is not an impossible task.
Writing Persuasive Essays
Once you settle on the topic and choose the position on which you will base your essay, the rest of the work can then begin. You still need to create an outstanding piece of writing. You will need to research about your topic further to provide evidence to your ideas and then structure your writing according to the persuasive essay structure. As any guide on how to write a persuasive essay will tell you, your essay must be organized in paragraphs with a logical progression from one paragraph to the next. There should be an introductory paragraph that includes a strong, authoritative thesis statement, a body section with at least three paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph with a call to action. Begin the introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing fact, question or contradiction. Each of the body paragraphs should state a single main point and present evidence support for the point, view or argument you are making. Examples may also be included in each of the body paragraphs to further support and clarify your main points. A good persuasive essay must always have a concluding paragraph where you restate your position and include a summary of the essay text. If your introduction included non-rhetorical questions, you should include answers in this section as well. Focus the conclusion on giving your reader a strong message that will linger in his/her mind. Finally, remember that a big part of being effective in persuasion is the ability to appeal to your audience’s emotions. Be creative and take full advantage of persuasion techniques and as with any type of writing, keep your work clear, concise and error-free.
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