Rhetorical Analysis of "The Responsibility to Conserve Wild Species"

Rhetorical Analysis of “The Responsibility to Conserve Wild Species” “The responsibility to conserve wild species – A Consideration of Policy Implications: A Panel Discussion – In the Company of Animals” appears in the scholarly journal. Author, John G. Robinson, holds a Ph. D. in zoology and he is an active member and prominent position holder in several conservationist organizations including the Wildlife Conservation Society. He argues from his self-proclaimed conservationist viewpoint that all interventions to preserve wild species are justifiable.

In the article, the milestones are fairly clear and seeing the issue occurs in the first paragraph. The author explains how the roles between human beings and wild animals have changed over time. He points out that most of us do not have frequent interaction with wild animals but asserts that we should care about the question of urban society intervening in the lives of wild animals. We should not only care about this question but care enough to take responsibility and action because of our increased presence in their lives.

Judging by the author’s persuasive pleas, this article is written to people who do not already share the author’s views entirely or in part. The journal, Social Research, is primarily written to scholars and learned individuals, but I think the general population just does not have enough knowledge on wild species and/or the direness of their situations to feel greatly motivated to act. Here, he could have supplied more information for the less knowledgeable majority, though it is not really necessary because of the journal’s target audience.

In his writing, I think that Robinson assumes that humans want to take responsibility for dwindling numbers of wild species. This article would benefit here with logos. By using statistics as solid evidence he might supply an impetus for action. Robinson defines the problem beginning in paragraph two and continues through the sixth paragraph. He first uses ethos in the form of a citation from Aldo Leopold: “A thing’s right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. ” Robinson supports the idea from two perspectives.

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First from the utilitarian point of view, he explains that not attempting to conserve wild species jeopardizes resources that humans depend on. The second view, the bio centric position, he emphasizes that wild species have an ‘inherent right to exist. ” Are there any other viewpoints that he ignored or tiled to see? I think there are, but Robinson does not even acknowledge the existence of other points of view. I think that to him there are just no other options and he does not want readers to begin to consider not intervening in the lives of wild animals in order to conserve them.

Other than this, he does an excellent job of defining his position and then conservationists’ ideas of integrity, stability and beauty. He moves on to claim that “human beings are the single largest contributor to this global degradation (of natural systems and biological diversity). ” In the third paragraph, Robinson addresses the faulty ideas of words such as “pristine,” “undisturbed,” and even “wilderness. ” These words refer to an unattainable ideal in our modern world. Humankind is everywhere and making an impact always. Throughout the paper an underlying persuasive argument is taking place.

If you accepted Leopold’s premise, then logically you should accept the idea that humans’ primary responsibility “is to ensure the survival of species in nature. ” This necessary acceptance that follows from logic is a little tricky. In the fourth paragraph, beginning the milestone of choosing a solution, Robinson shows us the faulty path of the least intrusive action of establishing protected areas. The return paths appear in the next paragraph along with an example pertaining to mishaps experienced by the United States National Park Service and the Forest Service.

Robinson shortly suggests a second solution but then quickly dismisses it. From my understanding, this solution is based in the first solution, and then the author expands upon it by offering to enlist the help of local communities. The fault in this solution lies in that the community would have to value the animals and thus they would become a resource. This would essentially destroy the goal of conservation in the first place. I believe the author could have expounded on this point and further explored details of this option.

Is it really a good idea or a bad idea? Should we research this idea more for ourselves? At last, a final and most intrusive proposal is made in the sixth paragraph. Bringing wild animals into captivity is an area most all of us are familiar with because of our childhood visits to zoos and wildlife parks. This paragraph could incite some pathos which I believe the author should have capitalized on. He gives us three good reasons for supporting this option and even uses a bit of logos, though more would be appropriate in my opinion.

In the second to last paragraph the author emphasizes from his conservationist perspective that all kinds of interventions are justifiable for the conservation of populations or species. In the concluding paragraph Robinson proposes the paradox of the current argument, “The more humans intervene, the more responsibility they must assume … but to do otherwise is irresponsible. ” I think this truly is the heart of the argument though sadly it is cyclical. From my point of view, the author could have addressed some more faulty paths, especially those of the opposing viewpoint.

Robinson never even touched the idea of not intervening to conserve wild species except to say that letting nature take its course would not suffice for a solution. I think that overall, Robinson made a good argument although he failed to elaborate on some key points. ? Work Cited Robinson, John G. “The responsibility to conserve wild species – A Consideration of Policy Implications: A Panel Discussion – In the Company of Animals”. Social Research. 1995: n. pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. 31 Mar, 2012.

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