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“Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace

Lobster is one of my much-loved seafood dishes due to its delicate rich flavored meat, however, after reading this article I have a change of mind. “Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace is a controversial article to whether or not it is humane to drop a live lobster in a pot of boiling water. He brought up the question is it right to boil a live lobster just for one’s desire, quite thought-provoking. Thus, he had convinced me to his viewpoints on logos, ethos, and pathos. I believe Wallace uses description to deliberate the meaning of pain to convince and gain my heart he includes definitions about taxonomical terms and references to prove his point while he compares and contrast different viewpoints on this specific matter. In order for Wallace to get his point across in the first paragraph he described what Main Lobster Festival was, he expressed it in the first person which allowed me to see stuff from his perspective and to understand how he felt towards this subject.

In the article, it’s evident Wallace tends to show pathos the most, where he includes foot and end notes voicing his opinion and stance on a precise segment of the article which allows him to bring a new perspective up. To get his stance across he uses a lot of rhetorical strategies that I myself had to contemplate. His strategies made me ponder on several other viewpoints such as the lobsters, chefs, and meat lovers. Wallace captures the use of pathos in a way that would be very convincing as he compared and contrasted the lobsters to humans. He drew me in when he stated, “the lobster will sometimes cling to the container’s sides or even to hook its claw over the kettle’s rim like a person trying to keep from going over the edge of the roof. Giving me a sense of remorse for the lobster as if I were the creature being placed into a pot of boiling water.

In addition, he compares the Main Lobster Festival to Nebraska beef Festival. he states a few of the festivities but the one he emphasized most on was “watching trucks pull up and the live cattle get driven down the ramp and slaughtered right there” screening that image in my head I naturally had the tendency to feel guilty which was Wallace’s main point to why is it that one feels bad for the cattle, but not the lobster, there is not a difference in my eyes. Furthermore, that is when Wallace introduced me to the ethos side of the argument where he sways me that it is, in fact, inhumane to boil a lobster alive when he stated “It is difficult not to sense that they’re unhappy, or frightened, even if it’s some rudimentary version of these feelings,” showing we should not judge and treat the lobster better or worse based on what pain level they feel. His perspective made me consider the lobster more just by that consideration.

However, Wallace brings up the argument that one may think they have the rights to eating a lobster because they are not human. Wallace proves this theory that people defends that assumption. At the Main Lobster Festival, there was a” Test Your Lobster IQ Test” conducted where it stated that lobsters have simple nervous systems like those of a worm or grasshopper. He explained a particular case where he questioned a man named dick whose son in law so happens to be a professional lobsterman and one of the Main Eating Tent’s regular suppliers who argues that lobsters are simply just a large sea insect he goes on to say “there’s a part of the brain in people and animal that lets us feel pain and lobsters don’t have these parts” Wallace denies Dick’s son in law beliefs by giving his own insight in his footnote elaborating on why the cerebral cortex in the human brain is actually not what gives experience of pain “ the cerebral cortex is the brain-part that deals with higher faculties like reason, metaphysical self-awareness, language etc.” He goes on to give in his own opinions how pain is experienced by articulating someone accidentally touching a hot stove and yanking there hand back do not involve the cortex the brain is bypassed altogether and all the neurochemical actions take place in the spine.

Not to mention some consider “lobsters are not human” to the motive to why lobsters do not need ethical concern. Which brings me to the conclusion that if lobsters aren’t human neither are cats and dogs. Wallace has me curious as to why is that we humans are defensive when it comes on to cats or abused dog but not a lobster they are all non-human creatures. On the contrary, Wallace began to shift his ideas to Logos which is the “appeal based on logical or reason”. According to precise evidence, lobsters have neurotransmitters that are more similar to those in a human which allows them to register pain.

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