Letter to the Editor
by Feross Aboukhadijeh, 11th grade
I would personally like to thank Jeremy Rifkin for his earth-shaking findings published in “A Change of Heart about Animals”. Without Rifkin’s article, I never would have realized that animals can experience pain, suffering, and affection (2). The global community is truly indebted to Rifkin for proving, for the first time ever, that animals are actually living, breathing creatures—a truly groundbreaking scientific achievement, no doubt. The truth is: Rifkin has proven nothing new and merely demonstrated the barefaced hypocrisy of the animal rights movement.
The “discovery” that animals can experience simple emotions like pain and fear does not justify the adoption of laws protecting animals from lab experiments or human consumption (16). Would a starving lion restrain itself before savagely slaughtering an innocent child for food? Why should humans treat animals any more humanitarianly than they treat us? Since the beginning of time, animals have killed and consumed other animals as part of the natural course of nature. If, as Rifkin argues, humans and animals should be equal, then humans should have as equal a right to participate in the “survival of the fittest” game as any animal does (17). To pass a law restricting the human consumption of animals would damn the human race to extinction. Rifkin’s bigotry and hypocrisy doesn’t stop here.
Rifkin’s arguments against animal experimentation are supported by scientific studies conducted through the very same animal experimentation! From the laboratory crows (7) to the freak-show gorilla (8), to the imprisoned orangutan (10), Rifkin seems to support animal abuse only when he benefits from it. The same can be said about animal rights activists in general.
Ingrid Newkirk, the President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), once told Vogue magazine: “Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it” (CCF 1). Would Rifkin condemn life-saving treatments for diseases like diabetes (insulin) and breast cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, and stem cell transplants), all of which were first tested on animals? No doubt. Yet, I am willing to bet that if Rifkin’s own son or daughter was stricken with one or more of these diseases, he would not equate a human life with that of a barnyard pig’s so quickly.
Rifkin wishes to sacrifice countless scientific achievements and millions of human lives in order to save the lives of a few insignificant animals—unless of course he could benefit more by the animals’ deaths.
CCF. "Consumer Group’s Ad Targets Arizona Animal-Rights Hypocrites." The Center for Consumer Freedom. 05 Oct 2006. CCF. 2 Feb 2007 <http://www.consumerfreedom.com/pressrelease_detail.cfm?release=178>.
Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Sample Letter to the Editor - "Animal Rights"" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2018. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/english/sample-essays/letter-to-the-editor-animal-rights/>.
The purpose of a letter to the editor is to express your individual views about a current issue. Letters to the editor are published in nearly all magazines and newspapers. Anybody can write a letter to the editor, but generally, the composers of letters to the editor are those individuals who are passionate about particular and topical issues.
The tone can be informal or formal, depending upon the publication in which it is to be published. This is because the audience is the readership of any given publication. A letter published in The Economist is likely to have an extremely formal tone, whereas letters to the editor published in the Sydney Morning Herald have various tones, dependent on the audience that the composer of the letter is targeting.
Features of a letter to the editor
- A letter to the editor is an expression of opinion on a topical subject (usually one that has been recently published in the publication to which it has been written).
- A letter to the editor is a persuasive text, with the aim to express views to a wider public.
- Effective letters to the editor rely on fact as well as opinion.
- Letters to the editor are often responses to articles form the particular publication, or to other letters to the editor.
- Always start with 'To the Editor,' and then leave a line.
- Sign off briefly, with either your initials or your first initial and last name and suburb.
Hints for writing effective letters to the editor
- The secret to writing good letters to the editor is to combine persuasive language with well researched evidence.
- Short, concise letters are more likely to be published than longer, waffling letters (around 200 words is a good maximum length).
- While some letters to the editor are composed in an informal tone, keeping a formal tone will help your letters to carry an air of authority.
- If you compose a letter to the editor on a subject that you know very well, be careful to not use jargon and technical terms unless you are absolutely sure that your intended audience will understand them.
- The use of the first person is standard for letters to the editor.
- Persuasive techniques are necessary for this task. You are trying to persuade people to see your point of view. This means that you can use a tone that is outraged, happy or interested. It also means that a number of persuasive techniques can be employed.
Structure and format
- Briefly outline the issue that you are writing about.
- Include your opinion.
- Explain your opinion.
- Give evidence for your opinion.