Choice of argument

A recent article in the NY Times talked about the Impossible Burger. I haven’t tried the burger myself yet, but I understand that it is right on the bleeding edge of plant-sourced food technology.

Included in the article was a link to a video taste test. Four subjects — identified, respectively, as a butcher, a technology reporter, a cardiologist and a vegan yoga instructor — were given the burger to eat, and their reactions were duly recorded.

The responses were quite similar: All four found it very tasty, and none of the carnivores thought it tasted the same as meat from a cow.

But to me one of the most interesting moments in the video was when a reporter, in voice-over, explained why people might go vegan. Here is that explanation, in its entirety:

“Cows use a ton of resources while emitting greenhouse gases, which are terrible for the environment.”

You can learn a lot about a person by their choice of argument. I found myself imagining that same reporter explaining why some people oppose slavery:

“Slaves take up a lot of jobs that could be filled by working people. That drives up unemployment, which is terrible for the economy.”

Leave a Reply