There are many blogs that exist to promote social change, help eradicate problems, and raise awareness for issues that are of concern. The rise of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, has increased the ability of people to get the word out on issues that hold significance to them. According to Gladwell’s article “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted,” social media has reinvented social activism. As stated by Gladwell, “The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give voice to their concerns.”
Social media is changing the way that people raise awareness for causes and solve problems in society. The author, Gladwell, mentions some limitations to using social media as a means to spread information regarding social causes and activism. However, there is no doubt that social media has greatly changed the way people can generate public support and help for numerous issues by providing a public, online platform that has the potential to reach millions of people that may not otherwise have been reached.
A blog that is influencing and persuading readers to take action is Mark Hawthorne’s “Striking at the Roots” which helps to promote animal activism around the world. The link to this blog is https://strikingattheroots.wordpress.com/. This blog collects information regarding recent cases surrounding animal rights issues, and how these cases impact the plight of animals everywhere. The entry entitled “12 Animal Activism Stories That Made Headlines in 2014” is an excellent example of a portion of this blog that gathers information and shares it with readers in an easily understandable way. This entry goes on to talk about the positive outcomes and achievements that were made by animal activists. For example, here in the United States, the military was ordered to stop using live animals in medical training programs, instead replacing live animals with realistic human dummies or other high-tech alternatives that will eliminate animal cruelty in this regard.
In addition, the blog also shares that the federal appeals court here in the United States restored a law against animal torture videos. These videos are unlawful and participants making these types of horrendous animal cruelty videos will be committing a crime and their actions will be punishable by law. By sharing information like this with readers, this blog is persuading readers using the motivational strategy of pathos. Appealing to the emotions and sympathy of readers, Hawthorne is influencing readers to take action against animal cruelty and help spread the word on ending the violence against animals. By describing such unspeakable crimes that take place against animals, such as the torture videos that are punishable by law, Hawthorne is effectively utilizing pathos to engage readers while making them aware of the devastation that animals often suffer at the hands of cruel and hateful people. Vivid descriptions, like those of these horrible animal cruelty videos, show that Hawthorne is using pathos to motivate readers to raise continued awareness and fight against animal torture.
Also, the blog post entitled “Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering” talks about a book of the same name written by Hawthorne. The book cover is shown depicting a little pig that looks in need of love and kindness. Images like these on the blog use pathos as well as they elicit strong emotions in readers and encourage them to support the cause of animal rights. When readers can feel strong emotions, such as anger, sadness, and heartache from reading about the plight of animals, the blogger has done a great job of showing how urgent the issue is, and how greatly it is in need of further attention. This blog has done an excellent job in this regard because it engages readers with pathos by making them feel strongly and impacting their emotions, and therefore, encouraging action to raise awareness for the cause of animal rights.
Furthermore, this blog displays elements of the motivational strategy of logos because much of the information provided uses reason and logic to appeal to, and engage, readers. In the blog post entitled “Get Active for World Day for Animals in Laboratories,” Hawthorne explains that many products; such as cosmetics, cleansers, and pet food; are harmful when tested on animals. Hawthorne does a good job getting it across to readers that testing on animals is dangerous to the safety of the animals. He explains how federally funded research, such as animal testing, is paid for with our tax dollars, and how important it is to inform our governmental leaders and elected officials that we do not support this practice and do not want our money being spent on the torture of animals in lab experiments.
By using concrete examples that affect our lives in a big way, Hawthorne is using logos and explaining in a way that most readers would agree with and find logical, that the abuse against animals needs to stop. Readers can see, logically, that testing on animals is a bad practice, as our tax dollars fund unethical and immoral testing, and most importantly, there are other alternatives out there that would not involve testing on animals.
Lastly, Hawthorne’s blog shows effective use of ethos, or credibility for the writer. This can be established when readers look at the “About Me” section of his blog where he details his experience writing books about animal rights issues, and also his contributions to writing for various other publications regarding similar topics. Hawthorne is certainly displaying the ethos element of virtue by writing his blog posts in a compassionate manner towards animals. He also shows goodwill as he is concerned with the issues that are of concern for animals, as well as for his like-minded audience. Readers can learn more about Hawthorne, his experience, and his overall message when they read his blog posts and search the site. Therefore, it follows that Hawthorne is implementing his extensive knowledge, research, and qualifications into his ability to persuade and motivate readers. This leads readers to take action and spread the word against animal cruelty, while fighting for the rights of animals everywhere.
Social media has changed, and continues to revitalize the way that the public generates, receives, and interprets information. The presence of social media websites, including blogs, has helped the public have a platform to raise awareness, and learn more about, many different causes. I feel that Hawthorne’s animal rights blog is a great source of information regarding issues relating to animals. This blog helps to promote safety and kinder treatment for all animals, while at the same time encourages readers to get involved and support animal’s rights.