Sustainability and Animal Farming,Cost-Benefit Analysis

Directions: Animal farming is a major contributor to global climate change. Mitigating the impact of animal farming will require important changes. Your essay should do the following: 1. Present a comparison of the costs and benefits for society of two divergent options for mitigating risks from animal agriculture (see details below). The benefits and costs should be relative to only two or three of the following values: the economy, human health, the environment, and ethical values. 2. Give your assessment of how to weigh these different options against each other, and explain which option you favor and why. 3. Explain how the costs of your favored option could be reduced. 4. Explain how you would communicate your recommendations (to scientists, elected officials, or the general public). Think of what argument you would make, its intended audience, and what purpose it would serve. Additional notes: • The two possible options for mitigating risks from animal farming are either making it more efficient (more intensive or more extensive), or developing alternatives (such as a plant-based diet). • These options will be discussed in class. You can use resources from the reading list on these issues (see readings from after the break), but you can also use other resources. You will find relevant resources, e.g., on the website of the documentary Cowspiracy at www.coswspiracy.com (see ‘facts’ in the menu). Please make sure to include a works cited page. • Your essay should include an introduction that gives a general motivation and background to the general topic of the essay, and that summarizes what you will present and argue. • Aim at presenting facts and data, but also justifications for your choices (why you think an option is the better one, why you would communicate it in a certain way to an audience or another, etc.). • For your assessment, think of the benefits and costs from different points of view: those promoting your favored option, but also those opposing it. • Don’t try to include as many of the issues discussed in class as possible. It is not necessary to include references from the reading list either (but you can do so if it’s useful to your paper). • Your different sections should be clearly separated (for instance, with section headings). • You can choose a writing style of your choice (e.g., Chicago Style, MLA style, etc.) or no specific style, as long as you cite your sources and that you write in a consistent style throughout the paper. Rubric: • This assignment should show that you have researched the relevant facts. • It should show that you have considered different viewpoints in your risk assessment and your explanation of communication about your favored solution. • Your language should be simple, clear, and you should justify your choices.

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