Photo Essay

Statement of Purpose

Purpose: I was on Facebook before work one day to pass the time because I at work early. As I scrolled through my friend’s posts, ads, and news, I saw a video of how bacon is made. I was intrigued to watch the video but soon turned it right off because of how horrifyingly graphic it was. The pigs were thrown around and beaten; baby pigs were treated like rag dolls, and pigs were alive as they were cut straight down their bellies to be slaughters. I could not believe this was real. This terrible video motivates me to write about the treatment of farm animals to make people aware of the horrors that lurk behind our meat production. I hope that from showing people the truth about livestock treatment they will agree with my views and stop supporting the abuse. The best outcome of my paper would be to make people aware enough to stop the abuse by not buying the projects anymore. The worst outcome of my work would be for people to not take me seriously and continue to buy the products from farms committing animal abuse. I hope that people can stand with me to fight against livestock abuse and help make those farms end their abusive ways.

Audience: The audience I am aiming for to read my paper is people who would care about the treatment of animals and people who are willing to stop buying from the brands that are doing these horrible things. They should be of age to be considered a consumer (about 18 and older) and can be of any race or gender. The audience reading my papers should also be open-minded to the idea of how terrible livestock is treated. After reading my paper and seeing the pictures I present throughout it, my audience should think about how they could help to fight against animal abuse and how they might help and sympathize with animals going through this treatment. They should feel horrified and upset and they should be very interested in trying to avoid the brands committing the livestock abuse. All of the qualities listed are ideal characteristics of my audience should be present to make my paper more persuasive and appealing.

Context: The time that my audience should see my paper is when they have free time. I want to make sure that they have enough time to really think about the points I bring up and the examples I state so they can form their own view from the topic. The place where my audience should view my work is at home or in a comfortable place. Being in a comfortable place will make the reader feel like my work is something they are reading voluntarily and something they would like to read and investigates for themselves. I want my paper to have the same feel to the reader and they would feel curling up on a rainy day reading a book, I want them to feel as intrigued as I was went I first saw the “How Bacon is Made” video. The time and place means everything to how the audience will react to my work. If they are reading my paper in a waiting room or an office or looking at it quick before heading off somewhere they may not get to think about what they had just read. I want my audience to really have deep thoughts about my topic so that they may feel the same why I do about it.
Design Plan
Strategies: The way I want to portray my topic is in a fun but serious way. I want people to be interested in my topic but also know how serious it is. I want to show pictures of farm animals that catch the emotional side of my audience so that then they feel as hurt by the farmer’s treatment to the animals as I did. I will talk about my topic with a relaxed tone but I will also be serious about my concerns. I want to take in the audience and convince them to feel the way I do. I will use ethos, pathos, and logos to capture my audience’s attention.

For ethos, I will portray myself as a big advocate for the justice for animals. I will stay on focus and give lots of examples of how the treatment of animals is unfair.

For pathos, I will use pictures of the animals that live at a farm near my house to pull on the heartstrings of my audience. Everyone loves to see pictures of cute farm animals but after I explain the instances of how badly they can be treated, my audience will feel upset and sad and will want to fight against the abuse.

For logos, I will use facts from research that I have done to present that farm animal abuse is happening. The facts will make my topic more real and it will make my word more credible.

Medium: For my medium, I have decided I want portray my topic in a way that looks like a picture book. People do not like to read pages and pages of an issue and can lose interest fast. If the audience loses interest then there is no point in the presenting information at all; if the audience is bored, then your message is not truly spoken for. I will use large images and will use a good amount of writing to keep my audience with me. I will have my topic projected on a PowerPoint and will make the background a dark color to keep the focus on the topic. Having the dark background creates a feeling of mourning and seriousness. I will make my PowerPoint presentation eight to ten pages to fully explain my topic and get my facts across to the audience. My font that I will use will be proper but also a little more relaxed so the audience does not feel like they are going to an assignment for class. My images will have natural hue and saturation so the audience sees how the images are original and the animals featured are relaxed and happy.

Arrangement: For my arrangement of my topic, I will have my eight to ten slide PowerPoint posted on my blog. I will arrange the slides from least severe treatment to worst to build up the emotion towards the topic. I will mix the normal pictures of the animals with the horrific examples of animal abuse to really work the audience and to draw in as much emotion as possible. The pictures will take up most of the pages and I will have the words placed underneath the picture. Doing this will cause the audience to focus on the picture first and then the writing so that they feel more upset about the abuse. My hope is that if I can work my audience enough, they will agree that farm animal abuse is bad and will feel like they should try and fight against it too.

Testing: To make sure that my hopes can work on the audience and to make sure my communication is effective, I will use students from class to peer review my work. By doing this, I am targeting my preferred audience and testing to see if my topic does what its supposed to do. I will also have my friend from home come with me to take the pictures. I will have her make sure that my argument is clear by the pictures.

Narrative: During some free time, before I went into work, I was on Facebook. As I was scrolling through the many diverse posts, I saw one titled “How Bacon is Made,” and I decided to watch the video. Pigs in the video were kicked and thrown around and piglets were pulled out of the sows and slammed head first onto the cold concrete ground of their pig pens. To slaughter the pigs, they were hung by their feet (alive!) and sliced all the way down their bellies to then die from vascular shock (extreme blood loss). The video was horrific and gruesome; I could not believe how cruel farm workers were to the animals. This sparked my interest in researching foundations that fought against this cruelty. I found a foundation called “Mercy for Animals” which works to get justice for animals that cannot defend themselves. “Mercy for Animals” does hidden investigations to expose these farm factories that practice animals cruelty. On the site, there were many videos and names of well known farms that were caught doing unspeakable things to the poor animals. I decided to use those farms on the site to show the brutality and to state the names of the brands to get the audience thinking. The animals I have decided to picture are from The Center in Palos Heights. These animals are healthy and thriving in a safe and caring environment. I want to present irony in my pictures to the descriptions underneath to show total opposites of care for farm animals. I want my audience to feel compassion for the animals pictured from The Center and then, they will feel more hateful towards the farms that do not care for their animals. My hope is that my photo essay will persuade my audience to help fight against the abuse and become less blind to the horrors that take place every day.


In my design plan, I was hoping to really affect my audience with my message. I made irony with the pictures and descriptions to make the audience really feel bad for the animals that were abused on the animal cruelty farms. After I showed my presentation to a working in the writing center, for my peer review, I was very happy with the results. She said that the PowerPoint was very hard to read because she felt so bad for the animals. She also liked that I added ideas to end the cruelty. Adding the ideas helped give my audience some options of what they could do if they want to fight farm animal abuse.




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