Questionable Premise


On 21 December of the year 2009 in the New York Times, there was an article by Natalie Angier titled, “Sorry, Vegans: Brussels sprouts like to live, too”. The views presented by Natalie here suggest that animals do endure being eaten by man in order to serve the exchange of the damage to plants from which there comes man’s plant diet.

The view by the author here is that it is scientifically correct to say that animals are ready to suffer the atrocities of being eaten by man because they consider this the only way to help ease the suffering of plants, which form the greatest portion of man’s meals. To the author, this position is scientific. This is indeed portrayed in the point that her article appears under the section of the paper that is titled “science”.

This line of thinking is basically untrue and thus a fallacy. It is a thinking that is not supported by either logic or science. In logic, if the assertion were true, then the occurrence would be that when animals are being slaughtered, they would not resist because they would be ‘aware’ that they are ‘helping’ the plants. However, the truth is that animals do not ‘agree’ to be killed. Sensing death, they kick and try to run away.

This shows that they are not ready to die because they do not have a ‘reason’ for this. The author would have had a chance if her premise was clear. Nevertheless, she greatly fails to satisfy scientific logic. In science, truth is that animals have the capacity to think. Their thinking is however at the rudimentary stage. No science has proved that animal have the capacity to think to this level that the author assigns them.

The author is thus wrong to think that her assertion is scientific. Scientific facts generally have some elements that have to be fulfilled. Besides being supported by evidence from other researches, any assertion made in science has to have the capability to be proved when another research is done using the tools set out. In the case of this article’s assertion, there is no way of proving what she says to be true. This is because she does not even present a way in which she arrived at her conclusion.


Basing on all these, it is true to conclude that her article and the assertion she makes relating to eating behaviors and the place of animals and plants in this, is indeed a wrong thinking. Taking note of all the inadequacies by the author in presenting evidence on a premise she builds on her argument, it is correct to conclude that she falls prey to the fallacy of presenting information on a false premise, thus the fallacy of questionable premise.

Works Cited

Angier, Natalie. Sorry, Vegans: Brussels sprouts like to live, too. New York Times, 21 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 July 2011. <>.