November 18, 2009

Homework #29 Answer

Six months ago, a blight destroyed the cattle population in the town of Cebra, destroying the town's beef supply. Since that time, the only meat available to eat in Cebra has been poultry, fish, lamb and pork.

If the above statements are true, which one of the following must also be true on the basis of those statements?

A. Villagers in the town of Cebra consume only beef raised by Cebra farmers.

(A) is incorrect, even though it could be true. The key is that the argument concerns the availability of beef, not the consumption of beef. Whether Cebra villagers are partial to Cebra beef, i.e., whether they are willing to eat non-Cebra beef, has no bearing on its availability. It still could be available even if they're not willing to eat it. Therefore this does not HAVE to be true.

B. Cebra villagers like lamb and poultry better than beef.

(B) is incorrect because it also does not have to be true (or false) based on the argument presented in the stimulus. As with (A), the villagers' dietary preferences and culinary tastes have no bearing on the availability of any particular food product. Whether they like it or not has no bearing on whether they can or can't get it.

C. The town of Cebra has not imported any beef from other towns in the past six months.

(C) is correct. At issue is the availability of beef in the wake of the blight. The argument claims that no beef has been available in Cebra for six months, but this can only be true if they had no other source of beef besides their own cattle that were destroyed in the blight. If they imported beef from elsewhere, then it WAS available.

D. Most of the residents of Cebra are meat eaters.

(D) is incorrect because it doesn't matter whether it's true or not. In addition, the fact that the condition is attributed to "most" Cebra residents, instead of "all" or "none," indicates that it likely cannot be the correct answer to an assumption question.

E. Before the blight occurred, Cebra villagers ate more beef than any other type of meat.

(E) is incorrect because it doesn't have to be true. Based on the way the facts are presented in the stimulus it seems likely, but what Cebra residents tended to eat before the blight is beyond the scope of the argument. The argument is concerned only with the availability of beef AFTER the blight.