A Vegan lifestyle is better than a meat-eating one
Debate Rounds (5)
BoP is shared
10,000 Character Max
72 Hour argument time
Open to anyone
Pro MUST argue in round 1, and Pro cannot argue in round 5
Pro: Vegan lifestyle is better.
Con: Vegan lifestyle is not better.
I will be taking the Con side of the topic.
Thank you Con for starting this debate. I hope to have an interesting and civil dialogue with you.
At first I was unsure if I wanted to take part in this debate. This is because the word "better" was not clearly defined. By better one could mean that an omnivore diet has tastier food, is more convenient, and for that reason it should be considered "better." However, I'm going to interpret the word better to mean that a vegan lifestyle is superior to an omnivore one for various reasons. With that said, let me begin.
Definition of veganism according to the Vegan Society:
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. 
Veganism is Kinder Towards Animals
This, I think, is pretty obvious. In order for animal products to be produced, animals must be exploited. In modern animal agriculture we confine animals for their entire lives and make them miserable. They are denied proper veterinary care, free space to move around and exercise, appropriate social interaction with members of their species, and anesthesia during the process of castration and other mutilations. Once these animals reach market weight, they are sent to a slaughterhouse where they are hung upside down and have their throat slit. In 2013, a USDA inspector at a chicken slaughterhouse pointed out that:
"[Workers] are literally throwing the birds into the shackles, often breaking their legs as they do it... They are working so fast, they sometimes get just one leg in the shackles. When that happens, the chickens aren't hanging right... They don't get killed, and they go into the scald tank alive." 
In "Modern Meat: A Brutal Harvest," a 2001 article from the Washington Post, a worker at a slaughterhouse for cattle describes the disturbing reality of insufficient stunning:
"It takes 25 minutes to turn a live steer into steak at the modern slaughterhouse where Ramon Moreno works. For 20 years, his post was ‘second-legger,’ a job that entails cutting hocks off carcasses as they whirl past at a rate of 309 an hour.
"The cattle were supposed to be dead before they got to Moreno. But too often they weren’t.
"They blink. They make noises,’ he said softly. ‘The head moves, the eyes are wide and looking around.’
"Still Moreno would cut. On bad days, he says, dozens of animals reached his station clearly alive and conscious. Some would survive as far as the tail cutter, the belly ripper, the hide puller.
"They die,’ said Moreno, ‘piece by piece.’ 
To help put what I have said into perspective, I will link a short documentary by Mercy For Animals that demonstrates some of the things I have been talking about: https://www.youtube.com...
Viewing animals as commodities for us to use for our pleasure and convenience is inhumane and disrespectful. If we think it's morally wrong to ignore the suffering of human beings, then we should also think it's morally wrong to ignore the suffering of nonhuman animals that we use for food.
Veganism is Better For The Environment
Animal production is a major contributor to climate change. In November of 2006 the United Nations came out with a report called " Livestock's Long Shadow" where they explained that animal production was a bigger contributor to climate change than all of the Earth's cars, trucks, buses, airplanes, and trains combined. The ICPP, which is an intergovernmental panel on climate change, has also said:
"Please eat less meat -- meat is a very carbon intensive commodity... this is something that the IPCC was afraid to say earlier, but now we have said it." 
According to a study in the UK, dropping meat, dairy and eggs from your diet saves 50% more carbon emissions than driving a Prius. This study showed that an average 2,000 kcal high-meat diet has 2.5 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as an average vegan diet.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has also said that raising animals for food--including land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops for farmed animals--now uses a staggering 30% of the Earth's land mass. According to Greenpeace, nearly 80% of land deforested in the Amazon is now used as cattle pasture. 
Veganism is A Superior Alternative To Fighting World Hunger
In the U.S. we feed more than 70% of grain and soybeans to animals,  and in doing so we waste most of the food value of the grains that we're feeding them. If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million.  Depending on the species, the animals may return to us somewhere between 1/10th and 1/3rd of the food value of the grains and soybeans that we put into them. So we are just wasting huge amounts of food in order to produce the large amount of animal products. It would be better and more practical if we fed our grains and soybeans to people, instead of feeding them to billions of land animals. One acre of land can yield 30,000 pounds of carrots, 40,000 pounds of potatoes or 50,000 pounds of tomatoes. However, one acre of land can yield only 250 pounds of meat, which means that a meat, dairy and egg diet is an unsuccessful way to combat world hunger, and that a vegan diet is a superior alternative. This is why Food For Life Global, the world's largest feed the hungry organization, only serves plant based food. As well as Everybody Gets Fed, Earth Save and Plenty.
A Well Planned Vegan Diet is Healthy
According to the American Dietetic Association, America's largest organization of health care professions:
"appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes." 
If we take animal welfare, the environment and world hunger into account, and ask ourselves which lifestyle is most beneficial, it seems like a vegan lifestyle is the better choice. In this paper I have provided various reasons for thinking that, and so I believe we are committed to the idea that veganism is superior. The resolution is upheld.
Sources in comments
I believe that an omnivore life-style is more beneficial than a vegan life-style. I hear many people say this, and I have a very strong belief on the Con side. I will provide arguments and rebut my opponent's to further support my point.
A lot of people say that eating animals is wrong and immoral, this is incorrect. Herbivores have molars to easily chew vegetables, and carnivores have K-9 teeth (the pointy teeth, for those of you who don't know what that means) to help tear meat. Us humans, have them both. Why? Because we were meant to eat meat AND vegetables, not one or the other. This is nothing new to Earth and other animals share this trait, which leads me to my next argument.
2. Food Chain
Again, people say that eating animals is immoral and wrong. I have an example of where it's perfectly ok; the wilderness. Animals eat other animals all the time. In fact, some animals only eat OTHER animals (carnivores). So humans eating meat is nothing new to nature.
While a vegan diet has a slightly better nutritional value, a meat eating easily gives you protein. Yes, there are ways to get protein in vegan diets, but meat is superior when it comes to protein. If you have any desire to exercise and work out, you know that you can recover faster if you consume protein afterwards. Protein builds muscle. Athletes also eat meat, sure, it's controlled, but they still eat it. According to source  "A 100 gram portion (3.5 ounces) of raw ground beef contains large amounts of Vitamin B12, B3 (Niacin), B6, Iron, Zinc, Selenium and plenty of other vitamins and minerals," obviously meat has a lot of nutritional value
Let's face it, meat is one of the tastiest part of the meal. Vegetables and fruits can't really live up to meat's taste. Wouldn't people like to eat something that taste good? If you had to only eat vegetables, meal time wouldn't be so good. Yes, there are some tricks to make vegetables taste better, but meat tops it all.
Oh geez, I'm going to sound so mean.
First of all, I would like to say one argument here. Most of Pro's arguments are arguing that a vegan SOCIETY is better. We are talking about the individual here. If one were to switch to a vegan diet it wouldn't stop the meat industry. All the arguments about "Veganism is better for the environment" or "Veganism is a Superior Alternative To Fighting World Hunger" are not relevant to this debate. One person isn't going to stop the meat industry, so most of Pro's arguments are useless.
1. Veganism is kinder toward animals
Okay, here we go.
This sounds a bit mean, but it's true. The animals we raise in farms or in plantations are meant to be food, would you all rather of back to hunting for food? We may not have a successful hunt and we may starve. Sure, if you eat vegan you aren't eating the animals, but the animals is still on the shelf, useless. Isn't it meaner if you just leave the sacrifice of an animal un-used? That means that the animal died for nothing, and the meat will just rot and become useless. Sounds mean.
2. Veganism is better for the environment
Again, one person isn't going to miraculously stop the meat industry. There will still be animals production. This argument doesn't explains why it's better for the individual to switch to a vegan diet.
3. Veganism is a superior alternative to fight world hunger
There will still be livestock... One person isn't going to change it.
4. A well planned vegan diet is healthy
While yes, vegetables are healthy for you. However, if you aren't a vegan you still eat vegetables and fruits, so you will get the nutrients you need from those foods. The only difference is that you have good tasting food and a great source of protein with an omnivore diet.
Thank you Con for your opening statements.
Firstly, I will begin by responding to my opponent's arguments for why a meat diet is better. Secondly, I will defend my original arguments for why veganism is better than a meat eating lifestyle.
Here Con argues that humans are meant to eat meat because we have molars and K-9 teeth. This is more of a statement of fact rather than an argument for why a meat lifestyle is better than a vegan one. I really don't even have to respond to it for that reason. However, I will do so anyways. Yes, humans can eat meat but that doesn't mean that we ought to. I could go next door and eat my neighbor's newborn. His baby is, after all, made of meat like animals. However, I think we would all agree that just because I CAN do that doesn't mean that I should.
Here Con argues that eating animals is morally permissible because animals in the wilderness eat other animals. This too, is not an argument for why a meat diet is better than a vegan one. However, I will respond to it anyway. Yes, animals in the wild eat other animals, but this is more of a statement of fact rather than an argument. It seems like you're saying that because animals do that, it must be morally permissible for humans to do so as well. This is seriously problematic, because if we start to derive our moral values from what other animals do, then many things can no longer be consider immoral. Rape, infanticide, aggressive fights, ect. are all things that occur in the animal kingdom. Do we really want to say that because other animals do these things that we ourselves should be allowed to do them as well? I think not.
Here Con argues that meat is superior to plants when it comes to getting protein. He didn't exactly explain how it's superior. So for now, I will dismiss his claim.
Here Con argues that meat is one of the tastiest parts of the meal. This, I think, is kind of subjective. There are many people who do not like the taste of meat, and who prefer other foods. Con mistakenly thinks that all vegans eat is vegetables. This is untrue, because pretty much every food can be made vegan. Even things like meat. Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, pasta, pizza, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, ect. are just a few of the many foods out there for people abstaining from animal products.
The Individual or Society?
Con says that my arguments are simply stating that a vegan society is better, and that it is not addressing the individual person. And therefore my arguments are not even relevant to the debate. The individual and society distinction was not made clear in the rules of the debate. It was NOT, "A Vegan lifestyle is better than a meat-eating one for the individual," or "A Vegan lifestyle is better than a meat-eating one for society." The debate topic was simply, "A Vegan lifestyle is better than a meat-eating one." I think Con is trying to conveniently make this distinction in the middle of the debate to make it easier for himself. However, even if I were to grant this distinction, veganism can still be shown to be better. While it's true that one person switching to a vegan diet isn't going to stop the meat industry, it does save nearly 200 animals per year  from the miserable existence on a modern farm. As I pointed out earlier, according to a study in the UK, dropping animal products from your diet saves 50% more carbon emissions than driving a Prius. So even if we ignore the society part of it, and instead look at it from the individual's perspective, veganism is still better.
Veganism is Kinder Towards Animals
Here Con argues that the animals we raise on farms are meant to be food. This is again, more of a statement of fact rather than an argument. Of course those animals are there to be killed for our food. That's why we continue to breed them on a massive scale. However, what's the moral justification for us doing this to animals? I don't see it. This statement made by Con could have also been used by a white slave owner in the 18th century. To demonstrate this, let change the word animals with Africans, and the phrase "to be food" with "to pick cotton." Observe:
"The Africans we have on plantations are meant to pick cotton, would you all rather go back to picking your own cotton?"
I believe Alice Walker said it best with her quote:
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." 
Con says that it's more mean to not buy animal flesh at the store, because by doing that the animal has died for nothing. This line of reasoning is baffling. The animal whose flesh is being sold has already died for nothing, given that we don't even need to eat meat. By purchasing that flesh you are not doing the animals a favor. All you're doing is contributing to the continued existence, prosperity, and slaughter of more animals.
Veganism is Better For The Environment
I already explained how vegans individually do help the environment by saving more carbon emissions, and not producing huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions like meat eaters.
Con has literally given no reasons to believe that an omnivore lifestyle is better than a vegan one. I, on the other hand, have given various reasons for thinking that a vegan lifestyle is best.
1. Defending my clarification
When I created this debate, I intended for the debate to focus on the individual. I thought the topic title would speak for itself. Lifestyle relates to an individual's choices in life, or how the state of their life is. What I believe Pro is trying to say is that a vegan community is better than a meat-eating one, which is not what the title is. Therefore, I still stand by my clarification, as it was originally intended for this debate.
This was originally intended to be a rebuttal. If it is truly morally wrong to eat animals, give me a reason why it is. I strongly believe that it is NOT morally wrong to eat animals. Our ancestors have been doing it for a long time, and it was necessary for human SURVIVAL back then, and it still is. Pro has not given a reason WHY it's morally wrong to eat animals.
3. Food Chain
This was originally intended to be a rebuttal. Have we had any problems eating animals? Any health problems? We have been eating meat for a long time. Tell me Pro, why is it wrong to eat animals? After all, we have been doing it for a long time.
I will give some reasons why an omnivore diet is nutritional. First, we need to see that an omnivore diet STILL INCLUDES VEGETABLES AND FRUITS. We aren't totally dismissing vegetables and fruits in an omnivore diet, that would be a carnivore. So omnivores will get the nutrition from vegetables and fruits, along with the nutrition of meat. Here are some reasons why meat provides nutritional value.  Meat provides vitamin B12, which is a vital vitamin. Studies show that 92% of vegans are severely lacking in this vital nutrients.
Pro asks how meat is superior in protein. Meat contains a lot of amino acids, which builds muscle. Studies show that people with omnivore diets have more muscle then vegans. It also increases your bone density at an old age and reduces risk of fractures. WITH the added value form vegetables and fruit, we can see that the omnivore diet is better.
5. Veganisim is kinder toward animals
Unlike humans, those are animals. We didn't eat the slaves, we didn't even need them for survival. Our ancestors didn't used slaves, it's something government gave birth to. All of the animals (including us) have basically a couple basic needs. Find FOOD and drink, Sleep, Reproduce. It's just that us humans are a lot more advanced than animals, but we all still share the same basic needs. All animals need to find food, meat or not, and we were designed to be omnivores since the beginning.
6. Veganisim is Better For The Environment.
How does it produce more greenhouse gases than airplanes, automobiles, and trains combined? Pro claims that it produces more greenhouse gases, but how? How does it? Pro does not explain this argument well.
All that pasture land would probably be used as farms, which as we know, without proper farming techniques, the land will be derived from it's nutrients and it will unable to yield crop, which results in more forest land being cut down for farms.
Thank you Con for presenting your arguments.
Con stated in the rules at the beginning of the debate that I will not be allowed to argue in round 5. For that reason, this will be my last round to post arguments for this debate.
Con says that if I'm going to claim that eating animals is morally wrong, I need to provide a reason for why that is the case. In my first round of arguments of this debate, I said that it's morally wrong because it involves animal exploitation. These animals are forced to live a life full of pain and suffering. Not only that, but they are also killed prematurely at the slaughterhouse. Now, one may ask, why is it wrong to inflict pain on sentient animals? I would say it's wrong because pain is a sensation whose absence is intrinsically desired. Why is it wrong to kill sentient animals prematurely? It's wrong because it deprives them of a valuable future it could have, and thwarts the current desires they have like desires for food, sex, and being outside on a warm day. Con says that our ancestors ate meat for a long time, and that they needed to do so for survival. This is more of a statement of fact rather than an argument. However, it seems like Con is saying that because our ancestors ate meat for a long time, it is therefore morally justified. This line of argument is a fallacy, because it's an appeal to tradition. In the U.S., owning African Americans as slaves used to be a tradition. But does that mean owning other human beings was justified? No, clearly not. In the same way, just because we have been eating animals for a long time does not mean that we should continue to do so.
It's true that meat provides vitamin B12, and that this nutrient is of extreme importance. However, vegans can obtain vitamin B12 from taking a supplement or eating foods fortified with it. So meat eaters don't actually have an advantage here when it comes to B12. Con may object that if vegans have to supplement or eat foods fortified with this nutrient, this means that a vegan diet is unnatural. However, this argument would be an appeal to nature fallacy. Just because something is natural or unnatural does not mean it's good or bad. Many of the things we do nowadays could be considered unnatural. Driving a car, flying in an airplane, using a cell phone, debating others online, ect. could all be considered unnatural.
As registered dietitians Jack Norris and Virginia Messina point out in their book "Vegan for Life."
"Today's commercial plant foods and meat are different from the foods available in prehistoric times. We eat hybrids of plants and we feed foods to animals that they would not normally eat. Additionally, the U.S. food supply is routinely fortified with a host of vitamins and minerals. Even those people who strive to eat a more "natural" diet as adults have normally benefited from fortified foods as children. It is quite unlikely that anyone is eating a natural diet in today's world." 
I'm still not convinced that meat is a superior source of protein. Meat has cholesterol, saturated fat, and no fiber in it. However, a cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, fiber, no cholesterol, and is under 1 gram of fat. 
Veganism is Kinder Towards Animals
Con says we were designed to be omnivores since the beginning. It's true that human beings are omnivores, however, we are not obligate omnivores. We can be healthy without eating animal products. They are not necessary for good nutrition.
Veganism is Better For The Environment
Con asked me how animals produce more greenhouse gases than all of transport. To put it simply, the world's 1.5 billion cows and billions of other grazing animals emit dozens of polluting gases, including lots of methane.  Methane is produced by farting and belching cows. So, since we raise huge amounts of animals for food each year, and each of them produces polluting gases, it's not hard to see how they would produce more than transport. In sum, a lot of animals, a lot of polluting gases, equals serious problems for the environment.
Overall, I think I have shown how a vegan lifestyle is better than a meat eating one. It's better for the animals, will provide more food for hungry people, and is better for the environment. This would all be true even from the perspective of the individual instead of society. Finally, thank you Con for a enjoyable debate.
Vegan for Life
It seems that Pro is linking animals to slaves. This is not a good comparison, and this is why. Animals are treated with RESPECT. Crazy, right? After all, the big manufacturers treat the animals poorly. Ask any farmer who is not part of a big manufacturer and they would say they care for their animals, even though they are to be killed anyway. Even some farmers who are part of large manufacturers love their animals, and they think they shouldn't be treated like so, some even quit because of this. Animals are still LOVED, they are not viewed as "mere commodities". Second, food. Did we need slaves to survive? No, it was just a way to be lazy. Animals can be FOOD, it isn't bad for you and it certainly has nutritional value. We ate it for SURVIVAL, slaves were used just for making things easier, and they weren't treated with respect. Yes, there could be improvements to the current system, but how does this benefit the individual? It doesn't, it doesn't.
Pro forgets one key aspect. Pro keeps arguing how eating vegetables and fruits is healthy, we need to remember that having a omnivore diet means eating vegetables and fruits too. As I explained in round 4, you get all the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, and get all the benefits from eating meat as well. Why trouble yourself into trying to find a source of protein and all the nutritional things in meat in a vegan diet, if you could just change to a healthier omnivore diet( (eating more fruits and vegetables)?
3. Veganisim is Better for the environment
Do we need electronics to survive? Do we really need online debate sites? Do we need big cities or schools to survive? No, they aren't necessary, but they are EXTREMELY beneficial. We could live without all these things, it's possible, but it's better if we do have them. Same thing goes with meat, we don't need meat, but it is extremely beneficial. Remember, you will still be eating vegetables and fruits, and you will benefit from meat too.
4. Veganisim is better for the environment
So, if we let ALL of them free, will that help? At least in farms they get food, and their waste gets cleaned up. Imagine how bad it would be if we let them free. A lot of natural resources would be depleted, there would be overcrowding due to the mass amount of animals., and there will be a lot of gases being thrown into the atmosphere. In fact, there might be even MORE, because there's no one to clean it up. All in all, it would be more disastrous for everyone if we just let all of them free.
I stand firmly on the position that an omnivore diet is better than a vegan one for the individual. You get all the nutrition from fruits and vegetables, AND you get the added bonus from the meat (Not to mention having one of the tastiest parts of the meal). It is just better and more nutritious (that's vague, but that's all I can think of). I believe I have successfully countered my opponents arguments, and that my arguments stay standing.
Thank you for the amazing debate Pro.
Thanks to all the voters who vote, and I hope you vote Con.
Since the rules state I'm not allowed to post arguments this round, I will not do so. Thank you Con for this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Philocat 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a very interesting debate to read, although I believe that Pro's arguments were stronger, especially his initial argument that eating meat entails the suffering of animals, hence it is immoral to eat meat. In response, Con commits the naturalistic fallacy multiple times, appeals to subjective notions (taste) and asserts the nutritional value of meat despite the fact that the nutritional value of meat can be easily replicated without consuming animal products.
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