The Instigator
KevinL75
Pro (for)
Tied
13 Points
The Contender
albachteng
Con (against)
Tied
13 Points

Advocating Vegetarianism Is Not A Solution To Animal Cruelty in Slaughter Houses

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,901 times Debate No: 465
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

KevinL75

Pro

I have several friends who are adamant vegetarians, and every once in a while they convince me to watch a video on the inhumane practices adopted by many companies that produce food in the U.S. and around the world. I don't think there is any doubt that there is rampant animal cruelty and abuse in the food processing industry, but I do think that the conclusion that my friends, and these videos, come to is illogical.

These videos usually end with "don't eat meat." I think we can accept that no matter how hard vegetarians try, there will still be meat-eaters in the world, and a lot of them. Spending time and resources trying to convince people one by one to stop eating meat is going to have very little impact on the animals being abused and mistreated in these videos.

Instead of vege-vengalism, groups who advocate against cruelty to animals should be lobbying the U.S. Congress to adopt tougher standards on industry, and scrutinize the USDA a lot more heavily. This is how change will be effected - not by trying to convince others to stop eating meat.
albachteng

Con

hello Kevin. as a vegetarian, i will happily take up the arguments of my own cause.

I understand your confusion. I agree that tougher standards need to be pushed for in animal slaughtering - that would be a good first step. But first, I want to establish why someone ought to be a vegetarian. it may seem a little off-topic at first, but as i make my point, i think you'll understand why/how it works.

To be brief, there are three main reasons to advocate vegetarianism.

1. killing animals is morally wrong. if we can help it, we should not end life. pretty basic.

2. the way in which animals are killed (varying of course by country) is morally repugnant and cruel. Animals ought to be treated better because they have nervous systems and are capable of suffering.

3. raising animals take up a huge amount of resources - food, energy, water. raising animals producing huge environmental waste products - feces, remains from processing, (sometimes dirtying water, etc. as a side note, which creates tons of environmental problems) and also (don't laugh just yet) animal farts and burps. believe it or not, animal farts and burps are the number one cause of global warming gases - more environmentally damaging than cars or buildings.

4. vegetarianism is healthier because animals are the primary source of saturated fats, which most doctors agree is bad for you.

Ignore reason four, it doesn't really pertain to this debate, (I encourage you, of course, to pick up a copy of the book "The Way We Eat, why our food choices matter" and learn more about all these problems).

How would one subjectively respond to reasons 1-3? Not eating meat is not necessarily the answer, with that I am with you, but not *purchasig* meat is essential. By not purchasing meat, we do not contribute to the problem - by buying meat, one is literally putting money into the hands of those that encourage the problems i offer in 1-3 and telling them "take this money, and keep doing what you are doing. then I'll buy more from you, etc." Thus, vegetarianism is not necessarily about not eating meat, but rather it concerns boycotting an industry that is corrupt, cruel, and harmful to society. In this way, vegetarianism is in fact an effective method of pushing for higher standards and discouraging the industry.

For example: If many people suddenly stopped buying pork because they thought the way in which pigs are castrated before being slaughtered (without sedative, etc) the industry would take notice because "wtf? where'd the money go?" they would listen to the activists, and the objections, and they would seriously need to consider giving a little so that they could continue to sell meat. In this way, the vegetarians (those boycotting pork) have stopped the inhumane treatment at least a little bit, despite the fact that many other people ate meat anyway.

To respond to your case more directly - you're right of course there will always be meat eaters. but the question is, can we educate enough of them that their human reason shines through and make progressively more and more of them realize that by eating meat they are promoting an industry which is unjust. You really need to warrant this argument more - it is your case's greatest weakness. without showing how vegetarians will never get enough recruits to make an impact, your argument doesn't support itself.

good question though!
Debate Round No. 1
KevinL75

Pro

I'll start with the most direct counter that you had to my argument. Theoretically, if enough people stopped eating pork, corporate pork producers would feel the financial effects, and perhaps alter their practices to try to win back the customers who decided to boycott because of inhumane practices.

What I'm trying to argue is that the likelihood of that happening is far less than the likelihood of successfully rallying supporters to pressure Congress into implementing stricter industry standards. You mentioned that this is a moral issue, and I would agree (although I don't think killing animals is morally wrong, which I'll adress in a bit.)

I think that this IS a moral issue, and that's precisely why pressure must be applied directly to industry. Convincing individuals to become vegetarians is a long and arduous process, and it would take a long time to actually impact the profits of industry, and an even longer time for industry to respond to the demands of those consumers.

I think that it is a much more effective use of resources to, instead of advocating for vegetarianism, advocate for much tighter control over the meat industry, and much greater oversight of the USDA. If it's really a moral imperative, shouldn't we be making that clear and trying to stop it as quickly and directly as we can?

Now to the fun part - addressing whether killing animals is morally wrong. I do not think killing animals is morally wrong - if I did, I would have to be a vegetarian. I think killing animals inhumanely is certainly wrong, because you are correct that they are capable of feeling pain, and have nervous systems similar to those of humans. However, I do think that a human life is intrinsically much much MUCH more valuable than the life of an animal - at least the life of an animal like a pig, cow, turkey, etc.

Thosee animals are not capable of living purposefully the way humans are, because they are still mostly instinctual and habitual. A pig does not roll in the mud because the pig enjoys mud - it's a way to cool the pig's body.

I'm sure this will open up a whole new dimension of the debate, so I'm curious to see how you respond to this!
albachteng

Con

albachteng forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
KevinL75

Pro

I'll give you another few days to respond to my previous comments, and it'll be like a 2-round debate!
albachteng

Con

albachteng forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by fpaulgreen 9 years ago
fpaulgreen
Although Con didn't even finish, what arguments he had were superior.
Pro, likeliness is not reason enough to not try. Needs more development.
Con, reason #3 didn't really make sense, but you effectively argued that it is to uphold morals.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
of course, that's what the corporastions want...

Ignore the notorious, and dark methods of obtaining youre beloved prodict, just give up youre money with no questions asked, and you get a sort of instant grattification.
Posted by Boulder_Boy101 9 years ago
Boulder_Boy101
I just want animals on my plate and I don't care how they get there
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
PROBLEM: Animals live in cramped, crowded quarters, which is very unethical

ANSWER: You eat off as many as you can, and thus making it less crowded. You know the cows are like: "fatso hear is really croding me...if only some human would eat him."

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Posted by SolaGratia 9 years ago
SolaGratia
Well, that sucks. You both had interesting points. Pity Albachteng didn't want to continue to debate. Kevin, I voted for you. No hard feelings about the Creationism debate. I did not argue as well as I could have. Good luck! Merry Christmas!
Posted by ruth421963 9 years ago
ruth421963
All animals be it pigs,turkey,duck..
We are aware of the pain we induce to kill
these innocent animals. People must lobby the
U.S.Congress to adopt strict laws. Yet posting
here & talking it out is a waste of another innocent
pig{gas and all}. Stop reading now and do something
about it{not pick up a sign..really make it happen}.
I'd love to know what happens with human gases, I
heard this very debate last Tuesday on Boston Legal.
Does anybody know or care?
I'd like to know.
Peace ,
RAM
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by pcmbrown 8 years ago
pcmbrown
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Vote Placed by KevinL75 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by fpaulgreen 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by SolaGratia 9 years ago
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