*This debate is closed. Please leave a message in the comments to apply.*
This debate is about the ethical requirement of animal rights in society. Members of any Elo can apply to accept via. the comments. While I have closed this debate, there may be some way for members to accept it; hence, I request members not to accept it directly and instead post their application in the comments section. Else, it will result in complete debate forfeiture by my opponent.
Justice Requires the Recognition of Animal Rights
Justice - fair behavior or treatment; giving each their due
Require - to demand as essential or fundamental
Animal - a non-human sentient species of the kingdom Animalia that is able to feel pain
Right - a moral entitlement that acts as one's due
1. No forfeiture.
2. Burden of Proof is shared.
3. No critiques of the topic [eg. moral skepticism, moral nihilism, ethical non-existent arguments, et cetera].
4. Con accepts all definitions and waives their right to provide any definitions whatsoever.
5. Appropriate conduct must be maintained: no trolling, insulting, profanity, or any inappropriate behavior.
24h, 4 rounds, max. 10,000 characters/round
Pro - rules, definitions
Con - opening arguments
Pro - opening arguments
Con - rebuttals
Pro - defense, rebuttals
Con - defense, rebuttals, conclusion
Pro - defense, rebuttals, conclusion
Con - waives this round
1. It is not Pro's burden to show animals are due equal rights to humans, nor even most rights accorded to humans. Pro must show that animal rights, i.e. those rights applicable to animals [wherein one animal's rights are accorded to equal consideration as one human's rights], are required by justice.
2. As stated above, animal rights are different from human rights; this debate is regarding those rights applicable to animals.
3. Any objection to the rules, definitions, format, or notes must be mentioned in the comments section and *not* in the debate itself.
4. In the context of this debate, all humans have rights unless forfeited through immoral actions such as murder.
The basic idea for this debate was inspired by http://www.debate.org...;
Thanks to bsh1 and 16kadams for the idea that inspired the topic.
Historically and today, animal testing has allowed humans to advance medicine for both humans and animals.
There have been many diseases that humans suffered from, that were cured due to animal testing. Among many of the contributions animal testing has brought to the world are vaccines for diphtheria, typhus, whooping cough, smallpox, tetanu, and polio; as well as bringing antibiotics, modern anaesthetics, and treatment of childhood leukaemia. (1 & 2) Even recently, animal testing has found a new treatment for diabetes and progeria. (1) Animal testing has also brought up closer to a cure or allowed better treatment for multiple forms of cancer, HIV & AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease among many other diseases. (3)
The reasons animals have and are used in medical research is because before a treatment can be used by humans, it needs to be found to be safe and effective. (4) Although animals are different from humans, many have very similar DNAs. (5) Also, many animals have relatively short lifespans and are easy to run controlled experiments upon in laboratories, which can lead to very effective testing. (5) Although there are many alternatives to animal testing, there are too many tests that simply require the use of animals. Living organisms are too complex to be able to effectively test the results of certain medicines without animals. (5)
Therefore, if animals are not tested upon medical breakthroughs will not be able to occur as fast as they could otherwise. This would lead to longer periods of people suffering from some diseases. The right to life is often seen as the most important human right and without animal testing, more humans (who already have rights) will lose their lives. If justice requires that each are given their due, then animal testing should be used so diseases are able to be researched in the most efficient and effective way possible, because those suffering from these diseases are due a chance at a longer and/or healthier life.
However, animal testing doesn't only benefit humans, but also animals. Many of the cures that were used to cure humans of diseases were then modified to cure certain animals. (6) In fact, some medicine was developed specifically for animals such as vaccines for rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper, and feline leukemia virus. (6) Due to this, animals in pets and homes are living longer lives. (6) Animal testing has also allowed many endangered species to be saved. (6) Without animal testing, many animals will die of diseases they wouldn't otherwise die from.
In order for animals to have rights a full vegan diet is required. However, a vegan diet can potentially be dangerous and unrealistic.
Although dangerous in high amounts, saturated fats are needed for a healthy diet. (7) The primary way vegan's can get saturated fat are from coconut oil and palm oil. However, the palm oil industry harms animal rights. Current levels of demand for palm oil has led to mass deforestation in certain areas. (8) Deforestation leads to animals being injured, killed, or otherwise displaced. For example, in the past two decades over 50,000 orangutans have died due to deforestation for palm oil. (8) That leaves coconut oil, but it is unrealistic to expect the world to get its saturated fat from only coconut oil. Many times it isn't convenient to purchase in one's area. (9)
There are also many other nutrients which a natural vegan diet lacks such as n-3 polyunsaturated fat, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B-12, and zinc. (10) One way some vegans get these is through fortified food, but that is not available in all areas. (10) I'll focus on vitamin D, which can be gained from sunlight, animal products, supplements, or fortified food. As already discussed fortified food isn't available in all areas. The benefits on receives from vitamin D supplements is still debated though. (11) That leaves sunlight, but some people do not get many opportunities to go outside due to their job or other reasons. In fact, many areas of the world don't get a lot of sunlight. (12):
For these reasons, many people are vitamin D efficient already, specifically in Northern latitudes, with most people consuming animal products. (13) It could only get worse if everyone had to adapt a vegan diet. It also gets worse in the Fall and Winter when the amount of sunlight in areas is at its lowest. (13)
Another problem with a vegan diet's idea of not killing animals would be that soil requires nutrients. The most efficient, natural, and realistic way for these to be attained is from bone meal, blood, and ash. (14) Although synthetic fertizliers are made by fossil fuels, fossil fuels are unrenewable and therefore will eventually run out. (14) Not to mention, the environmental dangers of burning fossil fuels, which can harm all life in general. Organic fertilizer also violates animal rights, as they often include products made from slaughtering animals. (15) If demand for plant produced foods increased, then arable land would need to be farmed more so, which would lead to more fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and other threats to biodiversity and environmental health being used. (16) Also, the use of grazing in Australia. is the only way humans can get substantial nutrients from 70% of the continent. (16)
C3-Animals are immoral
Pro says in the first round that humans have rights, but lose them if they commit an immoral act such as murder. For this reason, animals cannot receive rights. Omnivorous and carnivorous animals kill other animals (and humans) for food. For example, there is absolutely no way a lion can survive without eating meat, which requires an animal or human to be killed. Animals cannot help themselves from murdering since they are unable to have morals to say that it is wrong to kill. Many animals such as deer which don't even eat meat, still kill animals and humans. (17) For this reason, animals cannot be given rights because they follow instinct, and their instinct requires them to commit immoral acts. Thefore, animals are not due rights as they fail to understand them and will never abide to the rules required to keep them.
I shall not rebut anything in this round, and shall leave refutation and defense for the next round, instead presenting my arguments now.
C1) Needless Suffering
All sentient beings must have a right against needless suffering by the basic essence of morality itself. Needless suffering is considered a fundamental due that must be given to all sentient creatures. Any being that is denied that fundamental due is being treated unjustly, as fairness requires certain fundamental moral dues. As justice is defined as “giving each their due”, this fundamental due must be ascribed to all beings, including animals.
The general goal of most fundamental dues is to prevent needless suffering, e.g. life, liberty, food, bodily integrity, et cetera. Morality itself is a set of ideals structured to prevent needless suffering. The concept of morality is to uphold a generic right against needless suffering.
Most animals can feel pain. This is in accordance with the definition. The pain can be processed not only by nociceptors but also other sensory neurons that allow the nerves to process discomfort as “pain”. This pain needs to be further “strengthened” by sentient emotions, allowing for extreme discomfort. 
P1. There is a generic right against needless suffering.
P2. Animals can needlessly suffer.
C. Animals have a right against needless suffering.
Based on the basic aspects of ethics, all beings have a right against unnecessary suffering and pain. Exploitation of animals for human purposes viz. by hunting, ritual slaughter, slaughter for meat, etc. causes animals unnecessary suffering. Why should animals be denied this basic moral right? Morality and ethics were created for the survival of the moral community. The Golden Rule of ethics states this: “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” 
Now, the obvious question here is paraphrased: how is the suffering suffered by animals in the hands of humans “needless”? Hunting can be discounted directly as it serves the sole purpose of sadistic human entertainment, as can ritual slaughter as it is illogical. [Here I refer to animal sacrifice which serves no purpose of consumption, etc.] The usage of animals for fur, silk, leather, down, et cetera are also illogical and not necessary. There are faux furs to help keep warm; silk, leather, and down serve no purpose except comfort.
The only rebuttal of Pro’s I shall address here is animal testing, as it comes directly under my “Needless Suffering” argument.
Animal testing is not reliable. “A 2004 study from the [FDA] found that 92 percent of drugs entering clinical trials following animal testing fail to be approved. Of those approved, half are withdrawn or relabeled due to severe or lethal adverse effects not detected during animal tests...A 2008 study in the journal Alternatives to Laboratory Animals showed that more than 80 HIV/AIDS vaccines successful in nonhuman primates failed in human trials. According to a 2004 study... more than 4,000 studies report efficacy of more than 700 treatments of stroke in animal models. Yet none of the approximately 150 of these treatments tested in humans showed clinical benefit... Drugs intended to reduce inflammation in critically ill patients, previously tested in mice, failed in nearly 150 human critical trials according to a 2013 study.”  For an unreliable means of testing, we cannot subject animals to suffering and death.
In the case of animal testing being the sole option, we can use humane means of testing rather than not testing at all. “Under the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA issues and enforces regulations regarding humane care, handling, treatment and transportation ... in addition to general husbandry standards related to housing, separation of species, cleanliness, feeding, quarantine procedures, and veterinary care. The law also contains provisions for the use of anesthesia or pain-killing drugs for potentially painful procedures and for the post-operative care of laboratory animals.” 
There are more effective means of pre-clinical trials than animal testing. In-vitro test models and similar cell culture techniques are very effective. An example is: “EpiDerm, derived from cultured human skin cells, is more accurate than animal tests in identifying skin irritants. In a study...it correctly detected chemicals that irritate human skin, while tests on rabbits were wrong 40 percent of the time.” 
Ultimately, even when animal testing is required, there are humane ways to do it without violating the just recognition of animal rights. Therefore, this fundamental right against needless suffering is a due in justice.
C2) Symbiosis vs. Exploitation
Humans rely on animals for many things. As humans take from animals, they do not “give back” anything, thus allowing for this relationship to be reliant on unfair exploitation. Animals are sentient beings with the ability to think and process emotions, via. the very definition of sentience. Therefore, this exploitation can be equated to the exploitation of a slave, which is considered unjust.
A relationship of returning what you take is necessary for justice. If one uses a sentient being x as a “tool” (i.e. asks x to perform actions), then one must pay x with their due. As give and take is a relationship required by justice, the right for a symbiotic relationship is a fundamental due for animals.
Else, this one-sided relationship can be considered strictly unjust and unfair, and a tool for discriminative exploitation.
C3) Animals and humans have no differences (based on rights)
Animals and humans can process emotions and feel pain, physically and psychologically. Ethical human rights apply equally to mature, rational thinking adults, infants, adolescents, and the profoundly mentally handicapped. The mentally disabled and infants have equal capability to think rationally as animals, perhaps even less. As they beget moral and ethical rights, animals also deserve to be treated with compassion and to remain free of cruel and unfair exploitation. The argument is as follows:
P1. Moral rights should be ascribed to all sentient beings equally, viz. infants and the mentally handicapped have equal moral and ethical rights as able-thinking adults.
P2. Animals are sentient beings.
C. Therefore, moral rights should be ascribed to animals.
Pro may address these arguments in the next round; I shall address Pro’s initial arguments and prepare my defense in the round following that, in accordance with the debate structure.
Pro asserts that there is a generic right against pain and suffering. However, there are certain responsibilities that come with having rights. Most notable is not harming others' rights (as it was agreed that humans lose their rights when committing an immoral, such as murder). Animals fail to meet these responsibilities. This was addressed in my third contention, but I'll discuss it here too. Pro cites the golden rule, but as mentioned every carnivore and omnivore kills other animals or humans and often makes them suffer in the process; since these animals don't want to be killed or suffer themselves, they have absolutely no way of following the golden rule. However, animals don't just kill other species or kill just for food. For example, male lions who want to join a pride will kill the pride's existing cubs. (1) If a human did that to another human they'd automatically lose their rights, but it is in male lion's nature to do this. Many animals will never follow these responsibilities and won't even understand them. Therefore, animals should not receive rights. I will elaborate more on the responsibilities of rights in R3.
Pro asserts that collard greens, leafy greens, tempeh, and tofu have vitamin B-12. However, it is impossible to get 100% of one's daily recommended vitamin B-12 amounts with these foods. I have no way of checking Pro's source, but according to the USDA 100 grams of collard greens (both raw and boiled) contain 0µg of of vitamin B-12. (2) Same with other leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, and kale. (3, 4, 5) One hundred grams of tempeh has only 0.1µg of vitamin B12 (1% of one's daily recommended amount) and tofu has none. (6, 7) Moreover, although, walnuts, seeds, and flaxseed oil all have omega-3 they have ALA. (8) Omega-3 experts recommend that adults should consume 500mg of EPA/DHA a day, which cannot be attained from any of the foods listed above. (9) Although ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA, it was found to be unreliable and restrictive way of attaining them (DHA especially). (10) By the way, omega-3 supplements are dangerous.
Studies found that the majority of omega-3 supplements are oxidized. (12) Oxidized omega-3 creates a chain reaction with other PUFAs that someone's ate and make them toxic. (11) Finally, some people have no choice, but to hunt for food (not for sadistic reasons). There are still several hunter-gatherers in existence today, which rely on hunting to survive. (13) Therefore, vegan diets are harmful to humans and taking away meat from them, fails to give each human their due, and therefore animals should not have rights.
Even if animal testing is not always effective, when it is, it allows humans to live longer and healthier lives. I have already provided several examples of how animal testing has already and is currently advancing medicine. However, Pro does admit that animal testing is sometimes required and can be done in humane ways, such as giving painkillers or anesthesia. However, animals sometimes will have to die in animal testing. A famous example was Griffith's Experiment (which is what allowed us to discover genetics), where mice had to die. (14)
Also, if alternatives to animal testing exist and are more effective, they will be used. However, the FDA (and Pro) admit that sometimes animals needed to be tested upon. (15) Therefore, animal testing is sometimes necessary and will sometimes lead to the death of animals.
As already mentioned, animal testing has brought cures to certain diseases animals suffer from. However, there are other examples of humans giving back to animals, while using them. For example, some farms often raise their animals in a healthy environment before they are killed for meat. Also, most farm animals are unable to survive in the wild, so merely holding them in captivity is an example of a give and take where the animal is ultimately being used, as many of the animals would have no chance in the wild. (16)
The argument that because infants and mentally handicapped receive rights, animals should too is flawed. It is based off a false premise that sentience is the reason people have rights. Pro backs this claim up with the fact that those who are mentally handicapped and infants have the same rights as mature, rational, adults. Infants are given rights because they will likely grow up to be fully mature, rational, adults themselves. However, that argument doesn't apply to the mentally handicapped, except for the fact is a cure was found they would now be rational humans, while animals would still be animals. Although we agree that all humans have rights, we never agreed that all humans inherently have rights. Those who are mentally handicapped don't inherently have rights. Even though the idea of human rights has existed for centuries, the mentally handicapped haven't have had completely equal rights until the past few decades. (17) However, they were given rights by more mature humans. Like pets, there can be an exchange, such as an exchange of love between the mentally handicapped and other humans. This is much like pets, who are given rights for similar reasons. They aren't inherently there and if humans did not find a useful exchange they would not have these rights. However, if the mentally handicapped or pets commit an immoral act, they'd lose their rights (which is why dogs are killed if they harm a human). However, animals as a whole cannot be given rights since most will follow their instinct and violate the rights of others.
I thank Con for their arguments. I shall address Con’s arguments and defend mine simultaneously.
R1) Animal Testing
Con has dropped my arguments on humane treatment and alternatives to animal testing. I shall provide some alternatives to animal testing that have been proven to be effective.
RIA. Synthetic Organs
Con has dropped my argument on in vitro alternatives to animal testing. These in vitro methods also involve culture testing and testing on synthetic organs. Institutes and organizations such as the Wyss Institute at Harvard have now begun a form of biological engineering that allows for the manufacture of synthetic human tissue, a concept called the “organ on the chip”.
“… the concept of an ‘organ on a chip’, which involves placing the human cells and fluids necessary to mimic the complexity of human physiology on a single, tiny piece of see-through, flexible silicone rubber the size of a USB stick. In a new startup, Emulate, these chips will be mass-produced for the first time. The chips have fluid flowing through them, so you can connect them to each other, creating a ‘human on a chip’ where lungs, livers, intestines, skin, kidneys and eyes can be integrated to simulate how a whole body would interact with a new drug.” [1. http://goo.gl...]
This involves a process where researchers “recreate the conditions the cells find themselves in by using micro-engineering to provide them with all the cellular integration, fluids and even mechanical forces that they are used to, such as breathing in and out. We can also connect them in our human bioemulation platform to model and better understand diseases, and to study how humans respond to drugs.”
Researchers have also started manufacturing miniature synthetic organs, by mimicking human tissue via. in vitro samples of cells; these are mimicked, with human enzymes, hormones, proteins and cellular structure mimicked to create faux human tissue, perfect to show reactions with drugs.
“In 2006, the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) introduced guidelines for testing very small ‘microdoses’ of drugs in humans. These are concentrations less than a one-hundredth of the therapeutic dose. Because the concentrations are so low, the drugs can be tested in a small number of patients without the level of safety data normally required before a phase I study. These early tests, dubbed ‘phase 0’ studies, would show, for instance, how the drug is distributed and broken down in the body, and whether it hits the right molecular target.” [2. http://goo.gl...]
These microdoses will provide enough data to apply while using in vitro testing, allowing for synthetic organ testing’s accuracy to be greater than that of animal testing.
RIC. Humane Treatment
Pro has still not responded to my contention that even when testing is required (if it is required), animals must be treated humanely, allowing for the application of a moral due to animals. Some animals will invariably die or be injured in testing, but if a right to humane treatment is recognized, it wouldn't curtail all testing, and regulation does minimize animal suffering. This strict regulation combined with more usage of the alternatives will, overall, control animal abuse and allow for recognition of moral due.
RID. Life Equivalence
As described in the definitions, one animal’s life [by the ideology of animal rights] equals one human’s life, i.e. an animal can be sacrificed for the lives of many humans, and vice versa. Therefore, even in grave situations where animal testing may be required (if at all required after the above methods) without application of humane treatment, then animal testing for one human life is unforgivable; it depends on the numbers. Via. this ideology, all lives are equal, and one can be sacrificed for many.
R2) Vegan Diet
RIIA. Vitamin B12
B12 concentration in blood cells can be increased via. fortification of B12 in artificial dairy products, breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast. The primary sources of B12 in fortified foods are the bacteria Propionibacterium shermanii and Pseudomonas denitrificans. [3. De Baets S, Vandedrinck S, Vandamme EJ. “Vitamins and Related Biofactors.” Encyclopedia of Microbiology. 2000:837-853.] The daily value for B12 is 2.4 µg for a healthy person above the age of 14. [4. http://goo.gl...] 2.4 µg can easily be achieved per day using fortified foods and supplements. [5. http://www.veganhealth.org...]
RIIB. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) is the primary form of Omega-3 PUFAs. ALA is converted into a percentage of DHA and EPA after process by the body. Certain vegan sources actually contain more ALA percentage than meat sources. Flaxseed oil contains 59% ALA [6. http://www.osel.co.nz...], and kiwifruit seed oil contains 63% ALA [7. http://www.osel.co.nz...], as opposed to most fish oils, which contain 9.2 % ALA (approximately). [8. http://en.wikipedia.org...]. Therefore, Omega-3 PUFAs can be gained via. vegan means.
Therefore, a vegan diet is sufficiently nutritious for humans.
Justice and fairness are relative and subjective. Animals do not have the level of intellectual capability required to disobey their instinct. Animals rely on their instinct, and, therefore, cannot be considered “at fault” for actions. Morality and immorality are human concepts, and must be extended by humans only. But discriminating morality to humans as they are the creators of it combats the very concept of justice and fairness. In a fair community, all moral entitlements and dues must be recognized, else the community is regarded as morally unjust. Secondly, humans do not fulfill their responsibilities either, by killing other species. The species-limited superiority is discrimination in a dictatorial manner. The instincts obeyed by animals are necessary in ensuring an ecological balance; but with the current non-primitive society of most humans, human instincts do not allow for an ecological balance. [9. Singer, Peter (1975). Animal Liberation. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06171-130-5.]
Animals do have responsibilities, and they do fulfill them. But animals do not have the same rights as humans. For example, animals’ responsibility, engineered via. instinct into their genes, is to maintain an ecological balance and to survive and ensure the survival of the species. As humans violated the very limits of the ecological balance by forming an advanced civilization (to note, by destroying ecosystems, etc.), humans have more moral responsibilities. Morality rises as the level of immorality rises.
Therefore, as animals fulfill their responsibilities that are distinct from humans, they are entitled to moral rights and dues, at least in a just system. Hence, justice requires the recognition of animal rights.
R4) Symbiosis v. Exploitation
Killing an animal and saving many animals actually equates with the defined concept of ethics, wherein we would sacrifice one to save many. But animals receive their due only with animal testing specifically meant for animals; the symbiosis must involve giving back as much as we take. This is not accorded to animals.
R5) Animals and humans have no differences (based on rights)
RVA. Equal Distribution of Rights
The mentally handicapped are humans by definition. If humans have rights, then the mentally handicapped have rights as they are humans. The “inherency of rights” argument is baseless merely because the mentally handicapped are humans, and have rights. Being mentally handicapped does not forfeit rights. Rationality is not the criterion for moral rights. Why are moral rights against pain and unnecessary suffering limited to those that think rationally by human definition of it? There is no ethical strength or logic to this argument, as equality is the essence of justice and fairness. Justice is to give each their due and treat without discrimination. Making those think irrationally suffer needlessly is sadistic and discriminative, and, therefore, demeaning to the very concept of justice. I would like Con to note that the resolution is “justice requires the recognition of animal rights”. Therefore, a just, fair society must recognize animal rights, else that society is unjust. I am not stating that all societies should recognize animal rights; I proclaim that if a society does not recognize animal rights, it is unfair. Justice rests on equality.
When an average person looks into the face of a puppy or even a chick in pain, the person empathizes with the animal and feels its pain. The person also feels sorrow at the pain and attempts to help the animal. If empathy applies to an animal, then equal treatment also does. Empathy is an internal compulsion to act, pressing on our individual moral compasses. If we feel empathy or sympathy for animals, it seems they deserve the right to respect.
The resolution is affirmed.
There's no need to respond to other methods, because I've already showed the FDA saying that animal testing is sometimes required and Pro still doesn't deny the fact that sometimes inhumane animal testing is necessary. In fact, it is illegal to do animal testing when alternatives exist, yet it is still necessary. (1) The reason is, is that the bodies are too complex to ever be recreated in detail artificially. (1) Perhaps one day, but the fact is animal testing is still sometimes necessary. (1) Of course, testing on animals is not 100% accurate, but neither is in-vitro testing. If it is not tested on animals than the first test it will undergo on a living body will be on humans. This could potentially be lethal and threaten human's right to life.
The idea that one animal's life can be sacrificed for many goes against the definitions. The definition specifics justice requires giving "each" their due. Each person would need to be given their right to life under that definition, so therefore one life cannot be sacrificed for the greater good.
If only one essential nutrient is inaccessible in a vegan diet, then it is not giving humans their due.
First of all, Pro cites that vitamin B-12 can be gained from fortified foods and supplement. However, fortified foods are not available to everyone. (2) That leaves supplements, which many vegans also use for vitamin D, iodine, calcium, and iron. (3) However, in the United States and other countries supplements are not always well regulated, like food would be. For example in the US, supplement companies don't need to prove a supplement to effective, inform of side effects, can get away with inaccurate labeling, and were so badly unregulated they often contained contaminants. (4)
I've already proved without rebuttal that omega-3 supplements can be dangerous. Also, I did address the fact that ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA. However, I also showed a study showing it was very inefficient way to attain these, especially for DHA. Another study showed vegans were severely lacking in DHA and it could only be solved by taking DHA supplements (which were found to be as mentioned earlier dangerous) or adding a potentially dangerous amount of ALA. (5)
Pro also dropped my argument that hunting is still a necessity for certain people.
Pro also dropped my most important argument in this contention regarding deaths caused by a vegan diet. I'll go over the deaths caused by farming again (although Pro also dropped my arguments about fertilizers). (6) With more demand for farmed products to replace animals native vegetation would need to be clear-felled, which results in many animals losing their habitats and dying. (6) Also, processes such as ploughing and harvesting kill small animals, lizards, snakes, and mice. (6) In fact, 100 mice are killed per hectare each year. (6)
Obviously it's not an animal's fault for committing immoral acts, but they can't be held to different standards than humans. By creating a double standard for animals, it is using favoritism towards animals, and therefore is unfair.
Pro says that in a fair community all moral entitlements and dues must be recognized. I agree. However, animals are not due anything. They don't meet the standards, which have to be consistent to be fair (regardless of whether they can or not). In fact, Pro has already mentioned mentally handicapped people may have equal understanding of rights and morals as animals, yet they are still held to the same standards. If they commit an immoral act, they lose their rights (as agreed upon, since they're human), even if they are acting out of instinct much like an animal would. Humans are biologically animals as well, so therefore without intellect it is expected they will follow instinct as well. Therefore, if all humans (even those with the rationality of an animal) are held to the same standards to receive their rights a just society would require animals follow the same standards.
Pro suggests that animals are programmed to help keep ecological balance. However, that's not true. First of all, an ecological balance does not exist and is widely disregarded by the scientific community. The world is actually chaotic and there are natural disturbances that disrupt any possibly at a balance. (7) However, animal instincts are passed down through genes, and exist to help them survive and reproduce. (8) Except, animals are not doing it to meet any responsibilities, except to themselves. I already mentioned this earlier in the debate, but a male lion who wants to join a pride will kill all the existing cubs. This obviously does not help the species survive, but it gives him a chance to reproduce with the women of the pride. Also, Pro asserts that human instincts go against ecological balance. He's correct, they do, but for the same reason animals do. Like mentioned earlier humans are biologically animals, so they have instincts, including the urge to reproduce (like all sexually reproducing animals). (9) Therefore, humans have animal instincts, yet they have to control them to have their rights and in a fair society so will animals.
Pro does not address my example of certain farms giving animals healthy lives away from a place they'd otherwise most likely die in, but killing them when they're old for meat. In other words, we give them a relatively long healthy life and take meat for food.
However, animals also do this in nature. If a lion kills zebra, the zebra loses its life, yet the lion gains food. Since I already showed that animals need to be held to the same standards to receive rights for it to be just, the lion should not receive rights.
Pro does a good job rebutting my rebuttal (which was poorly argued). However, his claim still doesn't hold any weight as I'll explain why here. The first premise is a false one. I can easily change it to:
P1- Moral rights should be ascribed to all human beings equally, viz. infants and the mentally handicapped have equal moral and ethical rights as able-thinking adults.
P2-Animals are not human beings.
C-Therefore, moral rights should not be ascribed to animals
^This uses the exact same logic as Pro's original argument. If not A than B. This is a false dichotomy, as it could have just as easily been laid out the way I did or even said to all people born with eyes, etc. (10)
Empathy actually doesn't have much to do with morals. It has to do with mirror neurons in the brain which "fire" based on what you see, it's as if you are experiencing it from the other person's point of view. This is also why you may flinch when you see someone else in pain. (11) So, realistically empathy can apply to almost anything. For example, people were found to have empathy towards robots, which are inanimate. (12)
To conclude, justice does not require animal rights. One reason is because not allowing animal testing when necessary does not give humans their due, at a chance at better health, for their right to life. Another reason is that a vegan diet does not provide every nutrient in a healthy matter, which is not giving humans their due at a healthy lifestyle and it is impossible to even have a diet without having some animals die, so therefore humans are not given their due at life, via food. Some humans also rely on hunting to survive and if that was to be taken away, those humans are not being given their due.
Also, animals are not due anything if justice is fair and equal (which it is by definition), because humans (even those with the intelligence of animals) cannot commit immoral acts, while having the same instincts of animals, yet animals will always violate these rights and therefore, under a fair system, animals do not deserve rights. This also helps justify the animal testing and eating meat products, as no one with rights are being violated.
I thank Con for their arguments.
Ob1: In Note 1, it is clearly mentioned that “one animal’s rights are accorded equal consideration to one human’s rights”, i.e. an animal can sacrifice its rights for the rights of many humans, and a human can sacrifice their rights for the rights of many animals. Therefore, via. the rules themselves, “The idea that one animal's life can be sacrificed for many goes against the definitions. The definition specifics justice requires giving ‘each’ their due. Each person would need to be given their right to life under that definition, so therefore one life cannot be sacrificed for the greater good” is an incorrect observation.
Ob2: From Note 1, we can demonstrate thus - if I can show that animals have any rights at all, even just one, and I can show that these rights are required by justice, then I win the debate.
Ob3: Con’s arguments on humans incapable of being immoral while many animal actions are immoral is flawed as it depends on a very specific definition of “morality” to be valid. For humans, immorality is not following the ethical or social values ascribed to them by human community, but for animals, as they cannot think with the logical complexity of humans, it is the ethical values ascribed to them by personal instinct, or, in cases of social animals, social community of that specific animal. As seen in the previous round, as humans have the psychological capability to violate their instinct, moral values ascribed to them will be different, as will moral entitlements. But humans must extend their values to all regardless of species as must animals, else it is an unjust community. As animals’ values are determined by instinct, it is impossible for them to break those ethical constructs. Humans violate human ethical constructs by limiting these ethical constructs to solely human species.
R1) Animal Testing
First, expanded research on microdosing, in vitro methods, and synthetic organs will limit animal testing to the bare minimum, following which there will be no need to cause testing that is extremely harmful or to the point where it cannot be regulated to ensure humane treatment of animals. Con drops the humane treatment argument completely.
Second, I apply Observation 1 and Note 1 to show that my classification of one animal being sacrificed to save many lives, or one human being sacrificed to save many lives, still stands as an argument. I extend it to this round.
RIIA. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
“… vegans can obtain DHA from microalgae supplements containing DHA, as well as from foods fortified with DHA. However, EPA can be obtained from the retroconversion of DHA in the body.” [1. http://tinyurl.com...] While DHA supplements, if taken without caution, may result in cardiovascular risk due to rise in total cholesterol, they can be taken in appropriate quantities to halt the same.
According to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the conversion of plant-based Omega-3 ALA to the long-chain EPA and DHA may be increased in non-fish eaters. [2. http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com...] Therefore, in people who do not eat fish, the circulatory system becomes adapted to increase conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA. As cited in the previous round, kiwifruit and flaxseed oil contain major amounts of ALA.
Therefore, on balance, a vegan diet allows for good amounts of Omega-3 PUFAs.
RIIB. Vitamin B12
First, it is the regulation system here that is flawed. For this “just” society to be just by definition, it must cater to animal rights. As supplements are available, the regulation of supplements must also be strict for it to be classified as a just society. Con is arguing for a resolution “Animals Should Have Rights”, whereas this debate refers to justice requiring the recognition of animal rights. Therefore, as the resolution refers to a correction in society from the status quo of there not being complete recognition of animal rights, the status quo must change. If B12 supplements were not available, then it would be subject to debate, but if there is a minor correction in the regulation system, then it fits with the resolution itself. Secondly, as we speak of the United States’ regulation, I would like to note that fortified foods are available for all. [3. http://www.veganhealth.org...] I would like to note that the source used by Pro to state that fortified foods are not available to all states nothing of the sort.
First, Pro misunderstands the concept of immorality. Pro states that animals commit “immoral” acts but these acts are not the animal’s fault. If the animal commits an act but it is not the animal’s fault, then the act does not qualify as an immoral act by definition.
The point here is that favoritism for humans is equally unfair. Fairness is defined as “treating people equally without discrimination.” [4. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...] If animals cannot reason, then they cannot commit immoral actions, as the very ability to judge between morality and immorality lies with high intellectual capability.
The ecological “balance” cited by me merely refers to the maintenance of species in an ecosystem. Scientists do agree that without animal predators, both predators and prey would be in danger. The same does not apply to humans. [5. Stearns, Beverly Peterson; Stearns, S. C.; Stearns, Stephen C. (2000). Watching, from the Edge of Extinction. Yale University Press. p. 1921. ISBN 978-0-300-08469-6.]
“They don't meet the standards, which have to be consistent to be fair.” The supposed “immorality” of animals is a result of the need for the adaptive survival of the individual and the species as a whole. Animals cannot reason, hence they do not have the ability to process purely human ideals of morality. Therefore, the rights of animals are not forfeited.
Fairness’ definition, given above, entails that all just decisions must be free of prejudice. Prejudice against animals (i.e. treating humans above animals) is a form of discrimination, as it favors a species over another. This is referred to as speciesism. [6. Singer, Peter (1975). Animal Liberation. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06171-130-5.]
The animals given “healthy” lives in farms are bred for slaughter. If this is a sign of “give and take”, then giving birth is doing a favor to the newborn child, which is absurd. The lion gains food necessary for its survival, and is engineered by instinct. If humans lived primitive lives, et cetera, then it is justified by the definition of one life equals another, and the instinctive need for survival. In this case, the animal and the human are truly equal. Present-day primitive communities must be rehabilitated for the very purpose of justice.
Con constantly disregards the resolution, that justice requires the recognition of animal rights. The resolution virtually says that animals and humans must be treated without discrimination. To defend animal rights, I do not need to demonstrate various moral entitlements of animals; as seen in Ob3, I must defend one right. I have defended the right against needless suffering on an equal basis to humans.
“P1- Moral rights should be ascribed to all human beings equally, viz. infants and the mentally handicapped have equal moral and ethical rights as able-thinking adults.
are flawed as it is not just human beings who deserve moral rights by the non-discriminative principle of justice and fairness by semantic definition.
I have defended one necessary right that must be ascribed to animals and have challenged societal definitions of morality being applied to animals. Via. my observations, I have fulfilled my Burden of Proof entirely to show that, regardless of utilitarian terms of rationality, the ethical obligations to animals must be fulfilled. Therefore, justice requires the recognition of animal rights. The resolution is affirmed. Vote Pro. Humans violate morality by inflicting needless suffering (e.g. hunting) against animals and other humans. Therefore, in a fair community, my resolution remains affirmed.
Con must waive Round 4.
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