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Do you think that humanity is abusing their rights as predators, and if so, where is the line drawn?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 375 times Debate No: 95139
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Surely, like most animals on the planet, it is in our very nature to feed on other animals for sustenance. Not only is it built into our very physiology (needing nutrients to function properly, etc.), but we see examples of a similar process happening in nature itself. While hunting other predators for things other than their meats may seem irrational at first, a human's greatest weapon is it's mind. So, if something of worth can be extracted from the slaughter of prey, it can be generally defended, no?

We look at the "tragedy" of animals packed into small areas, waiting to be harvested for their nutrients and ready to be part of basic human society. Once again, we are generally slower and weaker than some predators in existence, and our mind is as sharp as a knife edge. Surely, we have to use our advantages to prosper, right? Actively attempting to stop such a process could be damaging to the human race itself.

However, this is merely my thoughts. Come and give yours, if you see things in a different light.


Thank you for instigating this debate. I look forward to a good discussion!
Throughout the course of history, humans have successfully risen to become the most powerful species on the planet. There has never been any organisms that have attained the same influence of the biosphere as we have, and as such, we have responsibilities. In this debate, I am not arguing that it is wrong to be predatory, nor am I arguing that humans have intended to cause harm, rather that we have exploited our power, and in the process have done irreversible damage to the biosphere.

I define "abuse" as exploiting our capabilities to have a negative effect overall on the biosphere. In this debate, I will use two criteria to assess whether humans have exploited our capabilities to have a negative effect on the environment.
1)Have humans had a substantially negative effect on the biosphere and
2)Have humans taken their "predatory" nature to an unnatural and negative extreme.

Before I move onto my substantive, I would like to address some arguments con has put forward.
Firstly, the assertion that it is physiologically inherent for humans to prey on other species and it is within our rights as a predator. Of course humans are completely within their natural rights to consume meat and be predatory, but as I will elaborate in substantive, this is besides the issue in question. The problem is that humans have taken this "right" to an extreme and have, in the process, destroyed entire ecosystems, led to the extinction of whole species, and done irreversible damage to the state of the environment. Even if humans were within their rights to do such damage, it would still be a serious abuse of power. Imagine the President of the US decided to pardon his friend for committing a crime because they were friends " is it within his legal power? Yes. Is it morally correct? No. This analogy is also true for humans as a species. It is within our power to eradicate entire species and emit tons of carbon dioxide into the stratosphere. It is within our power to create cage farms where animals cannot even move. Many things are within our power, but that does not mean we should be doing them.

Second, Con assumed that we are simply using our mental ability and therefore it is natural, and to stop the process would be "damaging the human race". I wholeheartedly agree that humans should use their mental prowess! It is, after all, what makes us the top of the food chain. But this does not mean we should use it to the extreme that we are using it. Furthermore, the fact that we are an intelligent species should mean that we are conscious of the destruction we are causing, and attempt to mitigate the damage we have already caused. I am not proposing that we stop the process, I am simply proposing that we regulate it a bit more. Pointing out that something is within our capabilities does not mean we should actively do it.

My first point of substantive is that humans have damaged the planet through systems of unsustainable agriculture. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) stated that "unsustainable agricultural and aquaculture practices present the greatest immediate threat to species and ecosystems around the world." Because humans are at the top of the food chain, we are justified in consuming species who are below us. However, this does not justify the destruction of entire ecosystems, biodiversity and habitats. It is within human"s capabilities to use sustainable agriculture to meet our needs without causing irreversible damage to the environment. This has been clearly demonstrated through particular ethnic groups such as Australian Aboriginal people. They were predators and were true to our intelligent characteristics, however they had no long term effect on the environment. This is not to say we should live that lifestyle, but rather is an example of responsible agriculture. And yet we continually insist on the destruction of millions of acres of land in the name of blatant consumerism. In the process, this has led to habitat loss, wasteful water consumption, pollution, erosion, degradation of the environment and climate change. This point satisfies both criteria set our earlier. Firstly, this proves that humans have had a negative effect on the biosphere for the reasons pointed out (climate change, for example), and secondly it shows that humans have taken their predatory capabilities to an unnatural and unnecessary extreme. This was illustrated through the example of specific ethnic groups of humans (Australian Aborigines, for example) that have not negatively impacted upon the environment.

At the end of the day, yes, humans are powerful creatures, but this never justifies the damage that we have caused through taking our predatory nature to an extreme. I am not against human prosperity or consumerism, but I am against short-sightedness and a lack of restraint. It is for these reasons, that I am proud to support this motion.
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