The Instigator
Freeman
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
tkubok
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Eating animal meat purely for pleasure is unethical.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
tkubok
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,196 times Debate No: 9201
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

Freeman

Pro

From where do rights flow? How are we to determine who has rights? Clearly a claim to rights should have something to do with whether or not an entity can hold preferences and suffer. It would simply be absurd to say that kicking a rock is a violation of its rights because the rock cannot desire anything. A rock is not capable of holding any desires about the world nor can a rock suffer, one would presume. Chickens, cows, and pigs on the other hand can all feel a great deal of pain and also hold rudimentary preferences; i.e. they would really prefer not to be eaten. Of course animal suffering exists on a continuum. Clams, if they can suffer at all, suffer a lot less than pigs or other farm animals.

At the dawn of the agricultural revolution, for probably the first time in history, man was able to regularly grow his own food without having to hunt it down. This lead to many different things, among which, was a decreased need for the reliance on hunting. Ten thousand years later the age has long past when we can make a strong utility claim for the necessity of meat in our diet. In our modernized world gathering food need not be more difficult than a telephone call or a short trip to the supermarket. We are perfectly capable of sustaining ourselves without eating meat. I accomplish this feat on a daily basis even though I may occasionally falter. The claim that humans need meat to survive is demonstrably false and any thinking person should not take it seriously.

Our own desire to eat meat contributes daily to the death and misery of millions upon millions of animals. These animals have mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters very much like your own family. Many of these animals are forced to live out the entirety of their lives in the artificial conditions of huge factory farms with no access to air, sunshine, or freedom of movement. And our insatiable appetite for flesh leads us to be culpably acquiescent in these atrocities. This could simply be remedied by our refusal to eat meat. Our needless encroachment on the happiness of animals is not only unnecessary; it is deeply unethical because it leads to the scarcely endurable misery of tens of millions of conscious creatures.

I am not arguing that there is anything prima facie wrong with the consumption of meat. For example, I would not be opposed to people eating road kill, insofar as this behavior didn't encourage other people to run over extra animals. Nor would I be opposed to eating meat grown in a laboratory, which did not require the death of a conscious creature. I would also not be opposed to consuming meat if a person was starving. Now when I say starving I really do mean starving- literally on the verge of starvation. Someone that misses lunch or breakfast and finds himself to be quite hungry would not be a viable candidate for starvation under this view.

The ad hoc argument that man was created in the image of God and was given dominion over the animals is simply a cop out and irrelevant to this debate. Man was not created in the image of God; the Gods were created in the image of men. And even if I was wrong and a "God" did exist there is no reason to think that this God approved of Christianity or our wanton cruelty to animals. As humans we were not given special rights by a deity to reign over animals; we merely evolved alongside them over millions of years.

A related argument contends that God has endowed humans with an immortal soul that distinguishes us from the rest of the animals. Other problems arise if one wishes to take this route. Firstly, and most obviously, it is an unprovable and untestable hypothesis. Secondly, it does seem to raise rather difficult issues given that we share 98% of our DNA with our closely related, presumably soulless, primate brethren. At what point in human evolution did we acquire this immaterial soul? Was it when we acquired the ability to walk bipedally? Was it in between the transition from Homo Habilis to Homo Erectus? No doubt theologians have been ruminating over these conundrums for decades.

Some will try to argue, from a cynical standpoint, that their consumption of meat leads to no perceivable increase in the suffering of animals. Granted, the chicken and pork in the supermarket freezer would still be there even if I were to never have existed. However this contention completely glosses over the way markets operate in a free society. The fact that someone chooses to buy chicken instead of tofu will determine how many pounds of chicken and tofu that store orders the following week. This is what the laws of supply and demand are all about. We can't merely ignore the divisibility of responsibility of our own actions individually or as a society. If I were to cheat on my taxes it would make such an imperceptible difference to the total revenue of the IRS that we might be tempted to dismiss such an action as inconsequential. However, if everyone cheated on their income tax this could have disastrous effects on the economy and everything that flowed from that system. We must recognize the consequences of our actions and take responsibility for them.

Others will contend that humans deserve special rights over animals merely because we are members of the species homo sapiens. This argument, at least to me, seems sorely lacking in substance. Membership in a species is no more relevant to questions about ethics than skin color or gender. Undoubtedly this claim will raise one or two eyebrows so allow me to unpack it for you. Imagine we were visited by extraterrestrials that possessed more or less the same characteristics as human beings. Would we be justified in treating them as second-class citizens purely because they weren't members of our own species? I think not. Unless we wish to raise the specter of speciesism then membership in a species is not relevant to whether or not animals should have rights. Having said that I don't want people to think that I believe animals and humans should be given equal rights. We can weigh our ethical responsibilities to animals by appealing to their qualities e.g. (their capacity to suffer), which at the end of the day would put human persons at the top of our ethical purview.

We would do well to reflect on what Jesus of Nazareth said regarding how we should treat our neighbors. "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the Law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12 RSV) There is grandeur in this view of life. Put yourself momentarily behind a veil of ignorance and imagine that you are a cow or pig. How would you wish to be treated? Would you wish to be eaten? Would you wish to be conscripted to a life of manual labor only to be consumed at a later date? Would you wish to be ruled over? Wouldn't you wish to be free?

All the best,
Freeman

Sources

http://www.utilitarian.net...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.scientificamerican.com...

Writings on an Ethical Life- Peter Singer (My source of inspiration for the debate)

Definitions

Speciesism- Human intolerance or discrimination on the basis of species, especially as manifested by cruelty to or exploitation of animals.

Pleasurable - enjoyable: affording satisfaction or pleasure; "the company was enjoyable"; "found her praise gratifying"
tkubok

Con

I thank my opponent for this interesting Debate.

I would like my opponent to clear up a few things, such as what exactly he constitutes as meat. Some people include or dont include Fish.

First off, I shall address my opponents arguments paragraph by paragraph:

"From where do rights flow?"
How far should we be willing to extend the rights to, and to which animal? How much pain should an animal be able to feel, until it is illegal to kick or hurt such an animal? Although it is arguable that Clams feel less pain than Chickens, until my opponent provides detailed descriptions as to how much pain an animal could potentially feel in order to provide certain rights, this first paragraph is pretty much moot.

"At the dawn of the agricultural revolution"
And we can also suppliment vegetables with pills and vitamins galore. The claim that a human needs Vegetables to survive is also demonstrably false and any thinking person within a mile of a vitamin wearhouse should not take it seriously.
My point? Thanks to modern medicine, we can supplement, pretty much, our entire diet. This, however, changes nothing to the fact that there is no good reason we should.

"Our own desire to eat meat"
Ah, my opponent has decided to extend the rights given to humans, to animals. This results in many problems.
First off, there are pets who eat meat. Many dog chows are made of meat. If it is unethical to kill millions of conscious creatures in order to feed your dog, what do you feed it?
Secondly, we can suppliment a wolf or tigers main foodsource, which is meat. So, does this mean it is unethical for a wolf to eat a deer?

"I am not arguing that there is"
What about people who are simply too poor to afford the suppliments for meat? What about people who are unable to eat vegetables because all they have is access to meat? What about the millions of farmers who make their livings, albeit poorly, off of selling meat? Your alternative, provides many problems. Who is going to pay the farmers to start their vegetable gardens, teach them how to cultivate it? Who is going to pay the people who are unable to afford vegetable or medicinal supplements? You?

"The ad hoc argument that man was created in the image of God"
I agree wholly, as i am not a christian, and therefore will not pull God out in this debate.

"Some will try to argue"
This is the problem though. Even if, say, Half of the current meat-consuming population, suddenly stopped buying meat, what do you think the farmers would do? Would they simply release the animals, their precious resource, into the wild? Or would they simply slaughter most of the animals, carve them up, and either freeze them or saturate the markets with extremely cheap meat, or try and sell them on the international market? After all, it would be most cost effective to kill most of the livestock in order to avoid feeding them.

Also, the cheating on Federal Tax can be applied to this too. If every single person stopped eating meat, the result would be disasterous not only to the economy, as meat produce is a large part of the economy, but also the lives of the farmers who rely on the market to survive.

"Others will contend that humans deserve special rights"
This is, again, running into the problem of what rights should we extend to animals, and to what animals? I mean, a fly is an animal. It feels pain. Should someone be charged with murder, if they swat one? Should someone go to jail after accidentally stepping on a snail? If a dog kills a man, does the dog deserve the right to a fair trial and a lawyer? If a horse kills another horse, does that Horse get charged with Murder? If you think this is absurd, and that i am somehow arguing a Slippery Slope fallacy, Congratulations! You have agreed that humans have certain rights, certain special rights that are not afforded to other animals!

"We would do well to reflect on what Jesus of Nazareth said"
Interesting how you disregard an argument from the bible, but at the end, use a plea from the bible as an argument to back up your claim.

Anyways, no. It is absurd to let animals have the same rights as humans.
I would like to have a proper trial, if i were accused of Murder. I would like the RIGHT to have a lawyer. I would like the RIGHT to a jury of my peers. Should we extend these rights to animals? Really?

Now, a few arguments from myself:
A fly is sentient. It is self aware. It feels pain(1). Therefore, is it ethically wrong to swat a fly for your own selfish pleasure? As in, if the fly was a nuisance and you killed it?

Also, is it unethical to eat things that come from animals, like eggs, or Butter?

Source:
1. http://www.sciencedirect.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Freeman

Pro

Hmm…. you seem to have chased down a few red hearings in your last essay. I did not, for instance, argue that humans and other animals should be given equal rights or that it is unethical for animals to eat each other or that human beings need vegetables to survive. Consequently, much of your last essay targeted terrain that I have never thought to occupy. I did hear some bomb-blasts in the distance. They were magnificent.

=======
Case Con
=======

Contention #1
How far should we be willing to extend the rights to, and to which animal? How much pain should an animal be able to feel, until it is illegal to kick or hurt such an animal? Although it is arguable that Clams feel less pain than Chickens, until my opponent provides detailed descriptions as to how much pain an animal could potentially feel in order to provide certain rights, this first paragraph is pretty much moot.

There is no need to draw an arbitrary line between how much pain an animal can feel before its given rights. It is manifestly true that most of the meat we eat comes from animals like chickens, cows and pigs that can all feel a great deal of pain. I'm currently awaiting the evidence that would describe how much pain insects and fish can feel. And insofar as a fish can feel pain I guess we can include it in our ethical purview; I don't see why not.

"Although it is arguable that Clams feel less pain than Chickens" This isn't arguable if you know anything about the physiological or neurological makeup of chickens and clams.

Contention #2
"The claim that a human needs Vegetables to survive is also demonstrably false and any thinking person within a mile of a vitamin wearhouse should not take it seriously." ??? Where exactly did I make this claim? And what does it have to do with the debate at any rate? Were debating whether or not its ethical to eat meat, not whether we should be supplementing our diet with pills.

Contention #3
"First off, there are pets who eat meat. Many dog chows are made of meat. If it is unethical to kill millions of conscious creatures in order to feed your dog, what do you feed it?"

This point is off topic. I'm only concerned about human consumption of meat at the moment.

Contention #4
"So, does this mean it is unethical for a wolf to eat a deer?" What on Earth does this have to do with whether or not it's ethical for humans to eat meat?

Contention #5
"What about people who are simply too poor to afford the suppliments for meat?" What about them? Meat supplements are not a vital component of any diet.

Contention #6
"What about people who are unable to eat vegetables because all they have is access to meat?"

In case you didn't know, - which apparently you don't- meat is pretty expensive. If someone could afford to eat nothing but meat they would have to be pretty well off. If someone were locked in a dungeon and all they had access to was meat I wouldn't be opposed to them eating it in such a circumstance.

Contention #7
"What about the millions of farmers who make their livings, albeit poorly, off of selling meat?" They can find a new line of work. I know that sounds cold, but their profit margins perpetuate unacceptable amounts of suffering. Therefore I would not be opposed to them going out of business. If fact, this is secretly my desire.

Contention #8
"Some will try to argue"
"This is the problem though. Even if, say, Half of the current meat-consuming population, suddenly stopped buying meat, what do you think the farmers would do?" They would either go out of business or sell something else. This is how markets operate in a free society.

Contention #9
"Others will contend that humans deserve special rights"
This is, again, running into the problem of what rights should we extend to animals, and to what animals? I mean, a fly is an animal. It feels pain. Should someone be charged with murder, if they swat one? Should someone go to jail after accidentally stepping on a snail? If a dog kills a man, does the dog deserve the right to a fair trial and a lawyer? If a horse kills another horse, does that Horse get charged with Murder? If you think this is absurd, and that i am somehow arguing a Slippery Slope fallacy, Congratulations! You have agreed that humans have certain rights, certain special rights that are not afforded to other animals!

Wow, you really didn't read what I wrote did you? This is unfortunate. In case you missed it the first time here is what I said.

"Having said that I don't want people to think that I believe animals and humans should be given equal rights. We can weigh our ethical responsibilities to animals by appealing to their qualities e.g. (their capacity to suffer), which at the end of the day would put human persons at the top of our ethical purview." -Quoted from my round 1 essay 8th paragraph

Contention #10
"Anyways, no. It is absurd to let animals have the same rights as humans." You've just created a straw man argument. I've never argued that animals and humans should have the same rights. I've even explicitly stated my opposition to this.

Contention #11
Now, a few arguments from myself:
A fly is sentient. It is self aware. It feels pain(1). Therefore, is it ethically wrong to swat a fly for your own selfish pleasure? As in, if the fly was a nuisance and you killed it?

I don't know enough about the neurological makeup of flies to tell you with any degree of accuracy how much pain they can feel. But since humans don't usually sit down and eat large plates of flies at dinner time this point is more or less irrelevant

"A fly is sentient. It is self aware." I'm very curious where you got that from.

Contention #12
"Also, is it unethical to eat things that come from animals, like eggs, or Butter?" This is an excellent question and one that I'm currently ruminating over. However, it's completely irrelevant to the debate.

=====
Case Pro
=====

Here is where our debate stands at this moment in time. The basic claims of all my arguments have gone unchallenged and thus remain intact. You've raised the point that some farmers rely on meat to make their living. I acknowledge this but I contend that it doesn't matter. It is unethical to make a living in an industry that perpetuates so much needless suffering.

By the way, the source you cited was broken. What was in there that you wanted me to see?

Best,
Freeman
tkubok

Con

"I did not, for instance, argue that humans and other animals should be given equal rights"
Thats interesting, because organizations like PETA which is similar to your cause, are saying such things. And this is the problem. Where do we draw the line? Who decides where the line is? You never thought to occupy such terrain because it evidently never occured to you that there are people who, like you, are advocating the same thing, but with more extreme consequences.

Contention #1.
This is the problem. You havent provided any guidelines as to which animal should receive such rights, and which should not. Escargot, for example, are eaten purely for pleasure, and undergo the same conditions as Cows and Chickens. So, my question is this: What exactly is your criterion for including some animals, and disregarding others? My opponent has failed to answer this question, which was, by the way, posed in my contention. It was the question before the "How much pain should an animal be able to feel".

As for pain, that is also the problem. Currently, we have no method of detecting exactly how MUCH pain one animal can feel over another. It is not "Manifestly true" that chickens cows and pigs feel more pain than snails or insects. And this is the point. If my opponent wishes to argue that the suffering of these animals are what make their captivity and slaughter, unethical, then clearly this should apply to all animals, including that of insects, which people do eat.

"This isn't arguable if you know anything about the physiological or neurological makeup of chickens and clams."
Thanks for that bold assertion. Any sources? Any evidence?

contention #2
"Where exactly did I make this claim?"
You didnt. I was merely mentioning how absurd claiming that just because one can substitute a food group, they should. We can substitute anything in our diet. This doesnt mean we should, and this doesnt, in most cases, mean we can. Which is what i said at the end of the paragraph. Why dont you start reading my entire paragraphs, instead of taking snippets?

Contention #3
"I'm only concerned about human consumption of meat at the moment."
So you dont care if we slaughter animals just for the heck of it?

Contention #4
"What on Earth does this have to do with whether or not it's ethical for humans to eat meat?"
You are claiming that some rights should be extended to animals. And, that eating meat, when suppliments can suffice, is unethical. Yet, clearly other animals can eat meat purely for pleasure. We feed our dogs meat, even though we can provide suppliments. So, how is this irrelevant? Youre still slaughtering animals for unnecessarily reasons. And this is your main argument, is it not?

Contention #5
"Meat supplements are not a vital component of any diet."
Wow. Really. So, people who are vegetarians, can just eat whatever plants they want?

Contention #6
"meat is pretty expensive."
Yes, thats why all fast food restaurants use vegetables in their burgers, instead of meat.
First off, i agree that the degree of meat can increase the price. Too bad, it isnt so with the cheapest cuts of meat.
Secondly, theres a reason why were called a "Fast food nation". That is, these fast food chains provide cheap food, and in most cases, nevermind, in all cases, the meat is actually more expensive than the vegetarian alternative.
"If someone were locked in a dungeon and all they had access to was meat I wouldn't be opposed to them eating it in such a circumstance."
If i were you, id probably say "What the hell are you talking about, i never mentioned a dungeon."

Contention #7
"They can find a new line of work."
Brilliant. So youre trading in the suffering of animals, for the suffering of human beings? Clearly you are the most ethical man of all! Im convinced!

First off, again, read my entire paragraph. I asked you who would pay for teaching and providing the farmers with different equipments. If youre simply claiming that "Well, the farmers that can afford it, great. If they cant, then too bad, theyre gonna be homeless". Congratulations. You are trading in one suffering for another. And although id love to go along with the "Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", clearly you are raising the level of rights regarding animals, to the same, or above, that of humans. So all my previous arguments regarding the rights of animals, and what rights should be implimented upon animals, now become valid. So, my next question would be, is it ethical to disregard the sufferings of a human in favor of an animal? And yes, this has everything to do with the topic.

Secondly, are you not opposed to them becoming homeless? If not, then again, answer my question. Who will provide the money for their retraining? Who will provide them with the tools necessary to achieve a new job?

Contention #8
"They would either go out of business or sell something else."
You still havent addressed my question in Contention #8.

You have this uncanny ability to disregard the entire paragraph in favor of snippets. Is this how you debate? If so, then i am not surprised that you win your arguments, as we are almost out of rounds, yet you fail to address most of my arguments, and answer most of my questions.

Contention #9
"Wow, you really didn't read what I wrote did you?"
And neither you, mine.
I asked you clearly, in order to understand WHICH rights you wanted to impliment, what your CRITERION for which animals receive such rights is, and furthermore, how you determine WHICH rights apply to such animals is. I still havent received an answer.

Contention #10.
You have stated before, in round #1:
"How would you wish to be treated? Would you wish to be eaten? Would you wish to be ruled over? Wouldn't you wish to be free?"
I am assuming that you are talking about animals here. And this is the problem. Being free, allowing to live, among other things, are the basic rights applied to humans. Yet, clearly, you are not opposed to eating animals by people who require, or cannot choose otherwise. So, animals dont receive the same rights, yet, you make an advocation that animals should have the same rights? Your contradicting yourself.

Contention #11
"But since humans don't usually sit down and eat large plates of flies at dinner time this point is more or less
irrelevant"
How is it irrelevant? Your main argument, infact, the title of this debate is, "Eating animal meat purely for pleasure is unethical." Well, by eating, youve talked about how the slaughter and treatment is what is wrong. Therefore, killing a fly, slaughtering and treating it, purely for pleasure, should also be unethical, no? Clearly this is relevant. You are still killing something for your pleasure, without necessity.

"I'm very curious where you got that from."
Sentience is the ability to feel pain or pleasure.(2) My original source for flies feeling pain, is here(1). It was cut off due to the word limit, being 40 letters or so short.

Contention #12
"However, it's completely irrelevant to the debate."
Actually, it is not. Animals can suffer and be treated the same amount when being cultivated for Eggs and butter. So, the question is here again.

Case pro:
"It is unethical to make a living in an industry that perpetuates so much needless suffering."
Again, flies. There is an industry dedicated to killing them. How is this irrelevant to our discussion? I am merely asking what animals are under the umbrella of unethical killing.

Source:
(1) http://www.sciencedirect.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Freeman

Pro

Let me first begin by thanking my opponent for his willingness to debate me on this issue. Before we continue lets clear some things up. I'm not a spokesperson for PETA nor am I here to defend any of the views that they may hold. I'm only responsible for defending my own views and what I have written thus far. Secondly, I am not arguing that the government should impose sanctions that would put meat farmers out of business. Perhaps you may be unaware that this is my position.

=======
Case Con
=======
"This isn't arguable if you know anything about the physiological or neurological makeup of chickens and clams."
Thanks for that bold assertion. Any sources? Any evidence?" I don't see how my assertion is "bold". Chickens have a much more developed nervous system than clams do. Likewise, humans have a more developed nervous system than chickens do.

(http://www.britannica.com...)

(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Contention #1.
This is the problem. You havent provided any guidelines as to which animal should receive such rights, and which should not. Escargot, for example, are eaten purely for pleasure, and undergo the same conditions as Cows and Chickens."

The ability to experience happiness and the ability to suffer can be useful criterion for determining what animals have rights. I have serious doubts about whether Escargot, flies, or clams can suffer their own destruction in any way. Likewise, I have serious doubts that they have emotional lives in the way that cows and pigs do. Do snails yearn for their mothers and get sad when they are alone? (Probably not) If they can suffer its probably such a small amount that it would be inconsequential to questions of ethics. Much work still needs to be done by neuroscientists and biologists on these issues. For this reason I'm still waiting for more evidence to come in.

Your getting hung up on something that you shouldn't be getting hung up on. I've said it before and I'll say it again; we don't need to create a line that would dictate what animals should be eaten and what animals should not to be eaten. We create all sorts of arbitrary rules in society that more or less coincide with reasonableness. Perhaps I can demonstrate the flaw in your thinking by way of an analogy. What is the neurological difference between someone who is 17 and 364 days old and an 18 year old? If such a difference even existed it would have to be infinitesimally small. The difference in these two individuals, in practical terms is that one is legally an adult and one is not. One can vote, the other cant etc. It's perfectly reasonable to create certain arbitrary principles in society when your dealing with issues that exist on a continuum e.g. (the acuity of maturing homo sapiens) or (animal suffering). If society were to adopt your ultra conservative and empiricist methodology for making these types of moral decisions we would be severely hindered in forming cogent moral principles. Reason can guide us to the conclusion that swatting flies is morally inconsequential whereas killing pigs is not. Like I've said earlier animal suffering exists on a continuum and it's not necessary to draw arbitrary lines that would allow some animals to be eaten while others should not be eaten. And if we did draw did draw lines they would be just that, arbitrary.
========

Contention #7
FREEMAN- "They can find a new line of work."
TKUBOK- "Brilliant. So youre trading in the suffering of animals, for the suffering of human beings? Clearly you are the most ethical man of all! Im convinced!"

Sardonic humor mixed with dry wit and sprinkled with sarcasm is amusing but it doesn't amount to a logical argument. There are all sorts of industries that make millions of dollars every year that entail the deliberate mistreatment of conscious creatures. Human trafficking, the slave trade, and pit bull fighting has undoubtedly made many people rich many times over. The fact that people can make money in an industry is not a logical reason that the industry should be preserved or that the industry is operating ethically. So that's the first point. Secondly, huge corporations and conglomerates run many of the factory farms that raise cattle or other animals. It's unlikely that corporate executives would find themselves in line at the Salvation Army waiting for soup bowls when they're sitting on 20 million dollars in the bank.

=================
"Secondly, are you not opposed to them becoming homeless? If not, then again, answer my question. Who will provide the money for their retraining? Who will provide them with the tools necessary to achieve a new job?"

You speak about meat farmers as though they've been entitled by God to make money. Well guess what; they haven't. In a free market where citizens choose not to eat meat they will have to evolve or die out. Or do you not believe in free markets? If I'm selling a product and that product eventually becomes obsolete it's not anyone's responsibility to bail me out. If someone does help me with money or whatever then great, but its not their responsibility.

==================
"So, my next question would be, is it ethical to disregard the sufferings of a human in favor of an animal?" No, insofar as the suffering is disproportionate in our favor with respect to the qualities humans possess. If given a choice I would save a human over a chimpanzee because humans have the ability to hold preferences, feel happiness and plan for the future in ways that no chimpanzee possibly could.

Unless you think that the temporary inconvenience of a meat farmer who must adapt to changing markets is morally equivalent to the suffering endured by the thousands of animals he butchers then this argument can be dismissed at face value. If you want to argue that the two are morally on par then by all means go ahead, blow my mind. Your utility claim for meat farmers is not on all fours and reasonable people don't have to treat it as such.

Contention #10.
"I am assuming that you are talking about animals here. And this is the problem. Being free, allowing to live, among other things, are the basic rights applied to humans. Yet, clearly, you are not opposed to eating animals by people who require, or cannot choose otherwise. So, animals dont receive the same rights, yet, you make an advocation that animals should have the same rights? Your contradicting yourself."

I'm no more contradicting myself then you are demonstrating a coherent use of logic. If someone eats meat out of necessity for their life then at that point they wouldn't be consuming it purely for pleasure, which is the basis of my entire argument. Arguing that animals should be free and not slaughtered as a means for human pleasure is not the same as arguing that they should have equal rights with humans. I fully acknowledge that animals and humans should have different rights. At the very minimum they shouldn't suffer under the wanton cruelty of greedy profiteering humans who use them as a means for pleasure. This isn't asking for a whole lot on their behalf.

======
Case Pro
======

Claim 1
Membership in a species is not relevant to matters of ethics. I've demonstrated this before and so far its gone unchallenged so it remains intact.

Claim 2
It is morally wrong to knowingly cause animals to suffer for no good reason.

Claim 3
HUMANS don't need meat to survive therefore eating animals for pleasure is not a sufficient reason to curtail their happiness.

Best,
Freeman
tkubok

Con

Let me state that i did enjoy this debate, and although i dont exactly have a personal opinion on this matter.

"I'm not a spokesperson for PETA nor am I here to defend any of the views that they may hold."
Its hard to know where your views begin and where they end. Its partially because we didnt have enough time/space to write down everything we wanted. So if you are against PETA, then i apologize for bringing it up. However, thus far, it is hard to understand exactly what you are trying to advocate. You have made the argument before as to how it would feel if we as humans were to experience the same undergoings as animals, which is basically the argument that PETA makes.

"sanctions that would put meat farmers out of business"
But you clearly are in favor of meat farmers going out of business. Although you havent touched on your entire argument as to how exactly we should avoid eating meat and to what extent, but clearly you: a). Dont care if the farmers go out of busness, and hope they do, and b). think it unethical for people to make a living off of meat. And usually, since people advocate stopping others from doing unethical things, its not a far stretch to assume that even if you are not arguing that governments should impose sanctions, you would atleast not object if such a sanction was put in place.

"Chickens have a much more developed nervous system than clams do"
My original counter argument was as follows:
"no method of detecting exactly how MUCH pain one animal can feel over another"
And, your two sources cite nothing towards the degree of pain of one over the other.
BTW, youre the one who made the argument, not me:
"Clams, if they can suffer at all, suffer a lot less than pigs or other farm animals."
Therefore, the burden of proof is on you. Not me. Im not the one who made the assertion. You are. Please dont try to shift the burden of proof.

"flies, or clams can suffer their own destruction in any way"
Ive already provided evidence that Flies can infact feel pain. Your bald assertion is still an assertion as you havent provided any evidence to the contrary.
"I have serious doubts that they have emotional lives in the way that cows and pigs do"
Again, no source. How emotional are cows and pigs? What emotions can they feel? Do they have Empathy? You are the one making the assertion. You are the one who should provide the source.

"For this reason I'm still waiting for more evidence to come in."
We have no evidence at all, and this is my point. Im not the one claiming that Flies have more feeling than Pigs. You are making the claim that pigs feel more than flies. That is a bald assertion, with no evidence to back it up.

"if we did draw did draw lines they would be just that, arbitrary."
Heres another arbitrary rule: We are allowed to eat anything other than humans. Wow, youre right, that is easy!

The truth is, things like the age of consent, the age of maturity and the age of voting, may SEEM arbitrary, but they are not. We didnt make a roulette with an age range of 1 to 80, and throw a dart to see where it landed. Infact, we carefully reviewed the physiology, psychology, and current culture.

"Reason can guide us to the conclusion that swatting flies is morally inconsequential whereas killing pigs is not."
Id ask what reason that would be, as you have done nothing but avoid answering the question thus far. However, as it is the last round, it is too late to ask this.

"The fact that people can make money in an industry is not a logical reason that the industry should be preserved or that the industry is operating ethically."
Yet nothing that youve said thus far, nor the majority of the citizens of EVERY SINGLE country that abolishes Sex Slavery, Drugs and all other unethical business practices, nor the Justice or Judicial system that bans such unethical businesses, even slightly consider that the meat business is unethical.

Your argument is completely useless, as someone who believes that Clothes is an unethical industry, could also compare clothes to Sex slaves, which is not the case.

"huge corporations and conglomerates run many of the factory farms"
No. Huge corporations buy from many of the factory farms. There is a difference.
"they're sitting on 20 million dollars in the bank."
Wow, the farmers sure are rich! The corporate heads have millions. The indiviual farmers, which lose their jobs regardless, do not. I did not even mention the corporate heads. Why are you bringing up this argument?

"You speak about meat farmers as though they've been entitled by God to make money."
You speak about meat farmers as though they have alternative sources of income.
"it's not anyone's responsibility to bail me out."
It is if someone is advocating everyone to boycott your product.

"feel happiness and plan for the future in ways that no chimpanzee possibly could."
Yet, here, you say:
"The ability to experience happiness and the ability to suffer can be useful criterion for determining what animals have rights."
You are contradicting yourself, sir. If the ability to experience hapiness is a criterion, but animals cannot feel any happiness except for animals, clearly all animals(Cept for humans) have the same rights. You have lost, sir.

"temporary inconvenience of a meat farmer"
This is the point, though. Look at todays economy. Are all the people who are going out of busness, only "Temporarily" inconvenienced? Of course not. They have lost a stable job, which means pension, health care benefits, etc. These arent temporary, and most of them are not likely to receive new jobs. As seen here(1), the number of people who lose jobs longer is a lot higher. Any person who has lost their job at a good company knows that they are inconvenienced for life. Losing a job which constitutes your entire life, including your entire work experience, is not a simple "Temporary inconvenience", and i find it rude and frankly insulting to those who lost their jobs in this economy.

"If someone eats meat out of necessity for their life then at that point they wouldn't be consuming it purely for pleasure, which is the basis of my entire argument"
And the fact that we can substitute meat for vegetables, as is the case for, uh, almost EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL ON THE PLANET, doesnt make it any less moral for those animals to KEEP consuming meat.

"At the very minimum they shouldn't suffer under the wanton cruelty of greedy profiteering humans who use them as a means for pleasure."
At the very minimum of WHAT criterion? Since you refused to answer what possible criterion we could use to instigate what rights go to what animals, your argument completely lacks any credibility.

"you are demonstrating a coherent use of logic"
Thanks for the examples. Oh wait, you have none. Another blatantly bald assertion with no evidence to back it up?

"Membership in a species is not relevant to matters of ethics."
Yet, you claim:
"I fully acknowledge that animals and humans should have different rights."
So clearly, membership in a species is relevant to matters of ethics, or in a larger sense, rights. Again, thanks for the contradiction.

"It is morally wrong to knowingly cause animals to suffer for no good reason"
Clearly there are already good reasons in place, as you yourself have admitted. Furthermore, it is a good time to bring this up, as our debate is ending. The original topic is flawed. There is no such thing as consuming meat purely for pleasure, as meat is converted to protein or nutrients regardless of whether the organism requires, or has an alternative means of eating. Therefore, the consumption of meat provides nutrients, and is not purely for pleasure.

"HUMANS don't need meat to survive therefore eating animals for pleasure is not a sufficient reason to curtail their happiness."
I couldve addressed this, if you had answered my previous argument.

1. http://www.bls.g...
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
Thanks for the debate. :)
Posted by tkubok 7 years ago
tkubok
Stupid debate.org cut off my source, even though i had 100 words left. Here it is:
1. http://www.bls.gov...
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
"Simple, animals are not on the same moral platform as humans :). If you saw a dog hurting a baby, and the only way to stop this is to inflict even greater pain upon the dog (whatever the means is), would you stop the dog? I would think most people would say yes."

Of course but what does this really have to do with eating meat for pleasure?

I think the 'pleasure' criteria establishes that animals aren't on a completely equal footing as it implies that it would be acceptable to eat them for survival or other reasons.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Simple, animals are not on the same moral platform as humans :). If you saw a dog hurting a baby, and the only way to stop this is to inflict even greater pain upon the dog (whatever the means is), would you stop the dog? I would think most people would say yes.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
I am mostly in agreement with Pro here.
Posted by Volkov 7 years ago
Volkov
"If this is what my opposition is reduced to then this will be even easier than I imagined."

I'm not so much "reduced" to it, as I am taking the piss out of it.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
"I like meat, I enjoy eating it, and it makes me feel happy to eat it. Go omnivores!"

If this is what my opposition is reduced to then this will be even easier than I imagined.
Posted by Volkov 7 years ago
Volkov
I like meat, I enjoy eating it, and it makes me feel happy to eat it. Go omnivores!
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Another argument Pro might have considered was the huge amount of land it takes to raise an animal for meat compared to growing of crops with the same nutritional value and the effects that that has on the environment and climate change.

I wish I didn't eat meat, just like I wish I didn't smoke or drink, but I do all of those things and enjoy them even though I know they are wrong. Still, I suppose that seemingly irrational behaviour is one of the things that separates humans from strictly regimented species like unlike ants and wasps.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
What an interesting resolution. I will probably take this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
FreemantkubokTied
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Vote Placed by LB628 7 years ago
LB628
FreemantkubokTied
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