The Instigator
Tommy.leadbetter
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
2-D
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Eating meat in the developed world is morally wrong.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
2-D
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,993 times Debate No: 61058
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)

 

Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

This is not about eating meat in general. No arguments about animals eating meat. No arguments about our ancestors eating meat for I am talking about right now, in the developed countries. Serious debaters only please.
2-D

Con

Hi Tom, thanks for setting up the debate; looking forward to your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Thank you for accepting.

I think the argument is quite simple on my behalf. To say 'eating meat is morally wrong' means that, compared to not eating meat, it is immoral. Non-human mammals are conscious, fellow creatures. They feel pain and suffer no different from us, and we put them through hell. All this in the name of pleasure, for it is not needed: science has demonstrated that meat is not necessary in the optimum human diet. And so, causing suffering for pleasure is wrong in anyone's eyes is it not? That is my stance.

People like to argue that it is natural. I have two contentions with this: Firstly that hunting animals is natural, not farming them. Secondly, that morality has no place in nature. It is a creation of man. We have been blessed with the ability to contemplate our 'nature'. We have come up with the idea of morality, which means to attempt to lessen the suffering of others to the greatest extent,whilst maintaining ones own life. Making others suffer, when it is not longer needed, is morally wrong.

What I need is someone to explain how causing a fellow creature to suffer/die is acceptable in the name of pleasure. Most meat-eaters I talk too admit its wrong and accept that they don't care enough for the animals, and care more for there own pleasure (I can be an annoying friend). But you are arguing that its actually morally acceptable, not just that you don't care. I really want to understand this view, that's why I made this debate.
2-D

Con

This Debate is About Eating Meat not About Animal Suffering

It is not necessary to cause any pain or suffering to animals to eat them. Voters can wholly agree that animals should not be treated poorly or put through unnecessary pain. This has nothing to do with the resolution and pain and suffering is a separate issue all together.

From a more utilitarian perspective eating meat contributes to the benefit of highly conscious humans and no pain or suffering is necessary for the animals [2]. With a large benefit on one hand, and no need for a loss of the benefit to animals, eating meat is most definitely moral.

“We have been designed by evolution to eat meat and other animal foods[3].” It contains a high amount of protein, essential vitamins and minerals and is essential to a low carb diet. It’s natural to enjoy eating meat since we have evolved to eat it and it contributes to a high level of enjoyment to virtually every culture on the planet.

Eating Meat is Natural

As Pro has conceded. The assertion that farming animals is not natural does nothing to prove that pain and suffering is necessary to eat meat. He has basically stated that farming animals is wrong but this is an objection to farming and not eating meat. He has all but suggested that hunting animals would be okay which would make various forms of hunting (and eating the meat) that limit suffering morally acceptable.

Pro did not Define Morality or Offer a Context

Pro did not establish a moral context to discuss this or point to a specific moral code making the resolution very difficult to support. Many descriptive moral relativist positions would accept that eating meat is moral since it widely accepted in our culture [1]. It may be moral under certain cultures but not in others.

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The arguments presented rest on a false assumption. Animal suffering is required to eat meat. This is simply not true. I would like to see farm animals treated a lot better but this is a separate issue all together. Animals could be raised under good conditions avoiding pain and suffering leading to a painless death. Pro’s arguments just do not address the resolution.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://authoritynutrition.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

My view is that meat is only a pleasure. On the grounds that it is mearly a pleasure, it should be stopped to prevent suffering. As suffering is more important than pleasure to any nation considering themselves to be compassionate and free.

My argument stated "this is not about eating meat in general", and yet your title read: "this debate is about eating meat..." It is not about eating meat. For I am obviously not arguing that its morally wrong to grow a chicken breast, or even to be 100% sure of the animal not suffering whatsoever. Or indeed, to be wrong for tribal societies or even animals to partake in. I am arguing that "right now", as I have said, it's wrong. Meaning that the methods used to feed the population meat, and those of us who support it, are wrong.

So this next argument is irrelevant:

You say: "It is not necessary to cause any pain or suffering to animals to eat them. Voters can wholly agree that animals should not be treated poorly or put through unnecessary pain. This has nothing to do with the resolution and pain and suffering is a separate issue all together."

Killing animals, and pain and suffering, aren't altogether seperate issues though. Theoretically, it might be possible to cause an animal no suffering by killing it. How this could be done on the scale needed to feed a modern society, I don't know. But this is irrelevant, as the argument states: "talking about right now, in developed countries".

You say: "From a more utilitarian perspective eating meat contributes to the benefit of highly conscious humans and no pain or suffering is necessary for the animals [2]. With a large benefit on one hand, and no need for a loss of the benefit to animals, eating meat is most definitely moral."

I agree, but again, it's irrelevant. For no such system exists or ever has.

You say: ""We have been designed by evolution to eat meat and other animal foods[3]." It contains a high amount of protein, essential vitamins and minerals and is essential to a low carb diet. It"s natural to enjoy eating meat since we have evolved to eat it and it contributes to a high level of enjoyment to virtually every culture on the planet."

Now this is a legitimate argument.

Meat is not our natural food source. That's why we actually carnt eat meat. Have you ever tryed to eat raw roadkill? a meat-eater would, he would be attracted to it. Our, brains have evolved to feel disgusted at a corpse, and this is another way that we know we are not naturally meant to eat meat. Meat must be heated at a high temperature and carefully cooked through, to avoid sickness. Even when cooked however, it is detrimental to our health in many ways. Vegetarians live 6 to 10 years longer than meat eaters, and chicken increases the risk of cancer by 52%. So my point is, eating meat is not a necessity.

You say: "As Pro has conceded. The assertion that farming animals is not natural does nothing to prove that pain and suffering is necessary to eat meat"

I know. I don't think that it would be impossible to eat meat without suffering. I just think that it probably would be impossible to achieve on a scale big enough to feed the whole society. I am not trying to prove that it is impossible to eat meat without suffering anyway, I don't know why you keep saying it. It's about "now" like I said.

I don't disagree with the concept of farming, there is such a thing as reciprocal altruism. However 99% of farms don't know the meaning of the word. Killing an animal is also not part of a reciprocally altruistic relationship.

You say: "Pro did not establish a moral context to discuss this or point to a specific moral code making the resolution very difficult to support. Many descriptive moral relativist positions would accept that eating meat is moral since it widely accepted in our culture [1]. It may be moral under certain cultures but not in others."

I think the reason your having difficulty grasping any moral certainty is because of your terminology. You keep saying "eatingmeat" rather than "killing others for pleasure". For "eating meat" is not necessarily wrong. Killing animals for pleasure, when you know better, is wrong. Simple. Maybe if you started saying "cruelty to others" rather than "eating meat", reality might hit home quicker. Read through your augment now dong that, and just see what perspective it gives.

You say: "The arguments presented rest on a false assumption. Animal suffering is required to eat meat. This is simply not true. I would like to see farm animals treated a lot better but this is a separate issue all together. Animals could be raised under good conditions avoiding pain and suffering leading to a painless death. Pro"s arguments just do not address the resolution."

Whether you could see it or not, it was intended to. This argument is about killing animals. If you think we should not aim to cut meat out of our diet then please argue that because everything else we probably agree on. I think causing suffering is wrong, not that it's impossible to not cause suffering. Where did you get that impression? Never mind, if you dissagree then please continue, but please don't waste our time talking about a separation between pain and killing, as it is not relevant in a debate about today's society.

Thank you
2-D

Con

Negative Responsibility

Negative responsibility puts people in a situation where they are responsible for the far reaching consequences of there actions and not their immediate actions. For instance Pro would like to hold those that eat meat responsible for the assumed poor treatment of animals since the practice of eating meat encourages the domestication of animals to produce meat. This view makes everyone responsible for virtually all immoral actions.

Is it immoral to attend and support the Catholic Church because priests have abused children in the past? Is it immoral to live in the United States because we have a high murder rate and supply guns to corrupt organizations and governments around the world? There is no reason why we should be held responsible for animal abuse when we have not committed these acts ourselves and public outcry over animal cruelty has greatly improved the way animals are treated.

The bottom line is that those who eat meat have not treated animals poorly but Pro would like to hold them responsible for this anyways. In other words, the majority of the Industrialized world should be held responsible for the actions of others. In addition, we are immoral for actions that we have not taken i.e. moving toward the unnatural practice of not eating meat because others have abused farm animals in the past.

If Pro would like this debate to be about some kind of negative responsibility for animal suffering that should have been made that clear in the resolution. There is no mention of animal suffering in the resolution or opening round so this debate is about eating meat as stated.


“Theoretically, it might be possible to cause an animal no suffering by killing it. How this could be done on the scale needed to feed a modern society, I don't know.”

Dr Grandin is a high functioning autistic that has done a lot of work to understand and prevent the suffering of cattle and other farm animals [4]. She worked to alleviate even the low level suffering of cows at ranches such as the anxiety the may feel when passing through handling facilities and being spooked by fast movements. Around half of the cattle in the United States and in Canada are now handled using her equipment. Many large beef handlers such as Wendy’s, McDonalds and Burger king routinely use her audit, designed to prevent animal cruelty, with their suppliers who pass or are forced to reform.

The requirements enforced by the audits include training employees in preventing cruelty, removing distractions that may spook or scare animals and solid panels so that animals do not see people as they approach stunners [7]. A company like McDonalds has a lot of purchasing power and they buy meat from 90% of the large and medium U.S. and Canadian plants. If you are removed from their buy list that can mean millions of dollars in lost revenue so their audit program has had a large impact on the treatment of animals. They also have an active audit program in South America, Australia, Europe and Asia.

She has been the poster child for the effort to prevent animal cruelty on farms. At this point she was quoted as saying that inhumane, “handling’s no longer my biggest concern [4].” “The current state of humane slaughter affairs is so good that when Grandin spoke to the gathering of Midwestern farmers, her talk was not about handling, but about messaging—‘How Farmers Can Connect With Their Consumers.’”

Bruising of Cattle was reduced from 20% to 1% when producers were forced to pay for the loss and the practice of fining transporters for sending pigs to weak to walk greatly improved the treatment of pigs [7]. Safety has been a successful motivator to eliminate the shackling and hoisting of live animals. Non-slip flooring in vehicle transport, unloading areas and stun boxes have been successful in greatly reducing the number of serious animal injuries. There is a large list of practical improvements in farms over the last couple decades that has greatly improved the way animals are treated.

There are many organizations today that monitor the treatment of animals at farms including the Animal Welfare Institute, Humane Farm Animal Care, American Humane Certified and Global Animal Partnership. The USDA Organic label carries with it requirements about handling animals, how they are stunned and transported for slaughter. Humane slaughter has been a legal requirement since the 1958 Humane Slaughter act.

Pro’s stance that animal cruelty is pervasive and necessary in modern farming is simply a poor assumption and he has done nothing to attempt to prove that it is true. The treatment of animals has dramatically improved and continues to do so. The trend is toward better treatment of animals.

“and this is another way that we know we are not naturally meant to eat meat…Vegetarians live 6 to 10 years longer than meat eaters, and chicken increases the risk of cancer by 52%.”

Pro’s comments that indicate that eating meat is not natural to humans and those vegetarians are healthier are unfounded speculation. It is simply not true and these are claims that he would need sourcing to prove. We are most definitely omnivores [5] meaning both meat and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. Again, lean meat is an important source of protein and other vital nutrients [6].

The Arguments Presented are Based on Assumptions not Evidence

Pro has not made any attempt to establish what morality is and confirm that a specific moral code applies to everyone from every culture. Even still, he has applied a nonstandard view of morality without explanation. Why should we be held responsible for the actions of others? He simply assumes that we have a moral responsibility toward animals but has done nothing to establish this. He has not presented any evidence to support that animal cruelty is normal or even common in farms and, in fact, the situation has been improving.

-

Pro has presented no evidence that the meat eaters should be held morally responsible for the assumed poor treatment of animals from some meat producers. He has done nothing to establish what morality is or to establish that the non standard idea of negative responsibility applies in this case. He has simply assumed that poor treatment of animals is common practice but has provided no evidence to prove that this is true.

[4] http://modernfarmer.com...

[5] http://www.biology-online.org...

[6] http://www.mayoclinic.org...

[7] http://www.grandin.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Tommy.leadbetter forfeited this round.
2-D

Con

Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Hlinnerooth 2 years ago
Hlinnerooth
One more with your teeth. Where do pigs fit in? Are they human then? Because there teeth are set up a lot like ares just more stretched out because of the larger jaw...
Posted by Hlinnerooth 2 years ago
Hlinnerooth
You are still comparing a Carnivores teeth to are own still. Yes we are not engendered to chase after deer on foot, we are engendered to make things. Primates are made in this way too. You also state that we are defenceless without are tools, but are there not other animals that are defenceless against us without tools. The food chain! We began to hunt for animals to gather more food to sustain a larger group. We also started farming, but we could not guarantee a good crop. Evolution in itself is proof that we are meat and veggie eaters. And why should those in the developed world forgo meat and those in the undeveloped keep eating meat? Why would it be morally ok for them?
Posted by Garsot 2 years ago
Garsot
Have you ever looked at human teeth compared to the teeth of a dog or cat? The difference between the two are incredible. The canine teeth humans have are poorly designed if they are made for meat. Just because humans can ingest and digest meat, which if uncooked it has the potential to make them sick which no other carnivore seems to have this problem, does not mean we are meant to eat it. And humans were foraging for vegetation way before they were hunting for meat, its illogical for humans to forgo food that is standing still in favor of food that can escape them. So naturally the eating of meat would have had to come from lack of vegetation. Also, humans had been eating meat as much as you say, evolution would have equipped us with better bodies for the ordeal of hunting, tracking, trapping, killing, eating, and digesting other animals. But aside from few gifted hunters, humans have to rely on tools and other outside sources rather than their own selves to get said animals, meanwhile almost all the other animals use their own bodies or at the most very elementary tools to get the food they need. You can't really ignore evolution. Also, I believe evolution gave humans the teeth they have in order to give them a little bit of defense against the other creatures of the world since humans are pretty much defenseless without their tools.

http://pressreleaseheadlines.com... human teeth
http://www.kingwestvets.com... dog teeth
http://theveganapproach.net...
Posted by Hlinnerooth 2 years ago
Hlinnerooth
I agree with you on the caged animals, and the way that some people treat them. Not all farms are like this, and most of the chemicals they pump in are to help the animals. There are regulations and farms are allot more humane then they used to be.
The teeth you mention are from carnivores which are typically meat eating, with very few veggies. Then you have herbivores, which diets consist of mostly plants. Then you have us which are classified as omnivores, which means meat and plants. The human diet has always consisted of meat,though we are not supposed to eat as much as we do I agree. We have canine teeth yes, but we also have some incisors which are ment for cutting through things like flesh, and tough plant skins. Then we have are molars which are ment to chew things up (like plants). Just look at all of the other omnivor teeth.
I am against animal cruelty and people that let the animals suffer, but we were made for eating meat period.
Posted by Garsot 2 years ago
Garsot
I would argue that its not morally wrong to eat meat or vegetation as long as we are biologically dependent on natural foods to survive, if we develop the ability to not have to eat in order to live healthily then it could be morally wrong, but I think the morality point comes into question in regards to how humans separate themselves from other animals and use that as reason to put them through horrible treatments. Keeping animals caged up and pumping chemicals into their bodies throughout their lives is morally wrong. We get outraged when we hear stories of people being caged and tortured, but turn a blind eye, a lot of people do anyways, when we have farms all over the lands that do the same thing to other animals. Humans have the insane idea that they are somehow superior creatures, and because of this that the other animals deserve to go through that. Also, eating meat is not something humans need to do, at least not from mobile animals, as nuts are considered to be meat I guess.

Hlinnerooth brought up the point of we have the teeth to eat meat, which I am guessing he is talking about the "K-9" teeth. 4 very small, incredibly dull teeth in a mouth full of grinders and a few flat teeth in the front I don't think equates to meat eaters. Other meat eating animals (dogs, cats, crocs, etc) have mouths full of incredibly sharp teeth and have jaws that are meant for tearing into flesh. Humans teeth are designed more for vegetation and the "sharp" teeth meant for tearing into hard-skinned plants. Don't believe me, try tearing your teeth through a living antelope like a lion does and see how well that works out. Despite what people seem to believe, humans are not suited to eat meat, at least not in the capacity that we do. If the meat isn't cooked, then it could make humans sick even if it didn't have diseases, definitely not a trait for meat eaters.
Posted by Hlinnerooth 2 years ago
Hlinnerooth
It is scientifically proven that some plants can feel pain. And yes supplements are wrong, because you are taking them to supplement what you should be eating. You don't have a disease that causes you to take them, you are suffering from malnutrition if you don't. Do you drive a car or ride a bike by chance?
Well there are animal products in the tires... There are animal products in most of the things that we use in everyday life, so we are still killing them for one thing or another. You using a computer right now correct? Well think about where power comes from and teething soused to create power... Your killing more animals... So since we can't get around killing them for everyday products why not eat them too? It is completely natural. That's why we have the teeth we do, to eat meat and plants.
Posted by ZenoCitium 2 years ago
ZenoCitium
My point was that in my experience, albeit perhaps a limited experience, vegetarians and vegans build a resolution that they not only don't extend to all aspects of their lives but that probably is not possible to even live under. Do you prevent the suffering of animals in all aspects of life?

If you are raising chickens in a humane way and putting them unscious prior to killing them how is this still selfish and wrong?
Posted by Tommy.leadbetter 2 years ago
Tommy.leadbetter
My point is that it's not correct, plants don't feel pain: they may loosely fit some definition of the word 'pain' but they don't suffer. At least, I don't think they suffer. The point is: if you think plants feel pain, then you must know animals do. So are you not a vegetarian?

Not eating plants is so far from not eating animals that its not worth discussing. It's hard enough for people to get their heads around a vegetarian world, why start talking about plants and there rights in the same context?

Yes it would be MORE morally acceptable than raising them in less than ideal standards of course. But it's still selfish and wrong. Though its mostly ignorance I'm glad to say, for it would be worse is most people where selfish or lacked empathy.
Posted by ZenoCitium 2 years ago
ZenoCitium
@Tommy: If by extreme you mean that I fall in a minority, then yes. However, you are a minority if you are a vegetarian and if you are vegan then less then 1% of the US population follow your diet. What is your point?

Why does one need a brain to perceive pain? We feel pain in the brain because that's were our central nervous system is but why limit our thinking by denousing that without a brain there is no pain. Plants react to harmful stimuli to protect itself. That reaction can even be limited or removed with anesthetics. Doesn't that at least meet the baseline concept of pain or even warrant us to consider it to be conservative?

Plants may be a separate issue but so is pain. If you raise chickens in your back yard and later kill them painlessly and eat them, would that be a morally acceptable way to eat meat?
Posted by Tommy.leadbetter 2 years ago
Tommy.leadbetter
The resolution is that eating meat is morally wrong. Plants are a separate issue. Are you a vegan? For believing that plants feel pain is very extreme, I don't even know Buddists that believe that. Plants don't have a nervous system or neurons to contemplate pain. Pain is felt in the brain, plants have no brain.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Tommy.leadbetter2-DTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture