The Instigator
J4ke
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Republicaninct
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Everyone should become Lacto-vegetarian/vegan

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
J4ke
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 970 times Debate No: 56928
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)

 

J4ke

Pro

I am arguing the case that eating meat products, eggs and honey is morally wrong and everyone should stop. I am also against the hunting of animals for materials and experimenting on animals for science development but if I were to include these topics in this argument it would be extremely long. Also, my largest concern is currently for the eating of farm animals because there is such a large amount of people that ignore this topic.

From recent discussions, I have found that the common problem with many meat-eaters today is that they are taking upon a blindness towards what they eat and ignoring the fact that the meat they eat was once a living animal, with interests and emotional value. Or, perhaps people feel that with such a large meat processing/selling industry existing, their forbearance of meat is not going to have an impact on the quantity of animals slaughtered and sold.

However, many others have seemed to argue that the food chain provides us with justification for killing animals and that it is our natural instinct to do so. Moreover, cases have been argued that Genesis 1.26 states that we have 'dominion' over the animals, or that we could not provide the world with enough food for a healthy diet without the meat industry.

I'm going to keep this fairly short as it is only the first argument. I will go in depth with the following if you have any objections.

First of all, let's stick with the obvious principle that - although we are a very different species to farm animals, with a higher level of intelligence - these animals can feel pain and they can feel comfort (whether they can experience happiness, I am not YET debating) and in that respect they are equal to humans. I'm sure if we all reason with ourselves, everyone (other than the sadistic minority) can understand that an act that inflicts pain on a living being, whether human or inhuman, is less moral than an act that creates comfort for the being - and less moral than if you were not to act upon the being at all. Presuming that you agree, this proves that the act of having these animals slaughtered is intrinsically wrong.

Maybe you still think that the consequence of this act is of such importance to human survival that it overrules the immorality of the act itself. If this is the case, I can tell you, as Peter Singer makes clear (I will explain in a later debate), that the human population can easily survive without the meat industry - in fact, it would even be more efficient and solve tragic issues such as starvation of the less fortunate.

Moving on to those with the mindset that they are not going to make a difference to the meat industry themselves by becoming vegetarian/vegan. This has no relevance to my argument title because I state that 'Everyone' should become vege/vegan and this concerns only the individual. Anyhow, I thought I'd include it for the benefit of those reading.

By eating the meat because you think that it is going to be produced continuously no matter what you do, you are buying in and supporting the cause for killing animals and you are, therefore, placing yourself in the wrong. However, on this subject I like to use the maxim of Immanuel Kant's 'Categorical Imperative' theory that states that in order to ensure that an act is morally right, we must first universalise the action. Imagine a world where everyone had this mindset; eating meat purely because they felt that, as an individual, they would not contribute to the prevention of animal slaughter. Now think of a world where everyone had the opposite mindset; believing that something different can happen: that, as an individual, they can make a difference.

After looking back on my rather lengthy discussion already, I've decided to approach the last to arguments at the same time.

Many Christians believe that animals have been put on Earth by God under our control; some even see the animals as a gift to feed us. The food chain is also used commonly in attempt to justify eating animals; other animals eat each other so why are we not entitled to? Well, no other species of animal are nearly as intelligent as humans; no other animals know to plant seeds in order to grow food, nor might they know that killing other animals is wrong. I have not yet thought researched deeply about a solution to the rest of the food chain, but this argument only concerns humans anyway.

Peter Singer states: "If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?"
This quote, alone, sums up my first point on the issue. We seem to feel that we own the right to use these animals as our resources just because we are more intelligent and more powerful, yet when it comes to the less intelligent and weaker people of the HUMAN RACE, the majority of our society will disagree that it is fair for someone more powerful to murder one of the weaker.

In relation to this idea, the cruelty that we show to animals is influential towards how we treat other people and if you really are absolute that a human life is more valuable than an animal's in every manner then this is a point to consider.
St. Francis of Assisi says that "If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
The way we treat animals is very likely to have an impact on the way we treat man. Stats show a sharp correlation between animal abuse & other crimes, including rape, robbery, murder, sexual homicide, domestic abuse and more. Studies show 100% of sexual homicide perpetrators (like Jeffrey Dahmer) started by abusing animals and, although his sort of abuse differs slightly to the slaughter of farm animals, it all still reflects the same principles of animal cruelty.

EGGS/HONEY:
My objection to eating honey is simple. Bees work throughout the hot weathered seasons, storing this honey so that the colony can feed from it during winter when they can no longer collect pollen from plants. Then the humans come along and steal it from them, just to provide a luxury item for us to eat - which is not necessary. The wrongdoing in the theft of this honey, the selfishness and greed, as well as the inconsideration for the bees' survival through the colder seasons should be clear to you.

By eating eggs, we are supporting the poor conditions that chickens live through when producing the eggs. A large majority of eggs (apologies for not having stats, I have to finish up soon) come from conventional, caged hens. Up to 10 hens are crammed into 18 by 20 inch cages. These conditions barely allow the chickens to move around or spread their wings; they are trapped, deprived from their interests, free will and veterinary attention. As for the males, they are either thrown away in dumpsters left to die or ground up alive in meat grinders as chicks; having their will to live snatched away in order for us to feast greedily on the unneeded luxury of eggs.

Now, linking back to the earlier argument that the infliction of pain promotes less good than leaving the animals alone entirely, the process of obtaining eggs is morally wrong.

Although Uncaged eggs and free-range eggs seem like a more humane alternative, the chickens still go through deprived lives, as I will discuss in the next round if you choose to argue against this subject.
Overall, in purchasing eggs to eat, you are in effect paying for the murder of hundreds of millions of baby animals.
Republicaninct

Con

First of all you can't force people to eat what they don't want to eat
second of all someone has to keep animals in check and that is the human society if all meat eaters stopped eating meat there would be a huge overpopulation of animals
third of all human is the most important race and takes priority over all other animals
fourth of all many humans depend on meat products dietarily and hunting for financial reasons
Debate Round No. 1
J4ke

Pro

"First of all you can't force people to eat what they don't want to eat" - This point is irrelevant to the argument; I merely state that everyone SHOULD become lacto-vegetarians/vegans and that we would have a better world and a better society if this is to be achieved. At no point did I mention anything about forcing people.

"second of all someone has to keep animals in check and that is the human society if all meat eaters stopped eating meat there would be a huge overpopulation of animals" - The first comment is not explained clearly; for what reason does someone need to be keeping animals in check? Also, without the murder of animals, what is preventing us from keeping these animals in check? I can't argue back until you make that clear. The second statement is a common assumption that is often mistaken by meat eaters. There would be no overpopulation of animals; with the number of farm animals currently living in the world I can understand why it may seem so but that is only due to the mass breeding of livestock animals that takes place in order to provide more animals to be killed for their meat or to be kept for their produce (dairy/eggs/wool). Without the excessive breeding managed by the farming industry, the overpopulation of animals will most certainly not be any more of a problem than it is today.

Whilst on the subject of doing what is best for the environment; bringing a halt to meat eating would greatly reduce the impact of climate change.

"There are three times as many domestic animals on this planet as there are human beings. The combined weight of the world's 1.28 billion cattle alone exceeds that of the human population. While we look darkly at the number of babies being born in poorer parts of the world, we ignore the over-population of farm animals, to which we ourselves contribute...[t]hat, however, is only part of the damage done by the animals we deliberately breed. The energy intensive factory farming methods of the industrialised nations are responsible for the consumption of huge amounts of fossil fuels. Chemical fertilizers, used to grow the feed crops for cattle in feedlots and pigs and chickens kept indoors in sheds, produce nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Then there is the loss of forests. Everywhere, forest-dwellers, both human and non-human, can be pushed out. Since 1960, 25 percent of the forests of Central America have been cleared for cattle. Once cleared, the poor soils will support grazing for a few years; then the graziers must move on. Shrub takes over the abandoned pasture, but the forest does not return. When the forests are cleared so the cattle can graze, billions of tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Finally, the world's cattle are thought to produce about 20 percent of the methane released into the atmosphere, and methane traps twenty-five times as much heat from the sun as carbon dioxide."

Those are the words of Peter Singer and, with my knowledge from in depth research, I could not put it any better.
In 2009 researchers from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency published their projections of the greenhouse gas consequences if humanity came to eat less meat, no meat, or no animal products at all. The researchers predicted that universal veganism would reduce agriculture-related carbon emissions by 17 percent, methane emissions by 24 percent, and nitrous oxide emissions by 21 percent by 2050. Universal vegetarianism would result in similarly impressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
These figures have not and cannot be proven for certain without being tested, but for those of you disagreeing that it should be tested - have a look at our world now; look at the increase of global warming that has taken place over the last few decades - we are risking the future of our planet for our own greed and desire for meat.

On the subject of solving the issue of starvation:
Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, and it takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of edible animal flesh; on average it takes 21 pounds of protein fed to a calf to produce a single pound of animal protein for humans. We get back less than 5 percent of what we put in. According to the USDA and the United Nations, using an acre of land to raise cattle for slaughter yields 20 pounds of usable protein. That same acre would yield 356 pounds of protein if soybeans were grown instead"". It should be no surprise, then, that food for a vegan can be produced on only 1/6 of an acre of land, while it takes 3 1/4 acres of land to produce food for a meat-eater. By ceasing to rear and kill animals for food, we can make so much extra food available for humans that, properly distributed, it would eliminate starvation and malnutrition.

The meat industry is thus highly inefficient and, on top of the vast amount of land, resources, water and fossil fuels wasted, and the harmful gas emissions, farming (factory farming in particular) is also wasting extremely high amounts of energy that - if we transfer to vegetarian/veganism - could be stored and used to support more important causes. So, in conclusion - being a more efficient and environmentally friendly option - bringing a halt to eating meat would be the better option even if we discard the idea that we should not have the right to violate the animals.

Yes, with such a large meat industry a forestalling of this could not happen over night but gradually as more people stop eating meat, the farms and factories will stop breeding so heavily and will require a lower energy consumption; this energy and space will then be transferred to produce more plants in order to meet the demands of the markets and, eventually, we could achieve it.

Back to your arguments:
"human is the most important race and takes priority over all other animals" - Here you have provided a statement but have given no evidence to back it up. What makes humans the most important race? We have priority over all animals merely because we are far more intelligent and thus the more dominant of species, but by no means does this mean that we should kill them. Anyhow, all the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter the fact that: in suffering the animals are our equals. They feel pain and suffer just as we do and, therefore, it just as evil to inflict pain upon an animal as it is on a human.

"many humans depend on meat products dietarily and hunting for financial reasons" - Again you have not explained your statement and in doing so you haven't given a proper argument that I can defend. Humans don't depend on meat products for their diet; they just see it as the easiest and most desirable option. I cannot name specific examples as you have not given me any examples to defend against but there are so many vegetarian/vegan alternative foods that offer the same nutritional values as meat.

And hunting for financial reasons? That is no excuse to hunt animals, if anything that proves my argument further as those particular people are murdering animals as a means to one's end. It's absurd to think that people are acting immorally like that just for the money - and this can't be used as an excuse. That would be like justifying prostitution because people only do it for financial reasons, or contract-killing etc. Besides there are plenty of other jobs paying equal wages that do not require such unnecessary violence.
Republicaninct

Con

Republicaninct forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
J4ke

Pro

I cannot argue further for this round as you have made no attempt to extend my arguments.
Republicaninct

Con

Republicaninct forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
J4ke

Pro

Again, I cannot argue further as you forfeited the round.
Republicaninct

Con

Republicaninct forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
J4ke

Pro

No attempt made by opponent
Republicaninct

Con

Republicaninct forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by J4ke 2 years ago
J4ke
Someone really voted 'Tied' on spelling and grammar? Have you even read his post?
Posted by J4ke 2 years ago
J4ke
I hope all of your concerns are answered. I have a lot more to argue but I can't fit it on the page.

Of course if you do have any questions about my argument by the end of the debate please send me a message and I'll do my best to answer.
Posted by J4ke 2 years ago
J4ke
@Blade-of-Truth I will answer your question (in the debate) in depth when I feel it is appropriate - make sure you watch this debate :)

Sorry for the late reply, I've been working all day.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
@Bullish, thanks for the info! In that regard, it seems like the ball is back in Con's hands. I could see Pro saying that by removing animals/meat from the picture it'd open up more land for plant-based food products to be grown on the now-abandoned animal farming property.

Thoughts on that point? I'm playing devil's advocate because I agree with Con's position, but want to make sure that there aren't any holes in any arguments I might have myself someday. I'm taking advantage of running possible issues by you now because you gave me a proper answer earlier :)
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
What a naive thing to say AlexanderOc. Please don't speak for "most people," because I, as well as many others, do not necessarily consider eating meat a violation of morality. This is obviously a debate over morality, not objective benefits.
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
Ah, I was afraid someone like this would come along and offer a very petty resistance. Damn.
Posted by AlexanderOc 2 years ago
AlexanderOc
Why does pro focus so heavily on morality? Its not as if being a moral saint has an objective benefit. Sure, it can be fulfilling to know you saved a cow, but I, like most people, prefer the tastiness of a well-cooked steak over being morally righteous.

This debate is a matter of preference. Do you prefer being morally correct or having delicious meals?
Neither is objectively better than the other. Which is why there is no definite answer to the resolution.
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
I think I might have a decent argument for eating meat. I'm not sure though. It is really hard to defend being a carnivore, but maybe there's a reason for that.
Posted by Bullish 2 years ago
Bullish
@Blade-of-Truth:

The argument is that animals consume plants that humans could eat, and they convert plants into food humans can eat inefficiently.

The counter argument is that a large majority food humans feed animals is mostly corn and wheat shredding that cannot be consumed by humans.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
"Maybe you still think that the consequence of this act is of such importance to human survival that it overrules the immorality of the act itself. If this is the case, I can tell you, as Peter Singer makes clear (I will explain in a later debate), that the human population can easily survive without the meat industry - in fact, it would even be more efficient and solve tragic issues such as starvation of the less fortunate."

This is the issue I am stuck on, and was hoping you'd touch on that. Can you possibly PM me some information on his argument that counters the necessary-for-survival argument? For me, it's hard to imagine how such a transition would occur and what foods would replace the huge gap left in the demand. There are many meat eaters who depend on that source of food as a main staple of their diet. What would replace that demand? How would the transition be carried out i.e., over a few generations via propaganda and lessening the output until it's phased out over time or just an immediate ban? The latter seems unfeasible. If you know of someone, which in this case seems to be Peter Singer, who can counter my point or provide a reasonable plan, I might be convinced to your side.

For me, that's the current obstacle since I view meat as a necessity for survival in terms of food demand with the exponentially increasing population. Survival needs of humans, in terms of food being a necessity and meat being a main source of food, justify any immoral implications such diets like meat-eating might impress.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SGM_iz_SekC 2 years ago
SGM_iz_SekC
J4keRepublicaninctTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con should have made the argument that humans are natural omnivores and a vegan diet cannot supply even half the nutrients needed by a human. Animals kill other animals, and humans are an animal.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
J4keRepublicaninctTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.