The Instigator
carl2567
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
gordonjames
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Factory farming should be banned

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
gordonjames
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,282 times Debate No: 56200
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

carl2567

Pro

First round - acceptance only
Second round - arguments only
Third round - rebuttals only
Fourth round - defense&conclusion
I define factory farming as farming in farms owned by large corporations producing large supplies of meat, and this definition CANNOT be changed throughout the debate
gordonjames

Con

I accept.

Governments should not intervene to ban factory farming.

I would like to propose we use the wikipedia entry on intensive animal farming as our background for definitions.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
carl2567

Pro

As Con has accepted the debate with my definition, my definition is not changed in any way, and it still stands.
Now I will post my arguments.
1. Factory farms have an enormous environmental cost.
2. Factory farm workers are often obused.
3. Farmers of small farms often lose their jobs.
4. Factory farming is not so effective after all.
As a government's number one priority is to protect its citizens, the government should intervene in factory farming.

Sources
http://www.motherearthnews.com...
http://www.sustainabletable.org...
http://www.foodispower.org...
http://www.sustainabletable.org...
http://www.globalexchange.org...
http://www.ciwf.org.uk...
http://www.foodispower.org...
gordonjames

Con

Thank-you for your clear presentation of your position in round 2.

Let me be equally clear.
Governments should not ban factory farming.

Let me give you my reasons.
Governments should not ban factory farming for reasons around practical farming.
Governments should not ban factory farming for reasons of the scope of government.

1. Intensive farming feeds our growing population.
As emerging economies move to a high protein diet the demand for meat will increase. As the planet becomes more urban there is less opportunity for people to grow their own food or raise their own meat.

2. Intensive farming can be more efficient in use of land and other resources.
Factory farms are good economically. The can produce a product at a lower cost than smaller farming operations. Small mom and pop farms are going out of business because consumers care more about being able to afford food than they do about arguments of people who want to ban factory farms.

3. Intensive farming can be more easily monitored or regulated than numerous smaller farms.
Inspecting livestock and conditions at thousands of small farms takes more time and money than inspecting one large farming operation.

4. Governments should not ban free market to cater to special interest groups. Governments may have a role in regulation and quality control, but have no mandate to ban a product that people want or production method that a minority find offensive.

5. Governments should be encouraging high efficiency production methods and help factory farming to improve quality control and animal health. Legislation that drives us back to 19th century farming methods would increase food prices and cripple the economy.

6. Banning factory farming in one country would simply have consumers purchase their meat products from other countries as market forces made our meat products too expensive.

7. By allowing free markets (not a ban) we allow individual consumers to purchase what they want. Those who want free range, organic meat can purchase it at a higher cost. Those who want the less expensive product also get to purchase what they want.

8. The purpose of factory farming is to have the most product for the lowest cost.
This is most profitable with high stocking density, economies of scale, specialized machinery, global markets and inexpensive transportation. Opposition to factory farming will come at a high cost to consumers, and may take us out of the global markets.

There is much more to say, but let me repeat my main points.

Governments must not ban factory farming for reasons around practical farming.

Governments must not ban factory farming for reasons of the scope of government.


Sources
http://www.theguardian.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.debatingmatters.com...
http://environmentalresearchweb.org...
Debate Round No. 2
carl2567

Pro

I am sorry for the very short posting in Round 2.

1. The effectiveness argument
Factory farming is currently more efficient, but small farms can be efficient by WSPA's Model Farm Project.
http://www.wspa.ca...
Furthermore, feeding edible crops to livestock reduces the number of calories produced.(http://www.ciwf.org.uk...)
2. Contradicting arguments
If you read this carefully, you can see that 2-6(consumers can buy from foreign factory farms), 4-6(consumers can buy from foreign factory farms) contradict each other. Also, the title of this debate is "Factory farms should be banned." not " Banning factory farms is effective"(Rebuttal to Number 6 of Con's argument)
3.
"3. Intensive farming can be more easily monitored or regulated than numerous smaller farms.
Inspecting livestock and conditions at thousands of small farms takes more time and money than inspecting one large farming operation. "
It is worth the effort because the government can protect the environment and the workers who had worked in factory farms.
4.
"Governments should not ban free market to cater to special interest groups. Governments may have a role in regulation and quality control, but have no mandate to ban a product that people want or production method that a minority find offensive."
"By allowing free markets (not a ban) we allow individual consumers to purchase what they want. Those who want free range, organic meat can purchase it at a higher cost. Those who want the less expensive product also get to purchase what they want."
The intention is not to ban the product, but to protect the environment in which the country's citizens live. And since only the government has the power to do this, the government should do this for sake of its citizens.

Lastly, I want to add that if the government makes the right policy for workers who had worked in factory farms to transfer to organic farming, the production of organic farming would increase.

Additional sources
http://beyondfactoryfarming.org...
http://www.all-creatures.org...
gordonjames

Con

Rebuttals Only

In round 2 PRO claims
“1. Factory farms have an enormous environmental cost.
2. Factory farm workers are often obused.
3. Farmers of small farms often lose their jobs.
4. Factory farming is not so effective after all.”

PRO gave no evidence for these claims.
Let me refute PRO’s unsubstantiated claims in order.

1. Factory farming has no more “environmental cost” than raising the same number of animals with low efficiency methods.

As I looked for details of the environment costs claimed by PRO I found contradictory and ridiculous claims.[1]
Factory Farming is blamed for 37% of methane emissions (animal farts and vapors from sewage) as if this would not happen in some other form of farming.
Large volumes of animal wastes are blamed for polluting the water supply. Again, this is more an issue of the number of animals that can be raised in the factory environment.
Deforestation is claimed as a result of factory farming. This does not make sense. Factory farms reduce the amount of land used for grazing.
Fossil fuel use is claimed to be a problem. Factory farms use less fuel per animal than traditional farming. Factory farms need one tractor per thousand animals where traditional farms use 2 or 3 tractors per 100 animals.

2. Factory farm workers are not abused.
It was difficult to find anything about this claim. The closest thing I could find was a claim that “ it is a common practice for those farms to hire either underage workers or illegal immigrants.”[2] Since these people choose to work at a factory farm, and there is a very low level of job vacancy we can assume there is no significant abuse.

3. Farms that are not competitive may lose work.
This has always been true. This is not an argument against factory farming. It is an argument for small farms to become more efficient. It is like saying “we should ban the internet to save jobs at Blockbuster Video”

4. Factory farming is very effective.
That is why small inefficient farms are not able to compete.


I want to respond to some of PRO’s round 3 arguments.

PRO states “Factory farming is currently more efficient, but small farms can be efficient by WSPA's Model Farm Project.”

We need to compare things the way they really are. Factory farming is currently more efficient. Assuming we want our governments involvement in farming, they should be trying to improve efficiency of small farms, not banning the more profitable factory farming.

PRO seems to think that the role of government is to prohibit the profitable methods of factory farming and subsidize the inefficient small farms. This is not really the role of government. If we are worried about environmental issues of factory farming then governments can set new standards or enforce existing standards. If the issue is the closure of unprofitable small farms we might choose to help these small farms with tax breaks or other help.


There is much more to say, but let me repeat my main points.
Governments should not ban factory farming for reasons around practical farming.
Governments should not ban factory farming for reasons of the scope of government.




[1] www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-factory-farms-and-environment
[2] www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/the-human-cost-of-industrial-animal-agriculture/



Debate Round No. 3
carl2567

Pro

I would like it better if Con had read my sources CAREFULLY.
"1. Factory farming has no more environmental cost" than raising the same number of animals with low efficiency methods."
See http://www.theguardian.com...,
http://en.wikipedia.org... (Controversies & criticisms part)
"2. Factory farm workers are not abused.
It was difficult to find anything about this claim. The closest thing I could find was a claim that “ it is a common practice for those farms to hire either underage workers or illegal immigrants.”[2] Since these people choose to work at a factory farm, and there is a very low level of job vacancy we can assume there is no significant abuse."
Just because it is common practice doesn't mean that it is okay.


I acknowledge Con's No.3,4 but..
"PRO seems to think that the role of government is to prohibit the profitable methods of factory farming and subsidize the inefficient small farms. This is not really the role of government. If we are worried about environmental issues of factory farming then governments can set new standards or enforce existing standards. If the issue is the closure of unprofitable small farms we might choose to help these small farms with tax breaks or other help."
I had defined factory farms as the way they are now and by saying factory farms can be improved by government regulation, CON IS CHALLENGING MY DEFINITION.

LASTLY, I DID HAVE SOURCES FOR MY CLAIMS
(The 'Sources' list?)

THANK YOU
gordonjames

Con

Defense & Conclusion

Let me restate my position.

Governments should not ban factory farming.
Factory farming is the most cost effective method we have.

Governments should not ban factory farming.
Government"s role is not to ban effective and efficient business practices so that the "little guy" can keep his job. It is to everyone"s benefit for people to work where they are most effective and efficient.


Defense of PRO"s round 3

I want to thank PRO for conceding points 3 and 4 from round 3. That saves some time. These points were:
3. Farms that are not competitive may lose work. . . . This is not an argument against factory farming. It is an argument for small farms to become more efficient.
4. Factory farming is very effective. That is why small inefficient farms are not able to compete


This leaves me to defend point 1 and 2 of my earlier argument.
1. Factory farming has no more "environmental cost" than raising the same number of animals with low efficiency methods.
In response to this Pro asked me to read a newspaper link and a wikipedia article.
The majority of the Guardian article seemed to be about deforestation in Paraguay as they plant soy beans as a cash crop. (To sell to European Factory Farms) Soy is often purchased as a feed crop. PRO, is it truly your argument that we should ban factory farms because farms in Paraguay plant soy as a cash crops?
That argument is absurd.


2. Factory farm workers are not abused.
Assuming we are talking about North America, there are many national and local employment laws. If workers are abused they can seek legal action. The courts are open and lawyers are happy to help you with a lawsuit. There is no systematic abuse of factory farm workers.


In conclusion, PRO has given no valid reasons for his claim that governments should ban factory farming.

Governments should not ban factory farming.

Governments should not ban factory farming for reasons around practical farming.
Governments should not ban factory farming for reasons of the scope of government.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by carl2567 2 years ago
carl2567
Oh! Sorry. I thought you meant I didn't have any sources.
Posted by gordonjames 2 years ago
gordonjames
Let me give a short rant on the definition of "factory farming" required for this debate.

Here is your round 1 definition.
"I define factory farming as farming in farms owned by large corporations producing large supplies of meat, and this definition CANNOT be changed throughout the debate"

Your definition specifies two points:
Farms owned by large corporations,
Producing large supplies of meat

This says nothing about production methods.
This does not define "large"

I was hoping we could move the debate to the real issues of factory farming like stocking levels, antibiotic use, growth hormones, nutritional value and so much more.

Another issue of concern is that "In the United States, farmed animals are excluded by half of all state animal cruelty laws including the federal Animal Welfare Act."

I was hoping we could get into a debate on these ideas as well.
Posted by gordonjames 2 years ago
gordonjames
Hey Carl

You said "I would like it better if Con had read my sources CAREFULLY."

It is not my job to read your sources at all.

The purpose of references in a debate or academic paper is if a person does not believe your specific claim they can at least see where you got your evidence. Then they can either challenge your evidence with evidence that points in another direction, or concede your point.

A list of sources simply lets me know what background information you consulted.
It is still your job to make your point and then convince me or the audience by making good arguments supported by references.

In this case (round 2) you had 4 points but you gave no arguments or data to back them up.
You claimed . . .
"1. Factory farms have an enormous environmental cost.
2. Factory farm workers are often obused.
3. Farmers of small farms often lose their jobs.
4. Factory farming is not so effective after all."

The next step in your round 2 would be to back up these claims.

Because you did not give reasoning for your claims there was little for me to refute in round 2.
Posted by gordonjames 2 years ago
gordonjames
Hi Carl.

I was not so much looking to re-define your statement.
I accept your definition
"factory farming as farming in farms owned by large corporations producing large supplies of meat"

I wanted to give us a "go to spot" so we can agree on other terms and issues.

I'm looking forward to responding to your round 2.
Posted by carl2567 2 years ago
carl2567
Thanks!
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Bold claim! And welcome to this site.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
carl2567gordonjamesTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Let me be clear here: Pro, links do not substitute for warrants. A link should suffice as evidence to support your arguments, not as substitutes for your arguments. You cannot simply present your links and say that they support your arguments without stating what those arguments are. All you did was make a series of claims that you never sought to support. That makes it very hard to win this debate, especially when you drop the majority of your opponent's arguments and nearly all of his analysis. Con doesn't do an extensive job of warranting his points and often leaves out evidence that could really have helped him, but at least he has something solid to grab onto. Lacking that, Pro cannot win this debate.
Vote Placed by GOP 2 years ago
GOP
carl2567gordonjamesTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: What carl did was pretty much not give many arguments, but tried to let the sources do the talking (a lot of Pro's arguments comprised of quotations from his sources). Carl said, "I would like it better if Con had read my sources CAREFULLY." but the sources cannot argue FOR him. As mentioned by gordonjames in the comments section, it is not his job to read the sources. Pro's argument was really short and not elaborate on round 2, whereas Con made a very lengthy, elaborate explanation. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not how you make an argument. You don't debate by having a great chunk of your arguments as direct quotations from sources. If that were the case, then all you're doing is regurgitating stuff. So, I I say that gordonjames gets the points for convincing arguments. For conduct, I like how con neatly arranged his arguments by using rich text. I like the way he laid things out.