The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Factory farms are cruel to animals

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 662 times Debate No: 56800
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)




1. Clarification of topic
I(Pro) will argue that factory farms do inhumane things to animals. Con will refute that statement.
2. Rules : Forfeiting = automatic 7point to person who did not forfeit
First round is for acceptance, but the contender may present a small opening argument without evidence.
3. <MY CASE>
1. Factory farms are cruel to animals
2. Factory farms are subject to little regulation


I accept. I don't see the point of giving an argument without evidence so I'll let Pro start since he has the full Burden of Proof.
Debate Round No. 1


As it came out in my sources in Round 1, factory farms are cruel to animals.
1. Chickens
As it came out in my source
chickens suffer.
1) Broiler Chickens
Their beaks and toes are cut off and factory farms breed them to heavy that they have difficulty standing.
As a result, they suffer many diseases.
2) Layer Chickens
They live in small cages with just enough space to live in, and they are subjected to forced molting.
2. Cows
Cows' tails are cut off and cows sometimes are too heavy that they collapse.
When they do, they are routinely prodded, dragged, and pushed around slaughter facilities.
3. Pigs
Pigs are kept in the dark in small cages and routinely inhale ammonia
4. Turkeys
Turkeys are crammed into small spaces.
The end of their beaks are cut off and their toes are clipped, both without anesthesia.
Factory farms breed them so heavy that they have difficulty standing.
They go through an electrical bath of water!!!!!


Before I begin I would like to point something out. The resolution "factory farms are cruel to animals" and the clarified resolution "factory farms do inhumane things to animals" are both being confirmed by Pro as complete fact. He is not saying that some factory farms do these things or most do these things, but he is saying all factory farms are cruel to and do inhumane things to animals. He must provide serious evidence to support this resolution, if not I will win by default. I will show that the farming industry as a whole is subject to serious regulations that enforce fair and humane treatment of all animals. I will then proceed to negating all of Pro's arguments.

Regulations of the Animal Treatment
*All of the following quotations come from the USDA Animal Welfare Act, which was signed into law in 1966. [1]

§2143. Standards and certification process for humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals
...(1) The Secretary shall promulgate standards to govern the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals by dealers, research facilities, and exhibitors.
(2) The standards described in paragraph (1) shall include minimum requirements—
(A) for handling, housing, feeding, watering, sanitation, ventilation, shelter from extremes of weather and temperatures, adequate veterinary care, and separation by species where the Secretary finds necessary for humane handling, care, or treatment of animals...

(A) for animal care, treatment, and practices in experimental procedures to ensure that animal pain and distress are minimized, including adequate veterinary care with the appropriate use of anesthetic, analgesic, tranquilizing drugs, or euthanasia;

(B) that the principal investigator considers alternatives to any procedure likely to produce pain to or distress in an experimental animal;

(C) in any practice which could cause pain to animals—...

(ii) for the use of tranquilizers, analgesics, and anesthetics"

Animals going through painful procedures are given powerful anesthetics and feel no pain. As animals slaughter is necessary for our survival we must find the most humane ways to do it. This is natural and not inherently inhumane. The animals are shown as much compassion and consideration as is possible for our survival. This means that the practices used in factory farming are in fact humane.

Rebuttal of Pro's Arguments
1. Broiler Chickens
Actually debeaking is a necessary and usually painless process. Anesthetic is used to minimize any pain. Debeaking actually enhances animal welfare by "reducing feather pecking... better feather condition, less fearfulness and nervousness, less chronic stress, and decreased mortality" [2]. As for his disease argument there is no evidence supporting the idea that broiler chickens receive diseases more frequently. All his source claims is that broiler chickens experience these diseases but never says they experience them more frequently than other chickens. Actually "Animal scientists, veterinarians and on-farm experience show animals kept in housing are no more likely to get sick than animals kept in the open." [5] The clipping of the toes argument is also nonsense. Google it and you will find no mention of people cutting off chicken's toes but only their toenails. That is common practice and no more painful than humans cutting their toenails. Actually chicken's toenails usually are naturally trimmed simply from walking but when this fails trimming of their nails is simple and easy. It is remarkably similar to trimming a dog's nails [3] [4].

2. Layer Chickens
Firstly being confined in a relatively small area is not inhumane. "In fact, they're generally healthier because they are protected. However, farm animals do sometimes get sick. To prevent illness and to ensure that an animal remains healthy all of its life, farmers will take preventive measures, including the use of animal health products." [5] This also provides protection from poor weather. Forced molting is also in no way harmful or cruel. Molting is a natural process and artificially inducing it is a simple and not damaging procedure.

2. (REPEAT) Cows

The tails of cows are typically cut off at the brush. This is known as tail docking. The benefits of tail docking are widely known. They increase cow cleanliness, cow safety, and worker safety [6]. As for cow’s heaviness and mistreatment by worker’s this point is irrelevant and should be ignored. I reference readers back to my point about Pro having to apply his arguments to all factory farms. Since obviously not all factory farms have workers that mistreat animals and severely overweight cows this point does not stand.

Not a single overweight one among them.

3. Pigs

Actually pig cages are routinely lit up as this is beneficial to the pig’s health and increases profit for the owner of the pig, and either way this certainly does not apply to all factory farms so the point is defeated. Also most pig facilities are well ventilated to prevent anything like that. The point is also absurd in that since human worker regulations would not allow that, and humans work in those areas, this is illegal and does not usually happen.

4. Turkeys

Again small spaces are not inherently inhumane and some factory farms use very large facilities so this fails to support the argument. I believe I have addressed the importance of debeaking (which is used with anesthetic) as well as toenail clipping. The practice is the same with chickens and turkeys.

Note- Pro has provided many accusations of cruelty due to the manipulation of tails, beaks, and toenails but fails to mention that like many human procedures we do today (removal of tonsils, removal of wisdom teeth, etc.) many procedures performed on animals are for their own health benefit.


Pro’s main failure is one of generalization. Pro took a large burden of proof to show that all factory farms are guilty of cruelty and inhumane treatment of animals, but instead showed a few isolated incidents and tried to say they applied to the whole industry! If voters believe that Pro has conclusively shown the guilt of every factory farm then Pro will win. But if the voters believe there might be even one factory farm with ethical practices and fair treatment of animals, then I will win. It was a large accusation, which could not be proved.

Vote Con.



Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by carl2567 2 years ago
I was going to post my full argument on Round 2.
Round 1 was just my small opening argument.
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
You should at least summarize what is in your sources. You can't expect the readers to go over every single source.
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Ok, you can't just copy your whole argument from other sources. That's ridiculous.
Posted by alexmiller887 2 years ago
But they do! Easy win for pro.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Like phantom said, most of pro's arguments were complete goal shifting. This is a morality debate, and debating legal "nows" are not moral "shoulds". Pro did generalize animals, and I almost gave con the point, but I looked at Phantoms RFD, and it brought up a great point. Pro's arguments followed RSR rule, or the majority is correct. These contentions were not about one animal, but factory farming as a whole. This was a truth, and most of his arguments exist in every system right now. Con, at the end of the day, shifted his arguments, didn't source his contentions, and overall dropped Pro's points as generalization. For that, I'm giving Pro 5 points, and con 1.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: although ray shifted goal posts, pro never complained, not even in the comments, so we can only assume that he was attempting to be absolute from the beginning.
Vote Placed by phantom 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: There should have been more rounds to this debate. It's difficult to judge when there's barely any actual clash. I almost voted Con on the basis of Pro's generalization of factory farming. Con says that Pro only showed a few isolated incidents which doesn't support the generalization made by the resolution. I disagree; Pro wasn't mentioning incidents, he was taking from sources that are talking about factory farms in general. The claims in Pro's sources are well-documented and some of Con's sources had problems. His source on debeaking, for example, states that debeaking occurs without anesthetic and may cause acute and chronic pain. Furthermore, Con provides no source at all for the treatment of pigs, so I have to assume pigs are forced to live in poor conditions. Furthermore, something being against gov. regulations does not mean it doesn't happen and the regulations don't directly condemn the treatment of pigs since determining what constitutes "humane" or not is up for debate.