The Instigator
danielkhan
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Stupidape
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Grazing cattle is destroying our environment

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
danielkhan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 653 times Debate No: 81827
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

danielkhan

Pro

I propose that in the modern world we live in.
The modern methods for producing cattle are swiftly destroying our natural environment.
There are a multitude of indisputable facts evidencing this point. Which I will elaborate on further.
At no time in human kinds history has the earth faced a more dangerous threat than that posed by agribusiness and in particular the production of cattle.
I would start my argument in support of this statement with one simple word.
SUSTAINABILITY
What does this word mean, and how does it apply to this situation?
When we refer to something being sustainable we imply that the activity or process it relates to is able to support itself with minimal input and with a minimal impact on the environment and minimal impact on future generations due to what is being produced for us today.
I would put to you that producing cattle in the manner we do now is neither sustainable nor moral.
We are pillaging our natural resources in order to provide an oversold and overrated product that requires extensive resources to produce.
By overrated I mean the end product (protein) for which we need to survive can be sourced in a much more ecologically friendly way.
Stupidape

Con

"According to this model then, fewer animals (1.35 billion) would die than in the vegan model (1.8 billion).A533; As a result, if we apply the LHP as Regan did for his vegan conclusion, it would seem that humans are morally obligated to consume a diet of vegetables and ruminant animal products." S.L. Davis1

First eating ruminant animal products reduces field animal deaths. Why think of just cows? Aren't mice cute too? Save the field mice!

"Imagine a cow that can tolerate the heat and eats relatively little grass " in other words, a cow that can thrive in the desert." wbur.org

Some cows can live in the desert.

Cows can turn desert into grasslands.

"The catalyst for reducing CO2 and restoring soil function and fertility, they say, is bringing back the roving, grazing animals who used to wander the world's grasslands. " theguardian.com

I conclude that cattle ranching is good for the environment.

https://www.morehouse.edu...
http://hereandnow.wbur.org...
http://www.theguardian.com...
Debate Round No. 1
danielkhan

Pro

Whist I acknowledge all of the points you have made. In particularly the quote from wbur.org, let us not confuse the issue.

I do not support veganism for the population, I believe meat is an important part of our diet, as it has been for as long as we have known.

The environmental destruction I refer to is not just consolidated to species destruction, of course as you correctly surmised this is an important aspect however in this debate I seek to raise attention to deforestation, water contamination, over production, contamination and the imbalance in nature that extensive cattle rearing has on today's environment.

Whilst it would be an amazing ideal for a cow to thrive in the desert and in turn create lush grassland from arid dry lands, the statistics do not support this ideal, as it stands the average cow in hot weather will consumer nearly 2 gallons of water per 100 pounds of body weight. A lactating cow requires nearly double this.

If we consider this statistic, how is it sustainable for cows to turn arid desert into lush grassland when the main commodity they require other than grass is water. A commodity the desert lacks.

Whilst I acknowledge some cows may survive in the desert, these animals would not meet the current high global demand for beef. The cattle in agribusiness today is a commodity and a high growth rate is required. To meet this requirement we must provide the cattle with excessive amounts of water and grain. A 'free range' desert cow would meet the requirements of agribusiness no more than tofu would satisfy the greatest carnivore.

I propose that we continue eating meat, but we greatly reduce our consumption to say meat every other day in oppose to the meat 3 times a day we currently consume.

I would end this by asking is it sustainable or moral that we grow more grain and sanitise more water for cattle than we do for ourselves. (humans)

And at what cost to our resources?

www.Beef.uni.edu/amountwatercowsdrink
www.foodispower.org
Stupidape

Con

First link of yours didn't work.

"I would end this by asking is it sustainable or moral that we grow more grain and sanitise more water for cattle than we do for ourselves. (humans)" Pro

While the above may be true, would you mind proving an outside link?

"The modern methods for producing cattle are swiftly destroying our natural environment." Pro

You imply that one method of cattle raising is much more environmentally friendly than another.

There are a multitude of indisputable facts evidencing this point. Which I will elaborate on further." Pro

Do you care to elaborate now? Outside sources will increase the validity.
Debate Round No. 2
danielkhan

Pro

http://beef.unl.edu... - (relink)

I would be more than happy to evidence and elaborate on my statements.

http://www.news.cornell.edu...
http://www.cowspiracy.com...

"livestock"s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale" United Nations

An organisation such as the United Nations does not make such a bold statement without credence.
Cattle Production is decimating the environment in the below ways:

- Toxification of the water course
- Utilisation of numerous commodities
- Increasing greenhouse gases
- Unsustainable use of land
- Desertification
- Waste products
- Deforestation (Rainforest)
- Lack of biodiversity

I will elaborate further on these in round 4.

"Cows can turn desert into grasslands." (Con)
I would be interested to see the evidence that supports this statement. In fact I would believe your second statement could in fact contradict the first.

"The catalyst for reducing CO2 and restoring soil function and fertility, they say, is bringing back the roving, grazing animals who used to wander the world's grasslands. " theguardian.com (Con)

Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with this statement; to allow the roving, grazing animals to return to the natural environment would in turn mean we have to stop extensive & intensive cattle production in said areas. Which in turn could suggest that these are the predominant causes of the soil degradation in the first place. Would you agree?

I do indeed suggest that certain methods of cattle production are more eco-friendly than their counterparts. I propose that sustainable production can be achieved through pastoral production in oppose to industrial.

www.gracelinks.org/blog/4712/the-water-footprint-of-beef-industrial-vs-pasture-raised
www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/is-the-livestock-industry-destroying-the-planet-
www.science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/
Stupidape

Con

"I do indeed suggest that certain methods of cattle production are more eco-friendly than their counterparts. I propose that sustainable production can be achieved through pastoral production in oppose to industrial." Pro

This seems to contradict the topic. It seems you are making a statement against the topic.
Topic: Grazing cattle is destroying our environment

I thought pastoral production uses grazing cattle. Therefore, you have done all the work for me. Thanks.

I'm also confused by the topic. By stating that grazing cattle are destroying the environment, you are effectively demonizing grazing cattle while putting a halo around feed-lot cattle.

"A feedlot or feed yard is a type of animal feeding operation (AFO) which is used in intensive animal farming for finishing livestock, notably beef cattle, but also swine, horses, sheep, turkeys, chickens or ducks, prior to slaughter. Large beef feedlots are called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the United States" Wikipedia

We both know that cattle production is extremely destructive to the environment. Why not ban cattle altogether? I mean if you argument was grazing cattle are destroying the environment and feedlot cattle are too I could understand. Yet, I can't figure out why one form of cattle ranching is preferable to another.

Feed lots require lots of grain to be harvested and fed to the cows. How is pastoral production more sustainable than feed lots also know as CAFOs? How is pastoral production more sustainable than grazing cattle? What is the difference between pastoral production and grazing cattle?
Debate Round No. 3
danielkhan

Pro

I commend your analysis however I note you have not answered my question.
"Which in turn could suggest that these are the predominant causes of the soil degradation in the first place. Would you agree?" PRO

GRAZING: to eat grass that is growing in a field - http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com...

Whilst I admonished that one form of cattle production is more eco friendly than its counterparts, the underlying issue still remains. and I stand by the title of this debate as the issue is the same, but on a smaller scale than AFO/CAFO's.

"It looks like our rule-of-thumb held up pretty good, 11 cows on 20 acres, is 1.8 acres per cow."
Unfortunately, grass does not grow in equal amounts the entire year."
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov...

"By 2039, there may be only 0.59 acres of arable land per person, world-wide (i.e...... 7.68 billion acres / 13 billion people). However, arable land is being lost at the alarming rate of over 38,610 sq. miles."
one-simple-idea.com/Environment1.htm

I would conclude with the statement that if each cow requires approximately 2 acres of pastoral land to GRAZE on in ideal conditions which of course do not happen too often (consider drought), then this land use if we are to continue grazing must supersede all other requirements. I.e. Conservation, Development, etc. In turn this grazing is going to and is decimating our environment.

I don't know how you feel but I would rather give that 2 acres to back to nature, better yet allow it to remain in nature or give it to a needing family who could sustain themselves via subsistence,organic arable farming. Power be to the people in oppose to the cattle.

"We both know that cattle production is extremely destructive to the environment. Why not ban cattle altogether?"CON

It would seem with your statement above, that you agree with my point. In supporting the current methods of cattle grazing we allow the destruction of the environment
Stupidape

Con

I'm not even sure what we are arguing about anymore. Anyways its clear to me that cattle used for meat and dairy consumpition should be banned all together. Cows should be viewed as companion animals like cats and dogs.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
I read your comment several times bsh1, still not sure what your saying. So many words I never heard before and new concepts.
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
This debate was incredibly confusing to follow due a lack of logical flow from both parties. I don't blame Con for his final round statement, in that regard. I think, in short, it was fairly incomprehensible, with things not being really tied into the resolution and discussion going all over the place.

You both need to follow a claim-warrant-impact model of argumentation. You can learn more about this here [https://docs.google.com...]. I get a lot of claims, but not many warrants and not much impacting back to the resolution. It is your job to impact arguments; you should not expect judges to automatically impact things for you. You both, but mainly Pro, make unsupported claims; there are bare assertion fallacies. If you are going to say that X is true, you need to explain why X is true. You also both need to lay off the rhetorical questions. Rhetorical questions are not arguments, and they don't do anything to really explain why you're right or your opponent is wrong. There's also a lot of disjointedness in how you guys wrote your points; nothing really flows rhetorically or logically. Lots of jumping around from point to point.

Also, Con, the feeding cattle thing was a total redherring and had absolutely nothing to do with the resolution.

Ultimately, I am voting Pro because Con drops that grazing is harmful and that cows need a lot of grazing space, which indicates that cows are environmentally hazardous. But seriously, you both need to work on making your arguments flow clearly.
Posted by Peepette 1 year ago
Peepette
Very few cows are grazing in this modern age of farming. Most cows bred for consumption and milk are raised in small lots where they are almost stack on top of one another. They are fed corn and other grains. There are some small family farms that graze cows, but impact of grazing on a small scale is negligible, and grazing land rotation has proved to be environmentally beneficial if done responsibly. Factory farming is far more insidious. The water usage to crow animal feed is astronomical. Manure ponds are health hazards, no composting of the wastes is done.
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
GoOrDin
In Canada we salt every and the entire road every time it snows. all winter. for multiple decades.
sea salt. brine salt. and salt mine salt....
that is far worse for our environment.

happy snow days.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
BlackFlags cattle aren't sentient. They are mindless automatons.
Posted by BlackFlags 1 year ago
BlackFlags
There are a lot of things destroying the environment, but there are many more things destroying our humanity. Denying cattle their natural grazing habitat is not only cruel and not only dangerous, but it is also putting humans on a pedestal compared to another sentient being.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
danielkhanStupidapeTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.