Is Vegetarianism a good option?
Debate Rounds (3)
Ok, i will be arguing for the con position although i dont necesarilly agree 100% with it.
Lets start with your first argument, that is, you save animals by not eating meat. This could be refuted by saying that my desire for meat supercedes my empathy for livestock, and this way i have an argument that suits both libertarians and utilitarians alike.
Furthermore, i could argue that the universal aplication of vegetarianism would render livestock economically senseless, leading to a mass extermination of such by the producers, in order to make space for more profitable industries. In the end, the animals will die either way. At least as livestock they dont get exterminated and get to live and reproduce (in horrible conditions though)
The other argument could be answered in the same manner. What if i like to take that risk in order to enjoy a good piece of meat once in a while? The same could be said for anything, from doing drugs, to performing extreme sports, to even drving or taking the bus. Everything we do carries a risk, its up to the individual to make the decision.
Is vegetarianism a good option? Subjectively, yes, just as much as eating meat is. But is it an obvious option? Absolutley not.
Then he raises the point which, i think, has the biggest impact on my point of view of the topic. And that is how my consumption of meat affects the people around me. He brings up 2 important issues, CO2 emmisions and water.
Lets deal with water first. I live in a tropical area, with high yearly precipitation. Furthermore, instead of the intensive feed lot livestock production model, the majority ( of beef at least) is produced in extensive pasturage, which avoids you from having to spend crops (like soy beans) feeding the animals, instead leaving them to gain weight by their own. This saves you the agregate water use from the artificial irrigation used in growing said crops.
Also, most of said kids that lack water, as you just illustrated, dont lack it because there isnt enough of it, or because its used by livestock. To be honest, they probably engage in animal hubandry of their own. What they lack is a proper distribution system, not that someone thousands of miles away stops eating meat, in the hopes that the water used in the process will somehow get to them.
Then, we are left with the emisions problem. As i said, most of the livestock grown in my country is done so by pasturage, which, according to some experts, reduces the carbon footprint vastly (1). Also, i could compensate meat consumption by using solar panels and electric cars, as i am planning to do, evenning out my emissions. Besides, the worst of the greenhouse gases from livestock, in the degree they impact the enviroment, are methane and nitrous oxide (2), not CO2. The methane comes from the animals diggestive system. Solving that problem would involve killing most of the livestock, which is what you are trying to avoid in point 1. The nitrous oxide, on the other hand, comes from manure management. This is funny because, not only does the gas come mostly from the animal feces ( no animal= no gas),the manure is used mainly in, you guessed it, agriculture, you "great" alternative.
I will be posting some of the possible solutions in the third round.
Chickens are no doubt the most abused animals in the United States meat industry. We arrest people for beating their wives? Why don't we arrest people for abusing their chickens. Did you know that Chickens are called broiler chickens when they are being kept for meat? You see, one thing about chickens is that their beaks are being sliced off. You might say, that's ok! It doesn't hurt. But it does. Imagine your nose being sliced off so it spares the farmers frustration. Seriously? Farmers slice chickens beaks off because they are in such cramped conditions, they don't want them to stab themselves or others with their own beaks. The absurdity of this matter is outrageous(1). 9 billion chickens are raised a year for meat. More than the human race. A year. These chicks are packed very tight in shipping crates just days after birth, never actually meeting their parents(2). Along with this, Chickens are kept in such filthy conditions, such horrible homes, that they have no real way to feel anything. Except pain. Disease runs rampant in chicken farms, barns and slaughter houses. Instead of providing cleaner living areas for the poor creatures, the farmers decide to put large amounts of anitbiotics in the food, stopping no death. A US Department of Agriculture study also released that 87% of chicken carcasses being sold at stores in the United States contained E. Coli, a deadly disease(3). Lastly, male chicks are worthless to the egg industry, chicks meaning chickens under 4 months old, cute little fuzzy ones. These male chicks are, as 'useless' as they are, thrown into trash bags to suffocate and die OR into high speed grinders - while still alive(3). The way people treat these animals is a horror.
Cows are abused as well. Many cows are repeatedly whipped, kicked, punched, prodded, and beat by farmers. They are also denied veterinary care. In one case, in New Mexico, a calf died in the womb of it's mother, and because of this, the farmers had to get a metal prod, insert the prod into the cows womb and grab the dead and deteriorating calf out of the mothers womb, all the while denied care. She died the next day(4). The video on the source I just provided is shocking, disgusting and heart breaking. We must stop the abuse of these animals.
The treatment of all animals is horrible. Animals are not ours to wear, eat, cage, or abuse in any other way.
I am granting you, from the very beginning, that animals are abused in the current circumstances. My point was, why should we care? They are not humans. Should we care about the Billions of insects we kill daily? And i am not talking about bees here, which we actually need to pollinate plants. I am talking about the mosquitoes we kill because they bother us, or the other bugs we kill needlessly as Collateral damage.
Or what about plagues like rats and other rodents? Should we protect them to? Dont they feel pain too? Why do we make a distinction between a rat and, say, a squirrel? They are basically the same thing, only cuter. We could say that harming an animal NEEDLESSLY is bad, but if we agree that killing them to avoid disease is ok, then why not allow killing them for meat too?
For example, most of the time, I would say killing a dog is a bad thing. But if a starving family in China wants to eat a dog, who am I to judge them?
We should make some sense when talking about valid reasons to kill an animal. There are reasons that are ok, and there are reasons that arent. I am on the side that eating is a valid reason.
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