The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

Is it ethical to eat meat?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,864 times Debate No: 67992
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)




-Humans and Pre-Humans have been designed by evolution to eat meat to consume and make full use of the important nutrients found in animal foods.
-Meat is highly nutritious and there are many nutrients in there that can not be gotten in any amount from plants.
-There is no evidence that unprocessed meat contributes to cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
-Consumption of animal protein leads to increased muscle mass and bone density. Vegetarians have lower testosterone and less muscle mass than their meat-eating counterparts.
-The association between unprocessed red meat and cancer has been vastly exaggerated, but overcooking meat may have adverse effects.
-Lastly, it's delicious


The resolution of this debate is as to whether or not eating meat is ethical or not.

ethical - involving questions of right and wrong behavior, morally right or good

However, the instigator's arguments do not pertain to the right or wrong nature of eating meat. His arguments are more along the lines that eating meat is good for humans but in more of a health way rather than in a moral way. This debate is not about the health benefits of meat but rather the ethical consequences of consuming meat.

Therefore, I will offer my own arguments as to how eating meat is not ethical for humans. My argument will be composed of two interconnected parts.

1. People Are Morally Conscious

In short, people are aware of right and wrong and what is good. They are also aware of pain and the consequences of their actions. Animals on the other hand are not. Therefore, when an animal eats meat they are not fully aware that they are harming another creature in the same way that we are, nor do they call into question the ethics behind their actions. They act based on instinct alone.

Since people are morally conscious they are aware that their actions are harming another sentient being. Humans know they are inflicting pain, fear and misery on animals when they cage, slaughter and eat them. Since we are aware of this we have the ability to make a conscious decision not to eat meat and thus spare the creatures this torment.

2. There Are Alternatives To Meat

In our advanced agricultural society today we have a plethora of options and food available so that people do not have to eat meat to meet their nutritional needs. There are plenty of beans, cereals, fruits and vegetables that we grow in abundance so that a person does not have to eat meat in order to get a balanced diet. Vegan and vegetarian diets exist that people live off of in today's world that keeps people alive and healthy.

Since people are both morally conscious and have alternatives to meat to keep their diets balanced and wholesome it is then unethical to consume meat on the grounds that there are no real excuses to knowingly inflict pain and fear upon other sentient creatures when we do not have to. Therefore, eating meat is unethical.

Since my opponent's arguments do not fall into the vein that the resolution set forth I feel they produced no valid arguments for this round. It will be up to the instigator to rebut these arguments on an ethical basis in order for the debate to proceed constructively. Thank you.

Debate Round No. 1


Ethical? i say yes. and here is why...
One common argument is that the very nature of killing animals for food is wrong and that we can survive without animal products.

I"d like to address both arguments by asking a question.
If the world"s supply of fossil fuels were to run out tomorrow, what would you eat?
For starters, you wouldn't eat anything in a supermarket.

Supermarkets are the realm of industrialized food and at the core of this system are the fossil fuels that power the machinery to allow us to farm on a large scale and transport food long distances. We know fossil fuels are not sustainable.

Without fossil fuels, you would therefore eat what your local environment provided. For the majority of people on this planet, that would include meat. Plant-based diets are not natural to climates and landscapes that don"t support varied plant life. Just ask the Eskimos.

Furthermore, many animals are efficient converters of scrubby vegetation to a usable form of protein for humans. This has served countless cultures in areas of the globe without tillable soil. Sometimes I think we forget this in soil-rich America.

And the other point is that when you look at the issue of growing food sustainably, animals are absolutely necessary. For example, manure is nature"s fertilizer and promotes soil integrity. Fossil-fuel based fertilizers promote soil erosion. They have given us vast fields of corn, soybeans and wheat, much of which goes into the processed, nutrient-deficient, lifeless food that fills our supermarket shelves.

Joel Salatin says, "There"s no system in nature that does not have an animal component as a recycling agent. Doesn't exist. Fruits and vegetables do best if there is some animal component with them " chickens or a side shed with rabbits. Manure is magic."

Historically, this is why we don"t see any traditional cultures that ever voluntarily chose veganism. Animals have evolved with humans. Cows, chickens, sheep and pigs would not survive long in the wild. We provide them life and they give life to us. It"s a mutually beneficial relationship.

Let's take your sentence, "Vegan and vegetarian diets exist that people live off on in today's world that keeps people alive and healthy" or even "Meat is murder" is the battle cry of many vegetarians. But I see more murder in the plastic wrapped, genetically-modified, chemical-sprayed tofu burger than I do in a local grass-fed burger. How many animals had to die for that soybean field to be planted? I could say the same in just about every plant-based food in supermarkets which destroys the diversity in ecosystems to grow crops unsuitably.

And you are correct people ARE conscious, conscious of what they do, what they say and what they eat. so why not eat something that is both more beneficial and healthy to the environment and yourself

Nature thrives on diversity and that includes animals. We need to honor the cycles of life and death in our food. That means choosing foods that promote sustainability.

Eating meat from farms that promote sustainability promotes life in all forms, including ours. This is not only ethical, it is necessary


My Opponent's Main Failures

Again, my opponent has forgone all moral arguments and has decided to make nearly every other type of argument under the sun. However, again, the debate is framed around the word ethical which I graciously provided a definition for in the first round. Instead my opponent has made arguments that meat is necessary to eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle for people all over the globe. This would be great if the resolution read: "Eating Meat Is a Necessity For Humanity" but that is not the debate that we are having, that is an entirely different debate. I could elaborate or enumerate a long list of counter arguments as to how it is possible for people to survive without meat in their diets but that would be a great distraction to the issue at hand.

In fact, my opponent did not refute my moral claims in the slightest, the left the arguments unchallenged and therefore I am going to go ahead and assume that he conceded them.

My opponent then also goes on to lay out a hypothetical scenario in which the world has no fossil fuels left and we must eat what our local environment must provide. Again, this is a complete distraction and in no way serves to further the debate at hand. That argument might be effective if we were discussing whether it is moral or not to force people to not eat meat, again, a completely different argument then the one at hand.


This round must be short by necessity as my opponent did nothing to constructively refute my arguments. His arguments are confused and off topic. My main objections, which I would suggest you kindly reread dear opponent and dearest reader, remains largely untouched. In our modern, fossil fuel soaked society, we have means and methods to not eat meat if we so choose. As moral agents we should choose an alternative that has the least amount of physical and psychological harm to other sentient creatures. Therefore, it is not ethical to eat meat on moral grounds due to this alternative and this awareness. I am not saying we have to stop eating meat, nor am I saying that that is even a feasible option for everyone to do but from a strictly moral position, eating meat is unethical. Then again so is lying and no one has made any great effort to eliminate that so my arguments lie where I laid them in the previous round.

I hope my opponent can muster up some kind of moral objection to my assertions in the final round.
Debate Round No. 2


Ethical : the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: (

If you go way back into history many people didn't choose to not eat meat. They ate meat because it was there, or they believed it was given to them specifically to eat. They were raised to believe that it is ethical to eat meat.
The culture/religion that they are in preach things like "We are animals, they are animals what makes them so much different than us? Is it that we believe we are higher up on the food chain? That nothing can defeat us because we can do things that other animals cant, But overall a hungry tiger will see you as food, just as someone could see a chicken as food."

In this society I understand it IS possible to get by on not eating meat, with other fake protein products, but is it really worth it? I mean God gave us these animals to eat (it states in the Bible) so why wouldn't we follow his directions and eat what he has so graciously given us?

In conclusion I believe it is ethical to eat meat, because we have already been eating meat for ages, God gave it to us to eat, etc.


My opponent's final arguments on the ethics of eating meat boil down to this...

1. We've always been eating meat so that makes it right.
2. God said we can so it's ethical to.

Again, my opponent makes no rebuttals of my previous arguments but completely ignores them as if they were not made.

The problem with my opponent's two arguments are that neither of them are strong foundations on which to lay a moral argument upon.

For example, mankind has been committing rape for as long as we have recorded history. Is rape now moral because its been around for so long? A similar parallel can be drawn to slavery which also has deep historical roots, is slavery moral? I think not. There has to be something more to morality than longevity.

Then my opponent snuck in a claim about God which I do not think has a place in this debate. I could refute the claim about God or refute the existence of God or refute the idea that anything God says is moral (Divine Command Theory). Any of which would be sufficient. We cannot simply say "X is moral because a god said so". There are plenty of things that gods have said over the ages. Which god is my opponent talking about? Zeus? Vishnu? He doesn't say and therefore I do not think his claim is valid.

Finally, my opponent concedes the point that people can indeed eat a meatless lifestyle in today's modern world. This is a large concession as it makes the eating of meat unnecessary which bolsters my argument that eating meat causes unnecessary suffering and is therefore immoral.

I feel like I have adequately laid out arguments that show the unethical nature of meat while my opponent's arguments have fallen flat.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RedDebater 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro kept moving away from the initial argument of the debates, which was about ethics, and instead turned it into a health problem. Even after Con informed him of his mistake, he continued to try and argue from the wrong perspective of his own choosing.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Although I find CON's moral argument to be flawed, PRO never addressed it, and in the absence of any real argument from PRO, CON's flawed argument stands. No one gets conduct, but CON gets S&G due to some errors by PRO, and PRO gets sources because he is the only one who sourced anything.