The Instigator
Dookieman
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
ben671176
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

It is morally wrong for humans to eat animals.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Dookieman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,366 times Debate No: 58844
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (4)

 

Dookieman

Pro

Today I will be defending the proposition that it is morally wrong for humans to eat animals, and that people are unjustified in causing suffering and death to other sentient beings for reasons of pleasure, satisfaction, or amusement.
ben671176

Con

And I will state that if it is morally wrong to eat animals, it is also morally wrong to eat plants.
Debate Round No. 1
Dookieman

Pro

Modern Animal Agriculture

In the production of animal products, we confine animals for their entire lives and make them miserable. They are denied proper veterinary care, free space to move around and exercise, appropriate social interaction with members of their species, and anesthesia during the process of castration and other mutilations. Once these animals reach market weight, they are sent to a slaughterhouse where they are hung upside down and have their throat slit. This causes an immense amount of suffering and the animals are condemned to hang there dangling, while they scream in agony. Here is a short documentary of a collection of videos recorded by animal rights activist across the United States. From Farm to Fridge: https://www.youtube.com...

The video I linked is not meant to spark an appeal to emotion. I put it there as evidence to support my claims, and to show the reality of today's modern farms. Here is a quote from a professor of animal science at Oregon State University who teaches people about animal agriculture. He says "If most urban meat-eaters were to visit an industrial broiler house, to see how the birds are raised, and could see the birds being 'harvested' and then being 'processed' in a poultry processing plant, some, perhaps many of them, would swear off eating chicken and perhaps all meat." - Peter R. Cheeke, Professor of Animal Science, Oregon State University

The Ethical Argument

Since the animals that are raised for our food endure a life of suffering, and are prematurely killed in brutal methods, I don't see a moral justification for continuing to eat them. We don't need to eat meat or any other kind of animal product in order to be healthy (which I will show later on in this essay.) So clearly, we have a case where we are causing suffering and death to sentient beings for reasons of pleasure, satisfaction, or amusement, which cannot be justified. To demonstrate this, let me use the example of dog fighting. Most people realize that just because a person may enjoy causing dogs to fight, those are not in themselves good enough reasons to inflict harm on those dogs. Same situation should apply to eating animals.

Health

The American Dietetic Association explains on their website that "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."
This shows that we don't need to eat animals in order to be healthy. Link to their site: http://www.eatright.org...

The Killing Plants Objection

This is one of the most common arguments meat and dairy eaters make. It is an attempt to justify the continued killing of animals for food. The argument states that if it is morally wrong to kill animals, then it is also morally wrong to kill plants. In my view, only beings with conscious desires can be harmed in the morally significant since, so things like bacteria or a plant can't be harmed in the moral since. I don't think plants matter morally because they are not sentient. A plant is not a subject of conscious experiences and other mental states, who has interest, desires and a capacity to feel pleasure and pain like a nonhuman animal. Since plants lack all these characteristics, I fail to see how they can have any moral value. However, if we truly were concerned about plants, then I should inform the plant's rights activist that we would destroy less plants if we ate them directly, instead of feeding them to billions of land animals that we are going to kill for food. This means vegans, ironically, kill less plants than meat eaters do.

World Hunger

We feed large amounts of grain and soybeans to feed animals, and in doing so we waste most of the food value of the grains that we're feeding them. Depending on the species, the animals may return to us somewhere between 1/10th and 1/3rd of the food value of the grains and soybeans that we put into them. So we are just wasting huge amounts of food in order to produce the large amount of animal products. It would be better and more practical if we fed our grains and soybeans to people, instead of feeding them to billions of land animals. One acre of land can yield 30,000 pounds of carrots, 40,000 pounds of potatoes or 50,000 pounds of tomatoes. However, one acre of land can yield only 250 pounds of meat, which means that a meat and dairy diet is an unsuccessful way to combat world hunger, and that a vegan diet is a superior alternative. This is why Food For Life Global, the world's largest feed the hungry organization, only serves plant based food. As well as Everybody Gets Fed, Earth Save and Plenty.

Links to their sites:

Here is an article by Jeremy Rifkin explaining how we waste grain by feeding it to billions of animals:

The Environment

According to the research of Professors Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, the World Watch Institute's report, and the November 2006 report from the United Nations, animal agriculture is one of the top contributors to environmental destruction.

Links to their reports here:

Conclusion

In this essay I have demonstrated that eating animals has some very negative consequences, not just for the animals, but for the environment, and world hunger. Therefore we must accept that eating animals is morally wrong.
ben671176

Con

"The argument states that if it is morally wrong to kill animals, then it is also morally wrong to kill plants. In my view, only beings with conscious desires can be harmed in the morally significant since, so things like bacteria or a plant can't be harmed in the moral since. I don't think plants matter morally because they are not sentient. A plant is not a subject of conscious experiences and other mental states, who has interest, desires and a capacity to feel pleasure and pain like a nonhuman animal. Since plants lack all these characteristics, I fail to see how they can have any moral value.
My first argument is this. I am sorry but this is funny: I have a Science supplement book from 1986 that basically overrides this statement.

A study from Baldwin, David Rhoades, and Jack Schultz have been studying trees since 1981. Davey Rhoades was the first to discover what these men found: Trees can communicate with eachother. Yet he originally wanted just to find out how trees defended themselves from insect attack. So in Seattle, Washington (spring 1979). He wanted to see what would happen if Willow Trees had infestations of tent caterpillars. So he grouped two trees: one for the experamentation and another for the control (without an infestation). So he grouped them up, set the tent worms and came back 14 days later. So he took the experimental trees leaves and fed them to some caterpilar larvae and found that the larvae grew quite slowly, but what surprised him is that the same was done with the control tree and same effects. So both flooded their leaves with an unsavory chemical that discouraged the insect's growth. So why did the control tree have to arm itself? Davey made sure the roots or branches weren't touching. So did the tree send a chemical through the air to warn the other tree from attack? Yes, trees can communicate with eachother. So yes trees have thoughts and actions though they can't cry or have a brain (though this is pretty much an evolutionary tactic since if a limb is cut off then the tree can live or how you have to rip up an entire weed's root to keep it from regrowing). Trees can make defenses of course (as seen above), so they aren't helpless or passive. And the same goes for the rest of plants. I mean since many bug killers are made from plant chemicals.

The problem with only producing crops is that you overlooked something:

Only 11% of earth's land is suitable to growing crops

28% climat too dry
23% chemical problems
10% climate too wet
6% permafrost
22% soil too shallow
11% suitable for crops

So should we get rid of meat or just get rid of crops? I believe we should keep both. Since both can support us in their special ways. Meat gives us protien and wheat gives us carbs.

Talk Nerdy To Me
copyright 2013

Growing Up With Science
copyright 1986

Ch. "Eavesdropping On Trees"
by Jeanne McDermott
Biology Section
Pg. 84
Debate Round No. 2
Dookieman

Pro

My opponent, Ben, has claimed that there was a study done by some people in which they found that trees can communicate with each other and defend themselves from insects. He then makes the controversial claim that because trees can perform these task, then so can other plants. Does he even demonstrate how he arrived at that conclusion? No, he doesn't, he just assumes it. Did he even link this study so I and others can read it and judge its validity? No. It's also unclear how this study is even relevant to our topic. He says plants can do certain task. OK. What's his point? However, I'm going to try and guess that he's trying to say that plants are sentient. I could be wrong about that, but that's all I can gather from what he's saying. Anyway, onwards with the discussion. Yes, plants may be able to do those things he mentioned, but that doesn't mean that their sentient, have conscious desires and other mental states, or preferences. In order for a being to be sentient, they must have a central nervous system, and possess a brain. If a being does not have a central nervous system and a brain, then it cannot be a sentient being. If being (X) has sentience, then that being has conscious desires, interest and preferences. However, if being (Y) does not have sentience, then it cannot have conscious desires, interest and preferences. So as I stated before in my first argument of the debate, if a being cannot have any conscious interest, then I fail to see how such a being could have any moral value. However, I'm not done yet. There is still more to be said on this issue of plants. Earlier, in round 2 of this debate, under The Killing Plants Objection, I argued that if we were concerned about plants, that we would destroy less plants if we ate them directly instead of feeding them to billions of land animals that we were going to kill for food. And that this means vegans kill less plants than the meat and dairy eaters do. So, overall, vegans cause the least amount of death, both animals and plants. Therefore Ben's arguments fail.

Article on pain, showing that one needs a nervous system in order to experience it.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov...

I am going to quote what ben671176 said about producing crops:

"The problem with only producing crops is that you overlooked something:

Only 11% of earth's land is suitable to growing crops" - ben671176

You didn't provide a source to where you got this information, which makes me skeptical of your claim that only 11% of earth's land is suitable for growing crops. However, even if what you said was accurate, my argument still stands true. We would be able to feed more people on a vegan diet, than a meat and dairy diet. It takes more land, more water, and more plants to raise animals for food, than it does to grow crops for people to eat directly. For example, if we stopped feeding our grain to billions of land animals, the U.S. could feed 800 million people with that grain. According to Cornell Chronicle: http://www.news.cornell.edu...

I didn't see Ben put forth a moral justification for our current system of modern animal agriculture. In fact, he didn't even respond to it. Nor did he respond to my ethical argument against eating animals. He also failed to address the environmental devastation that modern animal agriculture has on our planet. Ben also didn't respond to the problem of world hunger, and how eating meat and dairy has negative consequences for those who are starving in developing countries. Therefore my arguments covering these issues still stand tall, simply because he didn't even attempt to debunk them.
ben671176

Con

Im sorry I can't link the study, it's in a book made from 1986 and I checked online f it is there yet it isn't. It does hold value since you concluded plants can't talk, defend themselves, or think.
I will make this link though since I could find it:
http://www.bestchapter.com...
"The problem with world hunger. . ."
The four problems about this is that:
1. Not only are we sending aid to those countries,
2. Since the global population continues to grow in developed countries,
3. poor countries continue to fall in debt so they sell most crops (goes back to two) that should be used to support their local population
4. Really the only country that has a big starving population is North Korea where over 40% of its population starve(1)

28% climat too dry
23% chemical problems
10% climate too wet
6% permafrost
22% soil too shallow
11% suitable for crops(1)
I use books to get my information so yes they have real editors on them, and so they are correct.

I don't see any way animals destroy the environment, other then taking land (just like crops). Though yes, they produce waste so that destroys the environment. No, have you ever heard of biofuel? There is a factory that makes fuel out of turkey waste and the only by-product is water vapor.
Of course many animals are stuck in cages or stuck in miles of waste but of course by meat from local farms that actually care for their animals don't get mass produced meat products. You will support animal rights and support local businesses.
Without producing meat, many in growing countries will starve since many of them are herding nomads and that meat can fill you up in smaller quantities.
Another article saying some stuff about we weren't ever able to actually eat rice. Though we may adapt.
http://healthomg.com...
When I brought up 11% of the earth can only grow crops is that if you think about it animals can survive on bad places of land as long as you feed and water them. Like maybe how herders carry their anmals through the desert to oasises.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
For health.

(1)Talk Nerdy To Me
copyright 2013
Debate Round No. 3
Dookieman

Pro

I am going to quote my opponent Ben's opening statements to me:

"Im sorry I can't link the study, it's in a book made from 1986 and I checked online f it is there yet it isn't. It does hold value since you concluded plants can't talk, defend themselves, or think." - Ben

Plants can't think. The very act of thinking requires a brain. Plants may be able to respond to stimuli and react to certain things, but that in no way means that their sentient, have conscious desires, interest or preferences. As I have already mentioned many times in this debate.

Quoting my opponent Ben again:

"I don't see any way animals destroy the environment, other then taking land (just like crops). Though yes, they produce waste so that destroys the environment. " -Ben

Ben has literally just contradicted himself. He says he doesn't see any way animals destroy the environment, but then in his next sentence, he says that animals produce waste that destroys the environment. Ben, which one is it? They either destroy the environment or they don't. Did you even read the environmental reports that I linked in this debate? I guess not. Here, I will link them again:

http://www.fao.org...
http://www.worldwatch.org...
http://pge.uchicago.edu...

This debate is going in circles. Ben has raised objections to my arguments that I had already dealt with in the 2nd round of this debate. He has failed to debunk any of my arguments, and is now just blabbering nonsense.
ben671176

Con

I'm sorry that plants can't help you with your math home work but yes they think. Maybe not as complicated as humans and most animals. Just because they don't have brains doesn't mean they can't think at all. I also stated that they actually don't have a brain for adaptation.

"I don't see any way animals destroy the environment, other then taking land (just like crops). Though yes, they produce waste so that destroys the environment. " -Ben
You forgot to look at my biofuel argument.
I will not read the last two links since they are completely taken from the text word for word. Please get the text that you want; not the entire thing epecially with work that looks like it is from books.

I will not argue with anything of this Matthews even though it was made in 2006, it has no editors, and has simply did say livestock is a MAJOR business in Agriculture.
Debate Round No. 4
Dookieman

Pro

"I'm sorry that plants can't help you with your math home work but yes they think. Maybe not as complicated as humans and most animals. Just because they don't have brains doesn't mean they can't think at all. " -Ben

How the hell can a plant think if it has no brain? If you're going to claim that plants can think, you need to provide some serious evidence for this. Please link me a peer reviewed scientific paper by a neuroscientist who says that plants can think without a brain.
ben671176

Con

I did state that they can think without brains in my starter. I just stated "They can't help you do your math homework" showing that they can't think as complex as us.
1.) I showed that not having brains is their adaptation by showing they can live even when something happens to some other part of it.

http://www.scientificamerican.com...
http://youtu.be...
http://io9.com...
http://www.popsci.com...

Do you need more?
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GoOrDin 2 years ago
GoOrDin
it is not something to fear or regret,
but it is not something that should be taken for granted.
it should not bring sadness to someone for eating an animal.
but it should humility should have a place somewhere, if not deep in your heart when you eat it.

I eat meat. but I am not glad because of it.
I do not wish for others to not be glad. Meat is tasty and sometimes nourishing.

But I believe it is WRONG to eat animals. spiritually and health-wise.
Posted by GoOrDin 2 years ago
GoOrDin
I think that eating meat should be undertaken with great consideration and utmost respect.
If one is considerate and respectful, then assuredly it is moral to eat meat.
But if one is not truly considerate, then it is immoral.
Posted by Dilara 2 years ago
Dilara
Unless your starving it is morally wrong
Posted by gorant 2 years ago
gorant
Infact pro done excellent job :)
Posted by gorant 2 years ago
gorant
Even I strongly agree that eating meat is unethical and injustice. we have to give freedom to animals from killing and harassing here after.

Every body have same rights to live on this earth. We are more wise than animals but it doesn't mean we have to make them our slaves and eat.

We should behave ourselves at least from now on towards animals.

Hence i support Pro.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
I think there may be a fur ball in this pie.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Cats are nice to eat, had a cat in a pie one time, best pie ever.
Now I understand why they could use cat in dim sims.
Posted by LifeMeansGodIsGood 2 years ago
LifeMeansGodIsGood
Salad is not food. Salad is what food eats.
Posted by LifeMeansGodIsGood 2 years ago
LifeMeansGodIsGood
I love animals, they are delicious. I love my dog, too. I hope I never have to eat her, but I've heard dog tastes pretty good.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
I would have argued its immoral not to eat animals because someone has already butchered them, and letting them die in vain by allowing their carcass to rot is even more inhumane.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Dookiemanben671176Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro succeeded in demonstrating a Moral Dilemma concerned with current meat eating practices, though humans are omnivores and some humans cannot extract the protein and iron from vegetables, so they need animal products, but they can now be obtained by supplements and animal milk products, so the once necessity for those people to consume red meat for iron. no longer exits. Con's arguments concerning the wrongness of killing plants was not strong enough to deny Pro's BOP achievement. Humans need to kill for survival, we have killed since we were fish, and at one stage we were insectivores, killing insects as tree climbing shrew like mammals. The killing is not where the poor moral standards exist, it is the extent of and the way the killing is being done and the clearing of massive amounts of rain forest to graze livestock which fart and affect the earth's atmosphere, where vegetation while young, fixes the atmosphere issues, by producing oxygen.
Vote Placed by Craighawley215 2 years ago
Craighawley215
Dookiemanben671176Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Although I agree with Con, this debate in all fairness goes to Pro. It seems like Pro had a school essay already written out in preparation for the debate, and then answered every one of Con's attempted responses. They had their main argument set, and Con didn't put together a sound enough rebuttal. If Con would have cited more sources, or even if Con would have produced a logically sound response to Pro's points, this debate could have been far different. Instead, Con never really displayed a sound argument, didn't properly cite the few sources they had, and got entirely hung up on the concept of plant intelligence, as opposed to raising other points against Pro's arguments. I agree with Con, but Pro was clearly more prepared.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 2 years ago
johnlubba
Dookiemanben671176Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro Upheld his burden of proof by offering strong arguments to defend his case and Con did not negate them instead Con agreed and further argued that it is equally wrong to harm plants, which was a different argument altogether, Although I will state that Con could make a good case if they created a different debate with the resolution that it wrongs to harm plants but in this case Pro wins arguments and sources.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Dookiemanben671176Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro proved harming animals causes harm and harm is wrong. Con attempted to prove plants think, and so eating them is wrong. This is irrelevant to the morality of eating animals. Pro had more and more accessible sources. (BTW: Plant communication =/= sentience. Consider your immune system and phermone distribution system)