March Beginners Tournament: Animal Rights
This debate is a direct challenge to @Skepticalone as a part of @Bsh1's March Official Beginner's Tournament. Thanks to @Skepticalone for agreeing with me on the topic.
1. No forfeiture
2. All arguments must be according to the definitions provided.
3. Appropriate conduct must be made: no profanity, inappropriate behavior, and trolling.
Animal - a non-human sentient vertebrate that can feel pain
Sentience - the ability to feel or perceive subjectively
Animal Rights - the idea that animals are entitled to be free of human exploitation
Exploitation - the action or fact of treating someone unfairly for beneficial result to the exploiter
Fairness - the quality of making judgments free of discrimination
Discrimination - unjust and prejudicial treatment
72 hrs/argument, 5 rounds, max. 10,000 words/argument
Round 1 is for acceptance only
All other rounds can have arguments and rebuttals
Open Voting on a Select Winner point system for 7 days
Thanks to @bsh1 for setting up this tournament, @airmax1227 for telling me about it, and @Skepticalone for accepting the topic.
I accept. Good luck, tejretics!
Before I begin, I would like to thank @Skepticalone once more for accepting this debate. Let me begin my arguments supporting animal rights.
Suffering is defined as "the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship."  Pain, a primary aspect of suffering, is defined as "a highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury."  Based on the basic aspects of ethics, all beings have a right against unnecessary suffering and pain. Exploitation of animals for human purposes viz. by hunting, ritual slaughter, slaughter for meat, etc. causes animals unnecessary suffering. Why should animals be denied this basic moral right? Morality and ethics were created for the survival of the moral community. The Golden Rule of ethics states this: "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you."  Why are animals not ascribed into the moral community? By the definition of this debate, animals can suffer physically ["feel pain"] and emotionally [sentience]. To subject any being through needless pain is unjust. Let me conclude this contention thus:
P1: There is a generic right against needless suffering.
P2: Animals can needlessly suffer.
C1: Therefore, animals have a right against needless suffering.
Now, the obvious question here is paraphrased: how is the suffering suffered by animals in the hands of humans "needless"?
Hunting can be discounted directly as it serves the sole purpose of sadistic human entertainment, as can ritual slaughter as it is illogical. [Here I refer to animal sacrifice which serves no purpose of consumption, etc.] The usage of animals for fur, silk, leather, down, et cetera are also illogical and not necessary. There are faux furs to help keep warm; silk, leather, and down serve no purpose except comfort.
So we are lead to consumption. According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics, "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association 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."  The most common cited necessary nutrients "not found in vegetarian diets" are Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12. Collard greens, leafy greens, tempeh, and tofu all contain Vitamin B12.  Walnuts, edible seeds, and flaxseed oil all contain Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Therefore, nutritionally, a vegetarian diet is adequate for living and it is illogically unethical to force a sentient creature to suffer for entertainment (i.e. hunting, Spanish bullfights, eating meat for taste preferences). That is, technically, sadism. Sadism is defined as "the tendency to derive pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation." 
The next major standpoint for animal exploitation: animal testing. Animal testing is not reliable. "A 2004 study from the [FDA] found that 92 percent of drugs entering clinical trials following animal testing fail to be approved. Of those approved, half are withdrawn or relabeled due to severe or lethal adverse effects not detected during animal tests...A 2008 study in the journal Alternatives to Laboratory Animals showed that more than 80 HIV/AIDS vaccines successful in nonhuman primates failed in human trials. According to a 2004 study... more than 4,000 studies report efficacy of more than 700 treatments of stroke in animal models. Yet none of the approximately 150 of these treatments tested in humans showed clinical benefit... Drugs intended to reduce inflammation in critically ill patients, previously tested in mice, failed in nearly 150 human critical trials according to a 2013 study."  For an unreliable means of testing, we cannot subject animals to suffering and death.
Rationality and Differentiation
Ethical human rights apply equally to mature, rational thinking adults, infants, adolescents, and the profoundly mentally handicapped. The mentally disabled and infants have equal capability to think rationally as animals, perhaps even less. As they beget moral and ethical rights, animals also deserve to be treated with compassion and to remain free of cruel and unfair exploitation. The argument is as follows:
P1: Moral rights should be ascribed to all sentient beings equally, viz. infants and the mentally handicapped have equal moral and ethical rights as able-thinking adults.
P2: Animals are sentient beings.
C1: Therefore, moral rights should be ascribed to animals.
By the theory of utilitarianism, moral action maximizes utility. According to Jeremy Bentham, one of the founders of the ideas of utilitarianism, in regards to a beings right to ethical treatment, "The question is not 'Can they talk?', nor 'Can they reason?', but 'Can they suffer?'"  This is true in terms of ethical justification. As seen above, rational/logical thinking is not the primary criterion for the ascription of moral rights; rather, it is the level of physical and emotional sentience. However weak the sentience might be, any form of unnecessary suffering is not justified. And being discriminative by species, i.e. speciesist , is still a form of prejudice and is therefore regarded as unfair (see the debate's definition of "fairness").
Animals deserve to be free of human exploitation and to be guaranteed ethical treatment.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -- Gandhi, Mohandas K. ["Mahatma" Gandhi]
 "Suffering." The New Oxford Dictionary of English. 2015. [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]
 "Pain." The New Oxford Dictionary of English. 2015. [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]
 Antony Flew, ed. (1979). "golden rule". A Dictionary of Philosophy. London: Pan Books in association with The Macmillan Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-330-48730-2.
 Craig, W.J. "Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets." United States National Library of Medicine Official Website. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]
 Key TJ, Appleby PN, Rosell MS (2006). "Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets". Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 65 (1): 35–41.
 Blog für Familie, Ernährung & Leben (Blog for Family, Nutrition & Life)."Datenbank SOFA (seed oil fatty acids)." [http://www.bfel.de... - translated at https://translate.google.com...]
 "Sadism." The New Oxford Dictionary of English. 2015. [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]
 Capaldo, Theodora. "Animal Data is Not Reliable for Human Health Research." Livescience.[http://www.livescience.com...]
 AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PRINCIPLES OF MORALS AND LEGISLATION, Jeremy Bentham, 1789 ("printed" in 1780, "first published" in 1789, "corrected by the Author" in 1823.) See Chapter I: Of the Principle of Utility. For Bentham on animals, see Ch. XVII Note 122
 Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. HarperCollins, New York. (2009 - 4th edition)
First off, I am very excited to be participating in this tourney - Thanks Bsh! My opponent has put forth a solid argument – Well said, tejretics. Let us get to it.
My opponent wishes to expand these rights to invertebrate sentient animals, but I find his line of demarcation to be problematic. If we are to amend rights then we must have criterion by which all individuals who currently have rights will not lose them. We will be worse off, if we subscribe to a system by which we grant rights to animals, and some humans lose them by the same criterion. For instance, it could be argued a comatose patient is no longer sentient, and thus forfeits their rights. Pro has also argued the ability to suffer should be considered in determining rights, but let us consider humans afflicted with Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA). “(CIPA) has two characteristic features: the inability to feel pain and temperature, and decreased or absent sweating (anhidrosis)” . People with CIPA are incapable of needless suffering (as defined) but they still have rights, nonetheless. Lastly, as Pro has advocated for all sentient vertebrate animals, this would mean that animals which are known to be disease vectors (like rats), nuisance animals known to destroy properties (like wild pigs), and animals known to attack humans (coyotes, bears, wolves) should not be killed when encountered and put the local human population at risk. Basically, we run into the same problem as before where we sacrifice human rights for the sake of animals.
Rationality and Differentiation
Also, in this argument Pro is basically arguing for all sentient beings, so the arbitrary line in the sand eliminating organisms which do not have a backbone is curious. It seems as if Pro is playing favorites.
Ethics and Reason
This debate's resolution is not if animals have the right to be free of needless suffering, but rather if animals deserve to have it. Limiting ethics to solely humans is unfair and discriminating. Is discrimination by species not similar to discrimination by sex, race, religion, beliefs, et cetera? This form of speciesist discrimination is unfair. If only beings that can think rationally are entitled to morality, then it is technically discrimination.  To save oneself, causing suffering is fair, or to save loved ones. Hence, this debate speaks of a general viewpoint. But to ascribe humans greater moral rights than animals is discrimination by species. Human moral rights (solely based on morality, i.e. freedom from needless suffering, etc.) should be equal to non-human moral rights. [Note: I limited it to vertebrate not by the ethics itself, but that there may be loopholes in invertebrate pain receptors etc which I cannot argue against] This distinction between "human" and "animal" is unnecessary; the rights that can apply to animals [not right to property, etc.] must be applied to them. Discriminating between those that think rationally and other sentient beings is nonetheless discrimination. I challenge this criterion itself.
If hunting is carried out for population control of an animal such as bison, then why is it not done for humans? Empathy must apply to all beings. Everything is not about human benefit. I extend my ethics arguments from above to here to show that ethics and benefits apply to all species [here I argue for sentient species, but generally].
I'm sorry, I should have specified the definition of vegetarian. Nonetheless, since this debate is about animal suffering, vegetarianism applies to veganism and organic, harmless lacto-vegetarianism [where the animals are not mistreated or killed]. How are lacto-vegetarianism and veganism expensive? Please specify and I shall rebut it.
Here are some alternatives to animal testing:
Non animal-testing has its own scientific benefits.
Alternative scientific tests are often more reliable than animal tests.
 Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. HarperCollins, New York. (2009 - 4th edition)
 MacLennan & Amos. (1990). Clinical Science Research Ltd., UK, Cosmetics and Toiletries Manufacturers and Suppliers, XVII, 24.
 National Research Council. (2007). Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Ethics and Reason
Actually this debate is not really about needless suffering per se. Obviously, no person with a shred of empathy will argue that animals should be subject to needless suffering. The purpose of this debate is to determine if animals should have rights, and how we should go about determining criteria. Pro advocates all animals which have a spine should have rights. Why not go all the way and claim all animals should have rights? The answer lies in the fact that if we give rights to all animals then it devalues the notion of rights altogether. If a mosquito or flea has a right to life as I do, then I would be morally wrong to squash it when it is deriving life from my blood. It causes me very little suffering and they must have it to survive, so for the greater good, I must bear the inconvenience for the sake of another lifeform. Pro avoids this dilemna by arbitrarily claiming ‘it must have a spine’. Why? What makes animals with a spine more deserving of rights than those without? By drawing a line at vertebrates he disallows animals which are sentient and intelligent, such as octopi, simply because their anatomy is different than animals he recognizes as related. His explanation for this line in the sand comes from his ignorance of how non vertebrates can suffer and discriminates arbitrarily assuming it is not important or that they cannot feel pain.
By the very act of trying to determine what characteristics mandate rights we are discriminating against some life form (whether intentional or not). Pro eliminates animals by their physical traits and gives no thought to their ability. I advocate adding animals on the basis of rationality. Let us consider a hypothetical situation: Mankind finally realizes we are not alone in the universe, and there is life out there after all; However, we learn they are sentient rational and insectoid (uh oh, no spine!!), by Pro’s logic they are not deserving of rights. By my logic, they would automatically have rights. Thus, I feel rationality is a better way to determine rights rather than physical traits. We have seen the effects of determining value based on arbitrary differences, and this type of thinking has brought about things such as slavery and the Crusades. Essentially, Pro is advocating a much higher degree of discrimination than I could ever hope to achieve by my delineation of rationality.
In addition to this, the rational mind is responsible for the concept of rights to begin with, so it is reasonable that rational minds (or minds with the potential for rationality) should enjoy those rights. Some of Pro’s arguments would have the rational mind losing rights to animals (see micro dosing below), and this is absurd. We must do what is in our best interest by way of hunting, population control, and as necessary -animal testing, while weighing the cost to possible benefits (to us and animals) of such actions.
“Early spring is the hardest season: a hot dry period following the cool, dry winter. Most plants still are dead or dormant, and supplies of autumn nuts are exhausted. Meat is particularly important in the dry months when wildlife can not range far from the receding waters.” 
That is one example of how veganism is expensive, but I’m sure Pro was considering something more along the lines of 1st world problems. So, after a brief search, I found a very interesting article comparing the difference in cost between an organic diet and a vegan diet.
“According to Mint.com, I spend an average of $375 on food each month. Before I went vegan, I insisted on eating only meat and dairy products that were certified humane, hormone-free, grass fed, and locally raised…in other words, extremely expensive. Still, my average food bill was lower: $270 a month.” 
Interestingly, Pro mentions Micro-dosing , which utilizes very small doses to see how they move around the human body. Micro dosing is considered a “phase 0” study. This is interesting because a phase 0 study requires pre-clinical trials (animal testing) to determine what the floor safety is, or in other words, to determine what is a micro dose. Phase 0 (micro-dosing) is at most supplemental, and cannot be considered an alternative to preclinical trials.
In addition to this, As the only one of the bunch which is systemic, micro-dosing is limited to supplementary evaluation of cellular responses. To determine the dangers/benefits of a particular drug we cannot limit ourselves to cellular responses or any other isolated systems. We need to test full body systems and the interaction between systems to truly understand the possible effects. As I said in my last round, there is no substitute for a live test subject. I acknowledge there are flaws in pre-clinical trials, but all the other methods mentioned are simply worse for evaluating the effect on whole body systems, and thus it would be more dangerous.
Back to you, Pro!
Ethics and Reason
This debate is not about animals having rights, it is about animals having the right against human exploitation. I did not mention that invertebrates do not have a right against exploitation; for this debate it is not the subject. The reason is irrelevant to the resolution. As you accepted this resolution and the definitions, I request Con to remain subject to the rules and definitions instead of questioning them. You could have questioned them when I presented them initially. I am not arbitrarily assuming anything. This is absolutely irrelevant to the debate. If you still further protest, I can include in this definition. Con is randomly assuming I'm saying invertebrates cannot be free of human exploitation; I believe they should be, but once more, it is irrelevant to the resolution. I am not discriminating them and Con is subject to the terms and definitions. Why is Con randomly assuming that I am saying invertebrates can be subject to discrimination? Just because this DEBATE is not about them does not mean I am prejudiced against them. This is not even an argument; this is rather merely questioning and targeting the definitions, which should have been done in a PM. My reason for excluding sentient invertebrates also was because of the ongoing debate on whether certain arthropods feel pain, and various studies. I accept that octopuses et cetera feel pain, but I merely wanted to avoid scientific controversy. I request voters to penalize conduct here.
I would also like to say that what I am implying here is that one animal's life is equal to one human's life. Con is interpreting this as meaning one animal cannot be sacrificed for a thousand humans; but this is one life against one life. Animals cannot be used, as they are not human property. In addition, rationality is not the only thing which allows a being to be free from suffering. So this is your point: a non-rational being can be used and subjected as property even if the being can feel or suffer. This is an illogical argument.
And Con is ignoring the definition of exploitation. Population control for the animals' benefit is ethical, but for human benefit, it is completely unethical. Animals are not human property, and this is the stressed point.
Once more, I have to define exploitation. Exploitation is "the action or fact of treating someone unfairly for the beneficial result of the exploiter." If it is beneficial to animals, then it is not exploitation. Hunting for human pleasure is exploitation. Con is only arguing how hunting is beneficial to animals, but the forms of hunting that are beneficial for humans alone, i.e. hunting for exploitation, is what I am arguing is morally unethical.
Once more, the Kalahari bushmen are not being unfair or prejudiced, as it is necessary for their survival; hence, this is not unfairness when they have no other choice. So let us move to comparison of veganism/vegetarianism and a non-vegetarian diet in an average urban lifestyle.
As seen above, the total price for an average vegan in the United States is $11.15; for a vegetarian, $12.45. Compare with a pescetarian and a meat-eater.  According to another website which I will source:
"Today's chicken breasts sell for around $5 a pound, and one chicken breast filet gives you about 24 grams of protein per serving. Compare that with black beans, another source of protein; you can buy a can (approximately 1 pound) of black beans for about a buck, which will provide you with about 24 grams of protein per serving, as well. The average American eats about 50 pounds of chicken per year, according to PBS. That adds up to about $250 a year just for chicken. Or, if you're a vegetarian, that'd be about $50 a year for black beans. In this case, you'd save $200 per year by going vegetarian.
Let's play the same comparison game with steak versus tofu. A sirloin steak costs about $5.99 per pound and contains 23 grams of protein per 4 ounces. Tofu is about $2.50 a pound and gives you about 28 grams of protein in 4 ounces, according to one online grocery store. The average American eats about 65 pounds of steak per year. That means your yearly spending on steak could amount to about $400 or more, depending on the cuts of beef you like to buy. Compare that with about $163 a year for tofu. By going vegetarian, you'd save $237 or more per year." 
 R E Hester R M Harrison et al. Alternatives To Animal Testing (Issues in Environmental Science and Technology) Royal Society of Chemistry; 1 edition (June 7, 2006) ISBN 978-0-85404-211-1.
Thank you, Pro!
Secondly, Pro has not denied his misconduct concerning his pre-clinical trials section during round 3.
Ethics and Reason
It is true that I have been arguing for a few animals against many human lives, and by the definitions Pro has provided, that is exploitation for the benefit of humans. Pro concedes a few animals can be sacrificed for the greater good of many human animals by dropping this.
Also, I do not see how the ability to suffer changes the argument from a utilitarian aspect. If a few animals must suffer for 100,000’s of humans to be saved from dying, then it is a valid logical choice. By definition, this would be exploiting the animals, since the humans are the one to benefit at the sacrifice of the animals.
“Hunting can be discounted directly as it serves the sole purpose of sadistic human entertainment”
Pro has now allowed for instances in which hunting can be morally ethical. I consider this to be a concession on this point.
“I would also like to say that what I am implying here is that one animal's life is equal to one human's life.”
Pro has acknowledged it is fair for primitive bushmen to kill animals as, ”it is necessary for their survival”. This is a direct contradiction to ‘all lives are equal’ he posited at the beginning of his round 3 argument! Pro is arguing for my side at this point, and he concedes that there are circumstances in which humans may exploit animals.
As for Pro’s source concerning the cost comparison of vegetarianism vs meat, it acknowledges vegetarian substitutes are more costly than the meat they replace. It is hardly feasible for an individual to eat black beans every day, and if we are to consider a vegetarian diet, then we must have variety. The article I supplied last round does exactly that.
“Keep in mind, though, that you have to be smart about your vegetarian purchases to make going vegetarian a cost benefit. For example, meat substitutes can be just as expensive as, or more expensive than, meat. By "meat substitute," we mean products made to resemble meat both in appearance and texture. For example, veggie burgers, vegetable nuggets and veggie crumbles fall into this category. Soy-based meat substitute products can run you up to $7.00 a pound (e.g. Morningstar Farms Chik Patties). If you plan your vegetarian meals around meat substitutes like these, it's likely you won't save much money by becoming a vegetarian.” 
I will use an example to portray this accusation. Let us say there is a debate on the topic "Dogs should have moral rights". *There is absolutely no suggestion that other animals do not have moral rights.* It is merely focusing on that topic. I state here that *all* sentient beings have equal moral rights, but we need not debate that because that is irrelevant to the *resolution*.
And secondly, *how* did I violate conduct in Round 3?
Ethics and Reason
Technically, my point is, for the survival of 1000 animals, 10 humans *can* die and vice versa. And this is not *unfair* treatment, via. the definition of exploitation. This may even be cruelty, but *unfairness* is different. This is cruelty *for the greater good*, and I am arguing it is justified even in a vice versa situation.
The benefits of animals are *irrelevant* to this, as I speak of hunting as exploitation and unfair treatment. The benefits of *humans* coming from hunting is exploitation. But Con has not *specified* these benefits. I request Con to specify these benefits and I shall substantiate.
Once more, it is the question of utilitarianism. A group of humans may kill an animal for their survival. But killing one hundred animals for five humans' survival is unethical by utilitarianism. So, if the bushmen go *that* far, then it is unethical [this is from a utilitarian perspective].
Secondly, then *don't* use meat substitutes. An average vegetarian-from-birth's meal is cheaper than a meat-eater's meal. If selected properly, vegetarian food *can be* cheaper and healthier than meat. So, the need to eat nuggets cannot drive one to kill animals. *This* is unethical.
How does microdosing require additional animal testing? I request Con to please substantiate so that I can rebut it. As far as I have read, microdosing *does not* require additional animal testing.  Please do substantiate and I shall rebut it.
I agree with Pro’s example, however in this debate the topic is “animal rights”, and he has eliminated (by his qualification of vertebrates) 90% of all animals. Again, if we are to going to label discrimination, then I am allowed to defend myself. I have encouraged the readers to consider the degree to which Pro is discriminating arbitrarily compared to the degree by which I am discriminating with a reasoned approach. Pro may not be discriminatory to all animals, but within the scope of this debate his position is discriminatory. I have no conduct violation in this matter. Tejretic’s conduct violation was covered in round three, and instead rehashing it, I will leave that for the voters to determine.
Technically, Pro is arguing that is acceptable for animals to exploit humans, and acceptable for humans to exploit animals. He simply demands a higher standard from humans. I have no problem with this, but for Pro this is problematic. According to his definitions, exploitation of animals by humans is completely disallowed. Any instance in which Pro admits it is reasonable for animals to be exploited is a point for me and the position I have been advocating for this debate.
Hunting has many benefits for humans, but the Kalahari bushmen example illustrates a primal need and benefit from killing animals: food for the purpose of survival. Killing a single animal for the purposes of population control is unfair from that animal’s point of view, and humans benefit from having less prey species wandering into human areas of habitation and thus less predator species (following prey) in close proximity to humans. Overall, humans must treat some animal ‘unfairly’ by killing it, so that we can benefit from its death by consumption or increased safety from predators where we live. It is exploitation, and if it were not done humans would die for the sake of animals. Suggesting that these things should not be done insinuates that animal lives are more important than human lives. I cannot agree with Pro here.
Secondly Pro asserts “an average vegetarian-from-birth's meal is cheaper than a meat-eater's meal”, but he provides no support for this statement. I have shown how the grocery bill for vegan diet is significantly more expensive than organic diet including meat, and I have shown meat replacements are more expensive than meat.
Interestingly, Pro mentions Micro-dosing, which utilizes very small doses to see how they move around the human body. Micro dosing is considered a “phase 0” study. This is interesting because a phase 0 study requires pre-clinical trials (animal testing) to determine what the floor safety is, or in other words, to determine what is a micro dose. Phase 0 (micro-dosing) is at most supplemental, and cannot be considered an alternative to preclinical trials.