The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Purchasing vaccines endorses animal cruelty

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 542 times Debate No: 81338
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




I pro, will make the argument that purchasing vaccines endorses animal cruelty.

Endorse "to approve, support, or sustain: "

Animal cruelty "the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death on an animal, usually a tame one, beyond necessity for normal discipline. It can include neglect that is so monstrous (withholding food and water) that the animal has suffered, died or been put in imminent danger of death."


You have captured my attention. I accept.

Go ahead.
Debate Round No. 1


"The egg-based production process begins with CDC or another Influenza Collaborating Center providing private sector manufacturers with vaccine viruses grown in eggs per current FDA regulatory requirements. These vaccine viruses are then injected into fertilized hen"s eggs and incubated for several days to allow the viruses to replicate." CDC

"The discovery and development of new medicines, vaccines and medical devices for people and animals is a long and complex process with a number of stages, many of which involve animal experiments. National and international regulations currently require that new medicines are tested on animals before being licensed for use. Around 5 million animals including mice, rats, fish, chickens, rabbits, dogs and primates are used across the EU for this purpose each year."

"What animals experience

The degree of suffering, which may include both physical pain and psychological distress, depends on the nature of the experiment. Generally, animals are 'given' a disease or condition then experiments are done to investigate: "

"Animals are sometimes used in the testing of drugs, vaccines and other biologics, and medical devices, mainly to determine the safety of the medical product."

"How many animals are killed in animal testing in the US?

Around 10 million a year."

"Hens used for egg production come from hatcheries, where male chicks (none of which can lay eggs) are killed immediately after hatching. Each year, hundreds of millions of these vulnerable beings are suffocated or ground up alive to produce fertilizer or feed."

It is clear to me that animals suffer and die from both animal testing and in egg production. Ultimately for a fertilized egg to exist there must be a hen and rooster. Its a well know fact that male chickens don't live long. The egg production is cruel. Purchasing vaccines endorses animal cruelty.


I'l like to thank my opponent for creating this debate and bringing forth some interesting arguments. I'll jump right in.

Vaccine Testing and Chicken Hatcheries

This first point isnt so much an argument as it is a point that needs to be made. A large part of my opponent's central argument relies on the cruelty that occurs in chicken hatcheries and the suffering that animals go through because of chicken production hatcheries.

It must be noted that hatcheries largely exist not to supply animal testers with animals, but to service the food industry, especially here in the US. If animal testing were outlawed today, these hatcheries would continue to exist just as effectively as they do now. Consider that some 9 billion chickens are killed every year in the US. [2] Now consider that only 2.5 million animals die per year due to vaccine testing. [1] Vaccine testing account for less than .03% of the total chicken production in the US, and that assumes that every animal who dies in vaccine testing is a chicken. Knowing this, it is logically unsound to bring the cruelty of chicken farms into this debate and the reader should not consider them a valid point.

Justified Cruelty is not Cruelty, In Fact

The central idea behind my argument will be that vaccines (and the methods in which we produce them) are justified, on balance. As such, the animal testing portion of this cannot be considered cruelty, but a societal necessity.

First, I want to start with a bit of definitional analysis. While the definition for "animal cruelty" the oppponent provides is, in many cases, valid -- it does not provide us with the frame of mind in which we have to approach this specific problem.

Consider the definiton of cruelty -- the desire to cause harm of suffering to others. [3] Now imagine a scenario in which a man has been marrooned on an island and must hunt in order to survive. In hunting an animal, he will likely cause it suffering and undoubtedly will cause it harm. However, his action is not cruel because it was not his ultimate goal to hurt the animal, but rather to survive. Hurting the animal was simply the only reasonable way to accomplish that goal. Consider another example in which someone's pet gets cancer and needs to be put down. The animal is not suffering yet, and putting it down will cause harm. However, putting the animal down would not be cruel because the ultimate goal was not to harm the animal, but to prevent the animal from suffering in the future. Killing the animal was simply the most reasonable way to achieve that goal.

Understanding this, I am arguing that vaccine research is not cruel. Even though animals will die and likely suffer, the ultimate goal is not to cause this suffering, but rather to create medicines that protect humans against disease. Animal research is simply the most reasonable way of meeting this goal. It is necessary now to prove that vaccines are a significant human good and that they prevent death and suffering.

The Good of Vaccines

Looking at infants and young children alone, more than 732,000 deaths are prevented because of vaccines. What's more, vaccines save society about 1.3 trillion dollars in damages. [4] Additionally, without vaccines, we see more and more cases of deadly diseases, like the measles, resurfacing because people do not vaccinate at the rate they used to. In a world without vaccines, diseases like this would resurface at a much higher rate, increasing the number of people who might also catch these diseases.

From this data alone, it is clear that vaccines are a significant societal good and that their implementation directly saves lives. With these lives in mind, we are justified in killing animals for vaccine research, provided this is done in the most humane possible while still doing what is necessary to meet our goal.





Debate Round No. 2


"Now consider that only 2.5 million animals die per year due to vaccine testing. [1] Vaccine testing account for less than .03% of the total chicken production in the US, and that assumes that every animal who dies in vaccine testing is a chicken. Knowing this, it is logically unsound to bring the cruelty of chicken farms into this debate and the reader should not consider them a valid point." Con

So, the .03% don't matter at all because the number is small. That 2.5 million chicken's suffering is irrelevant to a discussion about animal cruelty? By that logic a lot of animal cruelty should be overlooked because the numbers are less than or equal to 2.5 million.

So if a person arbitrarily decides to light a neighborhood cat on fire that is irrelevant because nine billion chickens are killed annually. Tell that to the cat and the people watching the cat burn. The cruelty of chicken farms is relevant to the debate, even if only a small portion of the nine billion chickens raised are used in vaccines and vaccine research.

More to the point, the fertilized eggs don't appear out of thin air. There must be a mother and father chicken. The cruelty to the mother and father of each of those fertilized eggs must be accounted for.

From merriam webster cruelty:


: a desire to cause others to suffer : the quality or state of being cruel

: actions that cause suffering

: an act or occurrence that causes suffering
" merriam webster

The first use of the word intent matters. The other two word usage intent doesn't matter. Therefore intent doesn't matter. In the example of being marooned on an island the action of hunting the animal is cruelty.

Perhaps more importantly the intent is to kill and eat the animal. "However, his action is not cruel because it was not his ultimate goal to hurt the animal, but rather to survive." Con

There is no way he could achieve his ultimate goal without the intermediate goal of hurting the animal. In other words to achieve the goal of survival a chain of goals or tasks must be accomplished.

First he must find the animal. Next, he must perform the task or goal of hurting the animal. Then, he must kill the animal. Finally he must find a way to eat the animal.

By your logic dog fighting, cock fighting, bull rodeo's, pigeon shoots are all justified cruelty. I like it. In fact you win Con. I completely agree with you. By those standards animal cruelty can always be justified. Therefore there is no such thing as animal cruelty. Good job.

The intent of dog fighting arenas is to have fun and maybe make some money. So therefore, the cruelty is justified. Same with male chicken fights and bull rodeos.

Just teasing you, but what exactly makes dog fighting unjustified animal cruelty and the example of the man marooned justified? Unless of course you seriously think dog fighting is justified animal cruelty. After all the intent is entertainment and not to cause suffering.

"Consider another example in which someone's pet gets cancer and needs to be put down." Con Cancer sometimes goes into spontaneous remission.

"The spontaneous healing of cancer is a phenomenon that has been observed for hundreds and thousands of years and after having been the subject of many controversies, it is now accepted as an indisputable fact." J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2011 Jan-Jun; 2(1): 43"49.
doi:" 10.4103/0976-9668.82318

With no way to predict the future a mercy killing or euthanasia in this circumstance thus such a deed may result in animal cruelty.

Con contends that vaccine research is justified cruelty and thus not cruelty. "Understanding this, I am arguing that vaccine research is not cruel. Even though animals will die and likely suffer, the ultimate goal is not to cause this suffering, but rather to create medicines that protect humans against disease."

Again how is this action of vaccine research justified and pigeon shootings not? The ultimate goal of pigeon shooting to raise money. Therefore either both vaccine research and pigeon shooting are justified or neither are.

"Enemy drone shot down over Inhofe fundraiser" Elise Viebeck

"Sen. Jim Inhofe on Tuesday for a fundraiser he held earlier this month in his home state of Oklahoma in which live pigeons were thrown into the air for participants to shoot out of the sky."

"Vaccines given to infants and young children over the past two decades will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaccines also will have saved $295 billion in direct costs, such as medical expenses, and a total of more than $1.3 trillion in societal costs over that time" Liz Szabo, USA TODAY

The means justify the ends? That killing animals and making them suffer is justified because it saves human lives and money. Despite the fact that there may be more humane ways of raising chickens. They should be overlooked in the name of profit margins?

Chickens have genetic differences from humans. Aside from any moral issues, there are some within the scientific community that contend that animal testing is obsolete and inefficient.

"The advantages of this new approach would be considerable:
a substantial reduction in testing costs and time
a drastic drop in the number of animals used in testing
the ability to test a far greater number of chemicals and other substances
a grounding of safety decisions in human biology rather than in how guinea pigs, rats, and other animals react under highly artificial conditions"

Next, there is the issue of religious objection to animal cruelty. We live in a democracy and even if we 100% disagree with these objections people who hold this view still get a vote and are protected under the bill of rights.

"Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Do the ends still justify the means after religious objections?

Lets assume vaccines do work. Yet, do we really need them? Vaccines haven't been around all that long. There are other ways to strengthen the immune system. Its been scientifically proven that smoking reduces immune system function and good diet increases immune function.

Therefore, like antibiotics are I argue that vaccines are overused. By relying too heavily upon vaccines we have ignored other ways to booster our immune system.

"Nicotine, which is one of the main constituents of cigarette smoke, suppresses the immune system" Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 May;2(5):372-7.
"Moreover, a close link between specific immune activation and atherosclerosis has been well established, suggesting that fat can directly trigger immune responses. This review discusses the role of fat as "a matter of disturbance for the immune system" with a focus on hepatic steatosis."

"All these factors indicate that obesity exerts negative effects upon the immune system." Nutr Hosp. 2004 Nov-Dec;19(6):319-24.

Conclusion, the suffering of chickens raised for animal vaccination matters. The cruelty in vaccine research causes suffering regardless of intent. The ends do not justify the means. Purchasing vaccines endorses animal cruelty. Thank you for reading. Good arguments. Bah I ran out of characters to post all my links.


I'd like to thank my opponent for his quick and lengthy response! I'll jump in, following his arguments mostly in order. I'll label as I go.

.03% of Chickens Argument

The point of this argument was not to claim that 2.5 million was irrelevant compared to 9 billion, but rather vaccine development has virtually no impact on the chicken farming industry. Vaccine developent does not 'endorse, approve, or sustain' the chicken industry, since it is such a truly miniscule part of it.

My opponent is attempting to insinuate that the killings in this industry are due to, in any relevant part, vaccine testing. I have shown this isn't true. Therefore, we should not consider this argument in the way he framed it. The use of chickens in vaccine testing does not endore the chicken farming industry.

Cruelty -- Intent or Not?

My opponent claims that because the majority of definitions provided do not mention the word intent that we should assume intent is not involved. As I said in my definitional analysis, it's necessary to pick a definition that best suits the situation. There are so many examples of animals being hurt by humans in the world, but vaccination testing death isn't one often thought of. It's one of those odd cases that we need to be extra careful with our definitions.

My opponent now attempts to take my two given examples as to why we need to be careful about definitions and show they aren't valid. I'll briefly hit each.

First, the hunting scenario. He first agrees that kiling is part of the hunting scenario, which is completely true. He next brings up several examples including "cock fighting, dog fighting, and pigeon shootings" to show why my logic is bankrupt. However, he forgets the most important qualification I introduced, key to my entire argument.

I stated that the killing of the animal in the hunting scenario was justified because it was the most reasonable way to accomplish the main goal. Again, the goal was to survive. Eating is necessary for survival and, on this island, the source of food was the animal. Killing the animal was justified to meet the goal because it was the most reasonable way to do so.

In my opponent's counter-examples, he says that my logic justifies the killing of animals for fun and generating money. However, this simply isn't true by my logic because killing animals isn't the most reasonable way to have fun, just as killing animals (in many cases) is not the most reasonable way to gain wealth.

Regarding my second example, about the sick pet, my opponent's argument isn't very solid. He essentially says that you should put down a pet with cancer because 'cancer sometimes goes into remission'. This is true. Sometimes it does. Usually it does not. If the main goal is to prevent your pet from suffering, the most reasonable way to do this is to put it down. It is not reasonable to leave it alive in the slim hope that its cancer goes into spontaneous remission.

Do the Ends Justify the Means?

Yes. As I have shown, killing an animal is not cruelty when it is the only reasonable means of achieving a goal that is of great societal good. Again, my opponent brings up fun and money, without realizing that wealth and fun are not nearly a significant good as is health and life.

New Approaches to Vaccine Production

My opponent claims that 'some within the scientific community say that animal testing is obselete and inefficient'. If one looks at the article, he will see that the article refers to toxicology in human cells, not disease. It is well understood that some animals have similar responses to vaccines as humans do. One cannot grow human cells in a petri dish, introduce the vaccine, then expect it to react in the same way it would when introduced to an actual human being. Drugs work on a systemic level, so it is necessary to have an entire living system in which to test the drug.

The First Amendment

I'm not sure that my opponent has a point here. He states that some people have religious objections (to animal testing, I suppose), but then says that the goverment can't make a law respecting the establishment of religion. If someone has a religious objection to animal testing, that doesn't take away from my previous arguments that animal testing is both justified and leads to a considerable and significant human good.

Are Vaccines Really Necessary?

The opponent then states that vaccines haven't been around that long and that there are other ways of boosting the immune system.

First, it's true that vaccines haven't been around that long. Neither has NyQuil. But the fact that it's a new technology doesn't take away from the evidence I provided that it saves lives, prevents illness, and reduces economic losses related to health care.

Next, my opponent seems to imply that there are other ways of boosting the immune system that can supplant vaccinations. This shows a lack of knowledge about how vaccines work. Humans are not so evolved that we can suddenly develop immunity to diseases we haven't been infected with the in the past. Vaccines directly allow us to gain the immunity to these diseases. Additionally, babies are the ones who most need vaccines (and my evidence actually applies specifically to infants and the young). There isn't much you can do to strengthen a baby's immune response to such a degree that it can fight off the measles and it isn't as if babies smoke (another point my opponent brought up, though I'm not sure why.)


I have provided evidence saying that vaccines are a significant societal good. I have demonstrated that hurting animals if justified if that is the most reasonable way to achieve a societal good. I have counterred my opponents arguments.

Hopefully the reader can now see that vaccines do not endorse animal cruely, but instead contribute to the health and life of humanity as a whole.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Stupidape 2 years ago
"Pro only showed that vaccie production incurs animal cruelty, not that every purchase necessarily functions as an endorsement of that cruelty." Whiteflame

Thanks for the input. I will use this information to make a stronger argument.
Posted by Cobalt 2 years ago
My link has an extra space at the end, for some reason. Just remove the extra space and the page should load properly.
Posted by Stupidape 2 years ago
I got page not found for the britannica link. [2]
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I think too much of this debate goes off track, particularly with regards to this "ends justifying the means" business. Both of you focus on the definition of cruelty, and there's grounds for uncertainty there given the definitions with regards to intent, but I'm surprised that so little time is spent on the word "endorses". There's a difference between supporting the continuation of animal cruelty indirectly by continuing to purchase vaccines, and directly endorsing animal cruelty as a part of the process of purchasing vaccines. The former doesn't require an ulterior motive, the latter does, and that motive has to be clearly for supporting animal cruelty. Pro never really supported that view, continually arguing that indirect support was sufficient to show endorsement. I don't see that as affirming the resolution. Pro only showed that vaccie production incurs animal cruelty, not that every purchase necessarily functions as an endorsement of that cruelty.
Vote Placed by Sarai.K82 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was difficult to judge. I had to go back and re-read the arguments carefully. Initially, I thought many of con's arguments off point, but then I clicked on con's contention that cruelty requires intent. I don't think pro every really addressed this point effectively. Pro left me in no doubt that animals suffer as a result of the production of vaccines, but I was left unpersuaded that there is a way around this or that vaccine production was not justified and necessary (children dying of disease brings its own suffering and we are at heart animals). Con's spelling and grammar is more traditional. Now I should address that I went from con's side to tied even though I found con's arguments more convincing. It's because reading both sides stimulated my own through process and I found myself introducing arguments that were not made. In essence, I think pro could have made a stronger presentation of his case. But he didn't do so. Sources were more or less equivalent from my view.