The Instigator
cmmj1004
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
GaryBacon
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

Should we stop eating other animals? What are the moral, environmental, and health issues involved?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,901 times Debate No: 2462
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (11)

 

cmmj1004

Pro

The main reason to be a vegetarian is to reduce animal suffering. Farm animals such as chickens, pigs, sheep, and cows are sentient living beings like us - they are our evolutionary cousins and like us they can feel pleasure and pain. It is wrong to farm and kill these animals for food when we do not need to do so. The methods of farming and slaughter of these animals are often barbaric and cruel - even on supposedly 'free range' farms. Also, in most countries, animals farmed for food are not covered by animal welfare laws that protect other animals.
GaryBacon

Con

I do concede that there are many cases in which the slaughtering of farm animals can be seen as inhumane. But there have been a great deal of improvements over the years, and in many cases the practices are no longer "barbaric" as you claim.

In the United States, the majority of slaughterhouses were designed by Dr. Temple Grandin. These designs consist of looping curves that function in two ways. The first is that the animals that start along the path seem to follow just based on the instinct of returning to a previous location. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the animals can no longer see what lies ahead. Years ago, one of the major protests was that the animals would panic when viewing what was in store for them. This is no longer a problem in most U.S. slaughterhouses.

You then state "Also, in most countries, animals farmed for food are not covered by animal welfare laws that protect other animals." There are some countries that do not protect these animals, but the term most countries is a misrepresentation. Most countries, in fact, do have laws in place with regards to the welfare of animals that are farmed for food. In my country of the United States, the Humane Slaughter Act was passed in 1958. It is true that some slaughterhouses violate this act, but there is now enough information to know which slaughterhouses are humane and which are not.

Cows must be knocked unconscious by a sudden electric shock to the back of the head before slitting its blood vessels and allowing the blood to drain. In the past, this was the only method and a few cases were reported where the cow was still conscious. However, today there are secondary methods employed on the occasions where cows remain conscious. The secondary methods can vary from a captive bolt pistol to the use of an inert gas or carbon dioxide to render the animal unconscious.

The American Humane (est. 1877) has now begun to inspect slaughterhouses, and those that deal with animals in a humane manor become American Humane Certified. Their logo will not appear on packages that violate the Humane Slaughter Act and will not appear on packages where animals are not treated well prior to slaughter.

We now come to your country of South Korea. Sadly, the progress of the meat industries in your country have been slower. But even there, many changes are taking place to make things better.

For starters, the ban has now been lifted on the importation of U.S. beef. This means that with proper research, someone in your country can purchase meat from animals that were not "tortured." There are also other countries that export meat to South Korea. In 2006, New Zealand launched a promotion in South Korea labeled the 'Velvet as a healthy food' promotion. In this year seven different New Zealand deer farmers were approved to export venison to Korea. In your country this product is called sliced velvet. If you look into the methods used by many of these New Zealand deer farmers, you will see that many of them are free range (and by that I mean true free range, as opposed to those that only do the bare minimum to obtain the label). The deer are healthy and treated well.

Furthermore, just recently on January 21, 2008 The Korea Animal Protection & Education Society (KAPES) received permission to operate in South Korea from the Ministry of Agriculture. This can only mean that things will improve for the meat industry of your country.

I also want to add that your argument against the industry does not really address the problems with animals that are not in an industry. There are many animals that have extremely large populations in the wild, and hunting such animals for food is another means of obtaining meat. In these cases there is nothing that can be said of cages or pens. These animals are free range in the truest sense of the word, and a single bullet that causes immediate death can hardly be seen as torture.

I understand that you may have seen the manner in which the meat industries operate in your country. But this cannot be used to make the claim that all people should stop eating meat. In my opinion, you have obtained a very skewed perspective on things and it has turned you towards this extreme view. Not all of the animals used for food are tortured. This is especially true of those that are simply hunted. Meat is simply a natural food item for humans. Adhering to your biology is not wrong.
Debate Round No. 1
cmmj1004

Pro

To suggest that battery farms are in some way 'natural' is absurd - they are unnatural and cruel. To eat meat is to perpetuate animal suffering on a huge scale - a larger, crueller, and more systematic scale than anything found in the wild. Furthermore, the very fact of humanity's 'superiority' over other animals means they have the reason and moral instinct to stop exploiting other species. If an alien species from another planet, much more intelligent and powerful than humans, came and colonised the earth and farmed (and force-fed) human beings in battery farm conditions we would think it was morally abhorrent. If this would be wrong, then is it not wrong for we 'superior' humans to farm 'lower' species on earth simply because of our ability to do so?

The fact that human beings are omnivores (and are rational agents with free will) means that they can choose whether to eat meat, vegetables, or both. It might be 'natural' for men to be violent towards one another but that does not mean that it is right that they should carry on being so. Some natural traits are immoral and should be restrained. In any case, our closest animal cousins - the apes - have an all-vegetable diet.
GaryBacon

Con

To start off, I stated in the last round "Meat is simply a natural food item for humans." No where did I state, suggest, or even mention battery cages and battery farming. And I most certainly did not claim that such cages are natural. But even when using the example of the battery cages for hens, this can only be used to demonstrate cruelty to one particular animal. Furthermore, it does not show what your problem may be with true free range organic eggs and chickens.

You second sentence states "To eat meat is to perpetuate animal suffering on a huge scale - a larger, crueller, and more systematic scale than anything found in the wild." This statement is clearly only relevant to farming. And stating that it is crueller than anything in the wild can only apply to certain farms. There are two problems with the quoted sentence, and I will point both out.
First off, the wild is actually extremely cruel to both cows and chickens. So much so, in fact, that if they were not farmed then there is a good chance that both of these species would be extinct by now. But I do not want to be misconstrued. This still does not mean that I condone the farms that treat them inhumanely.
Secondly, to claim that eating meat perpetuates animal suffering is simply wrong. Perhaps you meant that farming does this. But as I pointed out in the previous round, your arguments all revolve around the farming industry. There are plenty of animals in the wild that are in large numbers. You still have not stated what the problem is with eating these animals that have not been industrialized. People that hunt and eat such wild animals are also eating meat. And this is not larger, crueller and more systematic than in the wild. In your next argument, I would appreciate you telling me the problem with hunting for food.

I will now go into your hypothetical example of an alien species coming here to farm and eat us humans. First we will start with their origins. This alien species evolved over a course of many years and came into existence on some planet other than Earth. As they did, they would've evolved to eat only the various flora and fauna on their own native planet. By coming here to eat us, they would be deviating from their own natural food chain (or food web). This is something I have never condoned (I have refused to eat shark due to the fact that I do not believe this is something we would ever eat in the wild). So these aliens coming here would be wrong, but the reason would be due to violations of the laws of nature. Since I am not a fan of battery cages either, I suppose I would also have trouble with this.

But even in this hypothetical example, you bring up farming and cages. This still does not show in any way what the problem is with eating non-industrialized meats.

I grant you the point that we do have free will and can choose to eat only vegetables. But the fact that we can choose this is not enough justification to say that everyone should. In response to my claim that eating meat is natural, you state that "Some natural traits are immoral and should be restrained." This may be true, but eating meat does not fall into this category. The fact of the matter is that Homo sapiens is a social species. As such, there are behaviors that would be destructive to society and these are the ones that should be restrained. Men being violent towards one another is destructive to society. As such it should be restrained. Even when early man was starting out, I'm sure that there were restraints on violence. There are many other behaviors that are destructive to society, and as a social species we should avoid such behaviors. But eating meat is not one of these behaviors. The act of eating meat is not destructive to society. And all of arguments against farming still cannot be used to label all meat eating as immoral.

Your last sentence was "In any case, our closest animal cousins - the apes - have an all-vegetable diet."

This is wrong on two counts. The first is that our closest relatives are actually bonobos (Pan paniscus). Bonobos, although eating mostly fruits and vegetables, also indulge in leaves, shoots, flowers, INVERTEBRATES AND SMALL VERTEBRATES. They are not strict herbivores. Some of the animals they commonly eat include flying squirrels and young forest duikers (a relative of the antelope).

Our second closest genetic relative is the chimpazee (Pan troglodytes). This was discovered through genetic studies. The chimpanzees also eat mainly fruit, but will also eat ants, termites, birds and even monkeys (as well as other mammals).

Now we come to the apes you mentioned. Apes are also omnivorous and also eat meat and invertebrates in addition to the fruits and seeds consumed. So your claim that they have an all vegetable diet is just plain wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
cmmj1004

Pro

cmmj1004 forfeited this round.
GaryBacon

Con

I'm actually disappointed that my opponent was not able to post her final argument. In addition to not hearing her reasons against non-industrialized meats, I feel that forfeitures cheapen the debate a bit.

Nevertheless, from her previous writings I can speculate that perhaps she had a problem with eating what she termed a sentient being in her opening argument. This idea of the sentient being is constantly put forth by vegetarians and constantly used to say that eating meat is wrong.

But sentient beings are killed and eaten constantly in nature. There are many animals that survive solely on the killing and subsequent consumption of other "sentient" animals. Nature is simply nature. It cannot be said to be moral or immoral. Humans that follow their own omnivorous nature are not immoral simply because they include meat in their diet.

Anyway, all of her arguments revolved around the industry. There are other animals that are edible and not industrialized. Blanketing the entire act of eating meat as wrong is simply too extreme as far as I'm concerned.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
I'm sure you've all heard this one "Man didnt claw his way to the top of the food chain to eat carrots"
Posted by DoctaFly 8 years ago
DoctaFly
Eating animals is awesome. Meat rocks. and if we stopped eating our female animals, they wouldn't want to sleep with us anymore, if ya know what I'm sayin...ba da BING!

God bless animal flesh. And human flesh too, for that matter.
Posted by toria_2metal 8 years ago
toria_2metal
we are part of a food chain--its a part of life.
Posted by GaryBacon 8 years ago
GaryBacon
Hello MoonDragon613. If you refer to my previous debate on vegetarianism you can see my objections to eating human meat if you so choose.
Posted by MoonDragon613 8 years ago
MoonDragon613
Mmm, yet we have a statutes against cannibalism ... see Idaho statutes, Title 18, Chapter 50. It is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 14 years. Where's my right to eat meat there?
Posted by Off_the_Wall.Paul 8 years ago
Off_the_Wall.Paul
Meat tastes great, and there is no respectable way to replace that desire that meat eaters have. People are simply not gonna give up on this luxury. Kobe beef anyone?
Posted by kels1123 8 years ago
kels1123
It is your right to stop eating animals , but some of us prefer to eat them and that is our right.
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Off_the_Wall.Paul 5 years ago
Off_the_Wall.Paul
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
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 
Vote Placed by Veritas 8 years ago
Veritas
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Chaucer 8 years ago
Chaucer
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by cmmj1004 8 years ago
cmmj1004
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by pirates1434 8 years ago
pirates1434
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by goldspurs 8 years ago
goldspurs
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by mrmatt505 8 years ago
mrmatt505
cmmj1004GaryBaconTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03