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Veganism is a morally superior choice than being a non vegetarian.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,005 times Debate No: 22174
Debate Rounds (3)
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Veganism is a morally superior choice than being a non vegetarian.


Veganism: a strict vegetarian; someone who eats no animal or dairy products at all.

Morals: Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character.

Non vegetarian: Someone who eats animals/ part of animals- cooked or otherwise as a part of their diet.

One underlying assumption in the debate is that we are keeping ‘all things constant’. That is, keeping all other habits of two people constant and similar to each other, judged solely on the basis of their eating preference, a vegan is morally superior to a non vegan.

I thank my opponent in advance for agreeing to debate this topic, and I am sure this would be an enriching debate.

With this, I start off the debate.

I would start off by making two basic premises and then we’ll work on them

1. By being a non- vegetarian, one supports the meat industry: Since by being a non vegetarian (A), the people are increasing the demand of the meat, they support the meat industry. In order to keep this industry thriving, animals have to be killed(B). Thus, tracing the source of your meals, eating meat translates to animals being killed.

2. Killing any sentient living being is wrong: Sentient here can be defined as ‘conscious, having sense or perception of feeling, a thinking creature’. Killing any living being, a being capable of conscious thought is wrong. More on this later rounds.

Now logically, since by being a non vegetarian, one supports the meat industry. Which causes killing of animals, which is morally wrong, this logically implies that being a non vegetarian is morally wrong.

Summarising, A-> B

B-> 2

2 is morally wrong, hence, A is morally wrong.

Since a vegan does not support meat- eating, or eating of animal products, a vegan contributes to that part of population that does not support the meat industry, which thrives on killed animals. Thus logically, being a vegan is a morally superior position than being a non vegetarian.

This is the most basic of my argument; I understand that my opponent may have a problem with the second premise. I await my opponent’s argument.



Good luck with the debate.

Just a few definitions of my own to start off.

industry- any general business activity; commercial enterprise

business - the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.


By being a non- vegetarian, one supports the meat industry:
While this is a true statement, it is not true for all people. There are people who supply all of their meat through hunting, fishing, and the growth of private livestock. Since growth of livestock that won't be sold isn't a business, it would be an exceptable way to have meat without supporting the meat industry.

Killing any sentient living being is wrong:
Killing is not wrong depending on the circumstances. To kill someone for personal gain is unnacepptable. To kill someone trying to kill you, however, is perfectly acceptable. Killing someone to save others is acceptable. It all depends on the reason for killing. Killing an animal to eat in order to survive is accetable. Killing it for fun isn't. I'll address this further in my arguments.


We both claim to be religious. Religion is a big source for the foundation of morals. There are multiple accounts in the Bible where it is shown that eating animals is acceptable. "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes in the sea; into your hands are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, shall ye not eat." Genesis 9:2-4 KJV. Here is can be seen that God gave us permission to eat anything. The only rule is that we can't eat something alive. Once it has been killed, it is no longer alive. "And the Lord spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them. Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat Among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud, Among the beasts, that shall ye eat." Leviticus 11:1-3 KJV. After these verses, there is a rather longwinded explanation of one rule. There is no eating of anything that chews cud and is NOT cloven footed or anything that is cloven footed yet doesn't chew cud. The reason for this is that they are unclean to us. I'll provide a few more verses. "These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat." Leviticus 11:9 KJV. "And these are they which ye shall have in abomination Among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey; And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier-eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat." Leviticus 11:13-19 KJV. God has also ordered the utter destruction of other humans as shown in the Bible. "Now go and smite Am'-a-lek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and @ss." I Samuel 15:3 KJV. As previously stated, religion is a huge foundation for morals. The god acknowledged by the top three religions, judaism, islam, and christianity, not only doesn't forbid the consumtion of meat, but encourags it. It is also shown that God does NOT say killing is wrong no matter what.

I'm sorry, but I don't know the hindu equivalent of the Bible. Could you tell me what it is so I can search for examples from it as well?

Meat Industry:
Just because you eat meat doesn't mean that you support the meat industry as I previously stated. Also, the eaters of the meat aren't necessarily the morally wrong people. The producers are. They are the ones putting the animals into the cramped and terrible conditions they are in. The average consumer doesn't walk into a store and contemplait the life of the animal they are about to buy parts of. Calling them immoral for that is hardly just. Revise the system in which the animals are raised so that they have a quality life for however long it lasts.

Being A Vegan Is No Better Than Being a Non-Vegan When in Terms of Animal treatment:
The meat eaters are faulted for their consumtion of animals because the animals killed can be seen. There is little acknowledgment for the unseen death that comes with crop production. One case that was acknowledged is that of DDT. It is a no longer used pesticide once sprayed on crops. It is no longer used because of the environmental impact it had. First of all, it killed countless insects to allow more crops to be brought in. Those bugs would be eaten by other animals where the DDT would accumulate. The other animals would then be eaten by certain birds of prey. The DDT weakened the shells of the eggs of these birds so that they cracked when sat upon. DDT, a pesticide used to promote plant growth, caused very severe environmental problems. More directly, though, it resulted in the death of many insects and unborn birds while bringing some birds to the brink of extinction. Why was this acceptable when killing animals to eat them isn't? It took a ton of work to address this problem and even now, people are trying to reverse that work. One of the main goals of the republicans is to eliminate the EPA. While the EPA isn't a result of DDT alone, the DDT problems certainly helped get it founded. Even now, we continue to poison animals to protect our crops. Not just insects, but rats as well. [2] Another question, why is it acceptable to kill rodents in your house when it is unnaceptable to eat meat? Finally, take into consideration the animals that can no longer survive when new farms are built and habitats are destroyed as a result.


Look at the second rebutal. THe first word in each line is some variation of kill. I found that a little funny.
Debate Round No. 1



//While this is a true statement, it is not true for all people…it would be an exceptable way to have meat without supporting the meat industry.//

This still does not make it all right. Yes, in these cases killing does not support the meat industry, it still leads to death of a sentient being for personal motives. The purpose of the premise 1 was to establish a link between the food and it’s source. One of the most common fallacy while arguing for non vegetarians is that one tries to shrug off the responsibility of the death of the animal (which constitutes your diet) to the person who ‘actually killed it.’ But by eating the meat, you are urging him to kill more animals, you are cementing his source of livelihood. He is killing the animals because you are eating them, thus a meat- eater has a definite, huge role in the death of the animal. When one supplies all of his meat through hunting, fishing, and growth of private livestock, it participates more directly in the killing of the animal. Which is again morally wrong according to premise 2. In fact, if there was a scale of morality, it is further down the wrong side.

//Killing is not wrong depending on the circumstances.//

Killing is always wrong. Regardless of the circumstances, the 'act' of killing is always wrong. However, given that we live in a society that does not require us to be perfectly moral all the time, and does accept some immorality as ˜the way of life'; if one is able to justify the killing a being, it is ˜socially acceptable". However, it still does not make it right. Or moral, for that matter.

// It all depends on the reason for killing.//

Exactly, your arguments calls for a distinction between moral and socially acceptable. Something which is socially acceptable is not necessarily moral. To take the second example, why is killing someone trying to kill you moral? What makes your life so much more valuable than the other person? Yes, it is legal, and yes, we are selfish beings and thus care about our lives much more than the life of a person ˜trying to kill us', but killing an immoral person is not moral. It is socially acceptable.

Killing an animal for the sole purpose of eating it to satisfy your taste, causing pain, injury and death solely to bring a diversity to your diet is not moral.

//We both claim to be religious. Religion is a big source for the foundation of morals. There are multiple accounts in the Bible where it is shown that eating animals is acceptable.//

I am extremely sorry, but I have turned spiritual since joining this site 3 years ago. I apologize to my opponent for the confusion, and I should have changed my big issues and religion accordingly. Presently, I do not believe in deriving my morals from my religion. And believe that morals are best derived from the inherent sense of logic.

However, I accept that my religion did have a huge role to play in ‘making me a vegan’. Since I was a Hindu, (and am, for all purposes, except, you know, the actual ‘literal’ believing part) meat eating was not accepted in the house. Hence, I’m going to argue out this point as I would have three years ago.

//Bible says you can eat meat. As previously stated, religion is a huge foundation for morals. //

Hinduism and Budhdhism recommend not eating meat. In Jainism, vegetarianism is mandatory for everyone.
The first precept in Buddhism is usually translated as: I undertake the precept to refrain from taking life. [1]

Due to limiting word limit, I can't paste the entire paragraph. [4] Pg 238, line 19.

//I'm sorry, but I don't know the hindu equivalent of the Bible. Could you tell me what it is so I can search for examples from it as well?//

Hinduism has two epics: Ramayana and Mahabharata which are historical in nature, and claim to document the time when the gods actually walked on Earth. However, the diet in Hinduism is said to be governed by Dharma�stras.

// Also, the eaters of the meat aren't necessarily the morally wrong people. The producers are. //

I touched upon this in the first rebuttal. Just because a person does not contemplate, does not imply that it is not true. Or that he can shrug his responsibility from the act that was committed to bring the dish to his plate.
To take an example, say in an community A, cannibalism is the way of life. Which is to mean that people love eating grilled human flesh. Owing to the demand in the community, businesses open up, and start killing humans and serving them hot. Are the People in Community A not responsible for the slaughter of the humans? Just because they didn’t kill the person does not imply that they can shrug their responsibility. Because IF they didn’t demand the human flesh, humans would not have been killed. Thus although the crazy greedy businesses do not, by any chance, rate high on the moral compass; by proving the much needed demand to keep the businesses open, and hence continue the slaughter of humans, the people of community A also slip down the moral scale.

// Revise the system in which the animals are raised so that they have a quality life for however long it lasts.//

This is again a very important point raised by the delegate. How can you ‘revise the system’? Which system is better than freedom? The quality of life is not judged by only adequate food and water, one wants freedom, choice, in it to make a person truly happy. If only food and water could make us happy, even a jailed life would be perfect, if we were given tasty food. And adequate water.

If one is raised for the sole purpose of killing it once it reaches a certain age, the main aims of the system catering to it would be: to give it adequate food, adequate water, keep it healthy. That is not happiness. Or a ‘quality life’ by any chance.

//Being A Vegan Is No Better Than Being a Non-Vegan When in Terms of Animal treatment//

The key word here is ‘no better’. That is the word I’ll focus on.

//There is little acknowledgment for the unseen death that comes with crop production. One case that was acknowledged is that of DDT...//

DDT was banned, as you said, because of the environmental problems it posed. It was banned because people cared about the environment, because it was considered unacceptable to kill animals, plants, birds or any sentient human being. An action was taken.

However, in the same vein, due to excessive demand for its meat, chimpanzees and gorillas are being hunted to extinction because of the high demand for bush meat.[3] Pangolin is another such family on the brink of extinction. The difference being, in the first case, people accepted their responsibility and worked to get rid of it. In the second case, people didn’t. Just because an animal is becoming extinct, why would eating it suddenly become immoral. Immorality does not depend on time frame.

//Even now, we continue to poison animals to protect our crops. Not just insects, but rats as well. [2]Another question, why is it acceptable to kill rodents in your house when it is unnaceptable to eat meat?//

A true vegan does not support killing of animals. It is not acceptable to kill rodents in my house. And I’m sure a lot of houses, like mine, prefer catching the rodents in rattraps and releasing them into wild.

// Finally, take into consideration the animals that can no longer survive when new farms are built and habitats are destroyed as a result.//

Again, as an economy grows, the focus is more on improving the technology as compared to the actual area farmed. Again, the difference is the approach. A vegan understands that the activities it takes part in might lead to death of individuals and tries to minimize it. A non vegetarian accepts it as the way of life, tries to shrug his responsibility. It is better to accept you are doing wrong and try to do something about it. It is morally superior.





I await my opponents response.



The first argument was clearly stating that eating meat was wrong because a) it supported the meat industry, and b) it led to the death of animals. I pointed out that the consumption of meat does not have to support the meat industry. Therefore, the only argument provided as for why eating meat is wrong is that it leads to the death of animals. I've explained why the act of killing in itself is not inherently wrong. The reason why one kills is what decides whether killing is right or wrong in that circumstance. Killing for personal gain is wrong most of the time. If what you are personally gaining is the ability to survive longer, then killing is acceptable. If it's money or something else of material value, killing is unacceptable. Humans are an omnivorous species. We are designed to eat meat. To have a proper diet, one must eat meat. Therefore, eating meat is necessary for survival on a natural and proper diet. Therefore, killing for the purpose of eating meat to survive is not wrong. A person can't be faulted for living how they're meant to live. Unless I'm misunderstanding the argument, I never denied that people are responsible for killing animals to eat. In fact, I'd much rather do the killing myself. That way I know how it was cleaned, that the animal was killed as humanely as possible in the situation, and where the meat has been since the death of the animal. Plus, fresh meat is better. If a person raises the animals humanely, then there is no reason to fault them for providing others with the opportunity to eat a natural diet. So it is morally wrong to be capable of providing for yourself and your family? Even more so than by buying meat that was likely raised in a factory farm?

If killing is always wrong, then Adolf Hitler should have lived much longer. Saddam Hussein should have lived longer. Bin Laden should have lived longer. A world were killing is wrong period is a world that allows only warlords and dictators for they won't care what's right and wrong. They just want power. So, unless the vast majority of the world is warlords and dictators, killing is acceptable in certain circumstances. If it's socially acceptable, then society, or at least a large percent of it, has deemed the act morally correct. The argument being asserted is that anyone, no matter how horrible, should be permitted to live because killing them is wrong. Even if they directly killed 10,000 people, killing them is wrong and morally unacceptable.

My opponent has drawn the conclusion that the will to live is not moral. Even though every animal has but two goals ingrained in it, those being to survive and to procreate, the will to survive is morally wrong. My opponent is saying that every single creature that was put on this planet is going to burn in Hell because they want to survive. Morals are something defined by the upbringing of a person. If the upbringing of an entire society has allowed it to reach the conclusion that killing in self defense is acceptable, then killing in self defense is also moral. Morals are not set in stone. They can change. It was once morally correct to beat your wife and treat her as property. It was once morally correct to own slaves. It is no longer morally correct to do any of those things. It always has been, and, God willing, always will be morally correct to do everything possible to survive and procreate. Including the consumption of other animals.

We were designed to eat meat. Refusing to do so is unnatural. This is not meant to insult to those that don't eat meat. It is the truth. People don't eat meat because it tastes good. They make it taste good, and develop a taste for it, because it is what they are meant to eat. It is immoral to condemn someone for eating what they were designed to eat.

The fact that my opponent claims to reject religion for the founding of morals is somewhat of a thorn. However, most people on the planet are some religion. Regardless, my opponent claims to derive morals from logic. That is a perfectly acceptable source because logically, we should eat meat. We were designed to eat meat, our natural diet includes meat, and we are healthiest when we consume some meat. Our diet is not meant to center around meat, but it is most certainly meant to include it.

Based on all the research I've done, Hindus can eat meat. They just eat it rarely. People should eat meat rarely. While they shouldn't cut it out, it also shouldn't form the bulk of their diet.

They recommend not eating meat. They don't forbid it. They still allow it. Vegetarianism does not forbid meat. I'm not certain of the specifics, but fish, eggs, and various other meat products are allowed based on what I've learned from vegetarian friends. To refrain from taking life is not the same as to refrain from eating. If you watch an eagle pluck a fish from the river, then you can scare the eagle off and eat the fish. You did not take the life. Likewise, if you purchase meat, you have not taken a life.

I'm not sure if these are from the books you're talking about, but I have found a few things. “The worshippers dress for me fifteen (and) twenty bulls : I eat them and (become) fat, they fill both sides of my belly ;Indra is above all (the world).” Rig Veda 10.86.14 [1] “What food I eat of varied form and nature, food whether horse, sheep, goat, or bullock…” Atharva Veda 6.71.7 [1]

Okay. Assuming the person is just as responsible for the animal's death as the killer, they still are not morally wrong for eating a natural diet. A diet of human flesh, while revolting to us, was deemed morally acceptable by the society described. That society, as a whole, agreed to eat human flesh. The upbringing of those people allowed them to reach this conclusion. Since morals are largely determined by upbringing, the consumption of human flesh in the described society is morally correct.

Which system is better than freedom? None. The animals that I get hunting and fishing are born and raised free. Their life is taken to provide a proper diet to another animal. That is the best system. That system can't support 7 billion people, however, because we are overpopulated. Therefore, the next best thing is pasture raised livestock. One does not want freedom if one has never known freedom. A cow born into a factory farm never knows anything but that lifestyle. It can't want something it doesn't know exists. That's like saying Napoleon Bonaparte wanted hover cars with lasers. Neither of those things were even conceived of in his time. Humans are a different case. We have evolved a larger mental capacity, and have the time to contemplate different things. A cow has neither the mental capacity nor the desire to contemplate freedom. It wants to build as much energy with as little effort incase food gets scarce. The way to truly settle the jail example would be to have a baby born in jail. Raise them in that jail and allow them no exposure to anther lifestyle. No talk of it or anything. See if that person desires freedom come 20. So reform it, don't abolish it. What makes someone happy, however, is determined by that person or animal.

The resolved is vegan-ism is morally superior. Equal is not morally superior.

Yes, an action was taken. Numerous were. One of those was to produce at least one new pesticide. The only reason action was taken is because birds of prey were harmed. It becomes immoral because, at the time action's taken, people have decided that it is immoral to drive a species to extinction. Morals are subjective and thus subject to change.

Then a true vegan would find it very hard to survive. The production of all crops involve the killing of animals even if just insects. To grow crops without pesticides would drive the prices through the roof.

Most people don't deny the fact that animals are killed. The circumstances we live in have led to the decision that meat consumption is morally acceptable.


Debate Round No. 2


gerrandesquire forfeited this round.


Due to my opponent's accidentally missing the conclusion, we're going to restart the debate and c/p the arguments to where we were. My opponent will then enter her conclusion and I will enter mine. As a result, we would kindly ask that no one vote on this debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by gerrandesquire 6 years ago
Oh God, I am really sorry. I can't believe I forfeited this, I meant to write it down after my test on friday, but I had an impromptu meeting at college which took all of the evening :/

I apologize to my opponent. For all it's worth: Disregarding the third round conclusion, can people please comment on the arguments? I don't particularly care for the points, but would really appreciate it if I could get a feedback.
Posted by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
I wish there was an option to have even just 1,000 more characters. I had to cut several things out and still only made it by two characters.
Posted by gerrandesquire 6 years ago
I kind of expected the 'man is an omnivorous' argument in the second premise rebuttal. A good argument, I'll put up my rebuttal today.
Posted by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
@Apollo, would you like to debate that once my current debates finish up? Because anyone who's passed 2nd grade science knows humans are omnivores. Look at our build. Look at the lifestyle of early humans. Meat is a necessity for survival on a natural diet. It is not harmful when there are no preservatives or hormones assuming that you're eating lean meat, like we should be if eating wild animals. It is not an addiction. It is a necessity. Just to let you know, the oldest person alive eats meat.
Posted by Apollo.11 6 years ago
"To kill someone for personal gain is unnacepptable."
You just killed your own argument. Meat is not necessary for survival. Humans are naturally herbivores and eating meat is harmful and unnatural.
It is very much an addiction.
Posted by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
I'll post my arguments later tonight or tomorrow afternoon.
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