The Instigator
gerrandesquire
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
blackhawk1331
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

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

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
gerrandesquire
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,288 times Debate No: 22506
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

gerrandesquire

Pro

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



Definitions


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.

blackhawk1331

Con

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.

Rebuttals:

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.

Arguments:

Religon:
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.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com......
[2] http://www.animalcontrol.com.au......

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
gerrandesquire

Pro

Rebuttals:

//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.

Religon:
//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.

[1] http://tinyurl.com......;

[2] http://tinyurl.com......;

[3] http://tinyurl.com......;

[4] http://tinyurl.com......

I await my opponents response.

blackhawk1331

Con

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.



[1] http://truthabouthinduism.wordpress.com......

Debate Round No. 2
gerrandesquire

Pro


I thank my opponent for laying out the argument.

During the course of the debate, I have stressed on just one point- because that is the core of the argument, killing animals is morally wrong. I established a link between being a non vegetarianism and killing animals, stating that being a non vegetarian is wrong because it translates to killing animals, something which is morally wrong. My opponent argued that killing is not always wrong, to which I replied that it is. He raised an interesting point, taking the example of wife beating in ancient times. It was said that it was ‘moral’ to beat a wife and treat her as a property in ancient times: which implies that morality is something that is determined due to the time frame- and the geography. Because if in UAE, Nigeria, and a lot of sharia-influenced countries, it is socially acceptable. Does that make it moral? No. If we were going by universal yardstick, beating or inflicting violence against any person is immoral, and female is a human: with equal rights as a male, beating a female is immoral. Similarly, since killing any being is considered immoral, and animals are sentient beings, killing them is immoral.

Another rebuttal to the ‘killing is immoral’ premise was that humans are omnivores, and that is the view ‘of the nature’ and hence cannot be immoral. However, with the argument, the self awareness of the humans have not been bought into the equation. We have a choice to implement our morals, we ‘think’. We can survive without inflicting pain, injury and death.

The ‘view of the nature’ justifies murder, war, polygamy...the list goes on.

War (systematic extermination of another group of the same species) has been observed in chimpanzees and ringtailed lemurs.

Hunting for amusement (i.e., when not hungry, abandoning the prey) has been observed in several felids (leopards, house cats, etc.) and killer whales.

Siblicide (killing brothers and sisters for a bigger share of parental resources) is fairly common in the animal kingdom. Examples are herons, boobies, egrets, many eagles and falcons, hammerhead sharks (in utero) and hyenas.

Fighting or killing for territory (physical land or access to mates) is almost universal in the animal kingdom. Even very "weak" animals like rabbits have been observed battling to the death for territory.

Spiders will eat anything that gets stuck in their web, including other spiders.

Mantises will sometimes eat their mate.

Inciting religion, and particularly Hinduism to get a deterministic view on non vegetarianism invokes a big problem. Hinduism has many epics. Ramamyana and Mahabharata are Hindu epics. Vedas are the oldest Sanskrit literature and scriptures on Hinduism. The epics have a larger influence on the religion. That does not cut down the importance of the Vedas. But trying to get a comprehensive view in Hinduism is difficult. However, what cannot be denied is that the core tenets of Hinduism include Karma and the principle of non violence, that are incompatible with non vegetarianism. By inflicting pain, death, and injury, a person is going to bear the brunt of his actions in the next lifetime.

//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.//

This is logically incompatible. A non sequitur. As I have explained quite profusely, demanding meat translates to killing animals. The meat purchased has been killed by humans. One does not pick up dead carcasses from the ground and sell them in market.

Another important, interesting reply was made by my opponent to the cannibalistic problem. My opponent contends that it is moral for them to engage in cannibalistic behavior because “ morals are determined by the society”. I would contend that there needs to be homogeneity in our morals. If murder is wrong, killing for eating should definitely be immoral.

My opponent contends that to make sure that animals don’t suffer, we keep them in jails their entire lifetime. Not introduce them to freedom and so they cannot miss what they never had. AND try to show empathy and raise them as humanly as possibly, to reduce the pain of subsequently killing them.

But what needs to be focused on, is the fact that opportunity cost of ‘making them forget they can have freedom’ is the actual freedom. What we are entering into is a hypothetical scenario, where we are assuming that they will not miss their freedom. That freedom is something they want because they have it, and it is not an innate desire. I doubt that’s true; but lacking empirical evidence for the argument we will have to rely on something else, the practicality of the suggestion. Given that the animal is going to be eventually killed, and again, the sole motive of raising the animal would be to make it ‘healthy enough to eat’, assuming that the rearer would care about the ‘happiness’ of the animal is highly idealistic. The animal, while in captivity, is solely dependent on the farmer/ rearer on everything. The farmer has his own life to live. When we talk about human making sure animals are perfectly happy, we talk about not trying to make them suffer. We are focusing on the lower end of happiness scale- while what we ought to focus on is the upper end. We can ensure they don’t suffer by our hands, and have a few slip ups: but that is not humane. That is not the point.

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

Yes, but veganism does not ‘accept’ killing of animals, or any sentient being. Thus, cetris paribus, veganism is better than non vegetarianism, because it ensures that a human is not responsible for killing or suffering of any sentient being. It ensures that a self aware being is not deriving pleasure out of suffering and injury of animals.

Vote PRO.

PS: It was a really interesting debate, one of the best one's I've ever had on this side- particularly because this is something I actually believe in. I also thank my opponent for being so understanding, and agreeing to re-debate the topic when I accidently missed my deadline in the last debate.

blackhawk1331

Con

My opponent has spent this entire debate trying to prove that killing is morally wrong no mater what. The problem is that killing is often morally right. The definition provided by my opponent for morals is: Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character. Hitler's holocaust was an action that was deemed bad. Therefore, it is morally wrong. The execution of Nazi higher-ups at the Nuremberg Trials was deemed a good action. Therefore it is morally right. If you are in a life or death situation, then no one will fault you for killing to survive that situation. Therefore, killing in that situation is morally right. Eating meat has not been deemed bad by the vast majority of the human population. Therefore, the consumption of meat is morally right. Since consuming that meat is morally right, and the animals need to be killed to be eaten, killing those animals is morally right. The way in which most of those animals may not be morally right, but the killing and eating of them is. My opponent has conceded that morals do in fact change based on time and location. Therefore, there cannot possibly be a universal yardstick for morality. What is considered moral and immoral in the modern day West is not the same as what was considered moral and immoral in the West 200 years ago. It is not the same as what's considered moral in modern day Third World Nations. What's considered moral and immoral is not the same between the parties of the United States. The far right conservatives would sooner see the world's water supply unusable and all the forests gone then see a poor economy. On the other hand, the far left liberals would sooner see us in communist Russia than see some people have more wealth than others. There cannot be a universal yardstick of morality. That would imply that every situation can be looked at from the exact same angle. As such, it cannot be decided that killing is morally wrong no matter what. Going on that standpoint, my opponent would like to have Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Hirohito, Benito Mussolini, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Ladin and every other warlord or dictator alive and free because we shouldn't be inflicting pain, injury or death. Killing those dictators would be causing death. The morally correct world as described by my opponent is one that allows the scum of the planet to run free because killing is morally wrong and jailing them makes for a poor life longing for freedom.

My opponent also tries to refute my claim that following nature is immoral if it calls for killing. By that standard, every predatory creature out there is going to burn in Hell because they kill. That is absurd. Whatever supreme being you believe in intentionally made animals carnivorous. Therefore, that supreme being has decided that human consumption of meat is right. If you don't believe in a supreme being, then there is other evidence. There is the fact that, like all predators, humans can see in three dimensions. We have our eyes set close together on the front of our heads. Prey animals have their eyes spread out to see more. There is also the fact that we have sharp canine teeth for ripping and tearing of meat. However you want to look at it, we are meant to eat meat and therefore, we cannot be morally wrong for doing so. Saying the opposite is the equivalent of saying we are morally wrong for surviving.

*Just a note here, the definition provided for war by my opponent is more or less the definition of genocide. The definition of war is much different.
genocide - the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial,political, or cultural group.
war - active hostility or contention

My opponent tried to play on my example of the beating of women being considered morally acceptable at one time by having various activities carried out by different animals. Some of those actions are immoral in our society for several reasons. However, many of those actions considered immoral were never human actions. We have almost never been a species that hunts for the fun of the kill. There are a few people out there that do, but most hunt for food. We have never killed our siblings to further our survival. The animals cited by my opponent are all born in groups. There may very well not be enough food for them all. The strongest survive and the weakest perish. With the human species, babies are normally born one at a time. Therefore, there'd rarely be more young than the group could support. If there were too many, the weakest would die through lack of nourishment, not through sibling murder. Depending on where you are in the world, fighting for territory is perfectly ok. And humans still fight for mates, just not necessarily with as violent a means as we once might have. Now, people try to look better than everyone else to draw the eye of the opposite sex. There is still combat and survival of the fittest there as the unfit and poorly dressed are less likely to get someone. Some societies have eaten people. Their actions were deemed good by their society therefore they were morally correct in their society. Mantises always eat their mates That has never been a human behavior.

My opponent's only argument against religion is that Hinduism has many books and is hard to get a read on. There are books in the Hindu religion that promote the consumption of meat. There have been no examples provided were it is expressly forbidden. My opponent has also ignored the Bible. The Bible is the book of Christianity and the first half is also the book of Judaism. Islam follows much of the same teachings, and shares the same god as Judaism and Christianity. Therefore, the top 3 religions in the world all promote the consumption of meat.

My opponent has tried to make it seem like I said we should cage livestock for life. I have not. I simply said that an animal cannot desire something it never knew. There has been no evidence to prove this false.

My opponent has also tried arguing that Vegans are morally superior because they don't hurt animals. I have shown how this is false. To grow crops, there are many "pest" animals that are exterminated. Plus, there are animals that no longer have habitats when farms are built. Many animals are killed each year to provide plant products. Therefore, veganism isn't so violence free as my opponent would have you think. My opponent has also tried to make it seem like those who eat meat take pleasure out of pain. I know I don't. I would venture to say that most people out there don't. There are a few, but most don't take pleasure from the suffering of others. Eating for survival is not taking pleasure in the suffering of others.

Vote CON.

PS: I also enjoyed this debate for the same reason. I believe in my side. And restarting the debate was no problem. Better than getting points because of an accidental forfeit.

Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by gerrandesquire 4 years ago
gerrandesquire
If you read the debate, you'd notice that my sole premiseis that hurting SENTIENT creatures is wrong. Plants are not thinking creatures, they feel on the most basic level. They dont have a family or whatever, they dont use intelligence, iindependent judgements, ergo they are not sentient. Negation P imply negation Q.
Posted by Ahmed.M 4 years ago
Ahmed.M
vegans don't eat animals because it damages them right? Well plants are also known to feel pain
Posted by vbaculum 4 years ago
vbaculum
RFD (part 2)

Also, Con spent a lot of the debate arguing that, since humans are naturally omnivorous, eating animal body parts is morally justifiable. This is an appeal to nature which Pro rightly called Con on.

Although Pro could have made a much more convincing case, Con's arguments were so riddled with fallacies that it would be impossible say his arguments were more or equally convincing. Additionally, his non-fallacious arguments weren't very strong either. As baggins pointed out, just because it is justifiable to kill evil men doesn't mean it's justifiable to kill goats.

Pro and Con were equal in conduct and citations.
Posted by vbaculum 4 years ago
vbaculum
This is my RFD. It will take up 2 posts.

Presumably, both sides assumed objective morality (given the resolution). However, neither side's meta-ethics were very sound. For example, Pro's notion that killing is always wrong is not nuanced enough to capture moral reality and Con was right to call her out on this. Instead of focusing on killing (the simple ending of another's life), Pro should have done more to demonstrate the routine animal torture in factory farms and slaughterhouses. This would have been enough for the resolution, however the environmental impact of factory farms could have been adduced as well.

Con based much of his position on logical fallacies. For example, by using the Bible and the Hindu religion as a moral justification for carnism, he appeals to authority. Unfortunately, instead of calling him on this, Pro indulges him.

Con, in round 1, argues that the producer is culpable where the consumer is not. This misses the point of the principle of supply and demand, as Pro pointed out.

Con also used an ad populum argument to support a position of morally relativism: "Eating meat has not been deemed bad by the vast majority of the human population. Therefore, the consumption of meat is morally right." (If he argues relativism, one wonders how he can have an opinion on the resolution in the first place.)

Another ad populum (also an appeal to authority) Con used to justify carnism was: "the top 3 religions in the world all promote the consumption of meat."

Con makes a strawman argument when he says "My opponent has also tried to make it seem like those who eat meat take pleasure out of pain.". That was not fair to Pro since she said no such thing.

Con asserts that "To have a proper diet, one must eat meat.". Con didn't define "proper diet", however, the science says vegans and meat eaters live to be about the same age on average, and the ADA and the Dietitians of Canada endorse a vegan diet for all stages of the life cycle.
Posted by baggins 4 years ago
baggins
RFD:
A quick look at the arguments posted by Pro and Con:

Pro's argument:
1. Killing 'sentient' beings is always wrong: Con spent lots of time challenging the always part. Problem is, Pro's arguments carry through even if we can assume killing is mostly wrong. Killing goats is not justified just because mass murders like Hitler or Bush deserve death.
The part about sentient beings was never challenged, even though IMO it was a weak link. Why is it OK to kill plants?
2. Denial of freedom: The animals are denied freedom for all practical purposes, even if theoretically some solution is possible at local level.

Con's arguments:
1. Religion: This argument was carried through. Most major religions (including Hinduism) permit non-vegetarian food. In fact, most Hindus eat non-vegetarian food happily.
2. DDT: Con failed to prove that pesticides cause as many deaths as non-vegetarian food.
3. Morals determined by society: This was the weakest argument. If non-veg food is OK just like slave trade was OK earlier, it actually weakens Con's own case. Most people would not agree that slave trade was moral.

Overall I would consider that Pro deserves the argument point.

Debate presentation left something to be desired from both sides. More arguments could have been broken up into points and labelled. Wall of text problem was specially obvious in Con's arguments.
Posted by royalpaladin 4 years ago
royalpaladin
I'll do it as soon as I finish my work.
Posted by royalpaladin 4 years ago
royalpaladin
I can vote on this later.
Posted by gerrandesquire 4 years ago
gerrandesquire
Oh well... who cares. I don't think it'd be bad conduct, I'm just defending the point.

The first argument: The first premise is faulty, having lived a few years of freedom would be better than living a decade in imprisonment. I touched upon it in the second round- while the animals are under your control, the human-controller focuses on making the animals NOT suffer, as opposed to making them happy. If they'd have been given freedom, they'd have tried to maximize their happiness. The second premise is again vague, and not an absolute truth. Maybe the animal would have lived longer if it had not been caught by the humans/ or would not have been raised in captivity. The logical reasoning is faulty.

The second argument: It's an appeal to nature. The second premise is faulty. It assumes generalization of an entire species. And it has not brought the self awareness of humans into equation. We can implement morals that go against our premedieval instincts, and we do.
Posted by gerrandesquire 4 years ago
gerrandesquire
I don't know if I should respond, or if that'd be against the spirit of the debate...
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Vegetarianism is immoral:

1. For any sentient being it is better to have lived than not lived.
2. Animals raised for ultimate consumption would not have lived otherwise; only a few could survive i the wild.
3. Without consumption of meat, the animals would no have lived.
4. Morality is achieved by the greater good, which vegetarianism prevents.
5. therefore vegetarianism is immoral.

Also,

1. Mankind's nature is to eat meet.
2. Morality comprises the rules of action in accordance with the nature of the species. (No one argues that tigers should be vegetarian, that's because tigers are by nature carnivorous. Humans are by nature omnivorous.)
3. Therefore eating meat is moral.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by vbaculum 4 years ago
vbaculum
gerrandesquireblackhawk1331Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by baggins 4 years ago
baggins
gerrandesquireblackhawk1331Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
gerrandesquireblackhawk1331Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had essentially one argument: that killing any sentient being is wrong. Sentient beings include insects and rodents, but vanishingly few people think it wrong. But Pro argues that morality must be derived from logic, and the logic is not evident. Con should have argued that eating meat is consistent with human nature and as such moral, but he argued well enough.