Veganism shouldn't be that big of a deal
Debate Rounds (3)
Being a vegan does not make you superior to others, and vegans should not lambaste those who choose to use and consume animal products. However, it is a fact that veganism is better for the environment and animal rights. 4.6 billion animals are slaughtered each year in the US alone, and those animals contribute to deforestation, water and air pollution, greenhouse gases, global warming, desertification, erosion, and human obesity. Not to mention that 2 out of 3 animals are raised in slaughterhouses, which is a disgusting practice in and of itself. These animals, if not put in slaughterhouses, would contribute even more to environmental damage as they would need more land to be happy.
Veganism is also proven to be sustainable for the human body, so if you want to be environmentally cautious, it is probably one of the best things you can do.
Animals directly contribute to global warming, and water and air pollution. Air pollution can also be the same as global warming, at least in this case. The main greenhouse gases are Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Tropospheric Ozone, CFC-12, HCFC-22, and Sulphur Hexafluoride. http://www.c2es.org...
Methane in particular is emitted during coal, natural gas, and oil production and transportation. The emissions also come from livestock and other agriculture, and by the decay of waste in solid waste landfills. Nitrous oxide is also emitted during agriculture and industrial activities, as well as combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste. So, agriculture that raises food for the animals increases methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere; the livestock produces methane. Therefore, both of these things contribute to global warming. Manure is one of the largest contribution to greenhouse gases - have you ever been around a cow pasture? If you have you would know that there is air pollution within a large radius of any livestock. https://www.epa.gov... http://www.sustainabletable.org...
As for water pollution, this is simple but juvenile: livestock poops. What happens to it? It's washed away by rain and into other bodies of water, and it causes various water borne diseases: cholera, diarrhea, jaundice, dysentery, and typhoid, for example. http://www.onegreenplanet.org...
Meat contributes to human obesity because (in America, at least) we feed our livestock antibiotics in order to make them larger and "healthier." Not only are we becoming immune to antibiotics in part due to this; but if antibiotics make animals fatter, what makes you think it doesn't do the same to us? The fact that meat has protein in it has no relation to health, as you can get protein from other sources. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
Livestock causes erosion because when they live in one place, they eat the plants and trample the ground. Without the plants, the ground is more likely to be eroded by wind and water. Therefore, erosion deals with veganism in the fact that if we didn't eat them, there would be less erosion. https://mspoirier115.edublogs.org...
ANIMALS KILL THEMSELVES:
"Animals are going to kill themselves anyway" is an argument that makes no sense. We're talking about livestock in pastures and slaughterhouses, not predators in the Savannah. These prey animals are protected by us so we can eat them; I think we both know that cows don't eat each other, at least not naturally.
FREE ANIMAL PASTURES V. SLAUGHTERHOUSES:
You've misconstrued my words in regard to slaughterhouses: I believe that confining animals to the smallest possible area they can stand in, abusing them, and not killing them mercifully are crimes against nature. However, I know that slaughterhouses are built for efficiency and minimum space requirements. I was predicting that you would say that if they weren't confined, where would they go? The answer is that they would go to open pastures - and they would do more damage. However, the point I was making was that if we didn't eat the animals, they wouldn't be in slaughterhouses or pastures; therefore they wouldn't cause damage to the environment.
I wouldn't say humans are the top of the food chain. The food chain is the natural order of who-eats-who. Note the word natural; without our tools and defenses, we only have our intellect. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors got eaten by predators regularly. It's also agreed upon in the scientific community that plants are at the top of the food chain because they produce their own food. Also, the food chain is a deceptive term; a more accurate description would be a food web, as every animal is connected in some way. Humans only define it as a food chain because of ego.
HUMANS WON'T STOP:
You are correct that factories won't stop killing livestock/people won't stop hunting unless EVERYONE decides to go vegan. Any logical person knows that this simply will not happen; and the people that are underweight need efficient protein sources. Unfortunately, animal meat is one of the most efficient source, since you can eat a small portion of meat as opposed to a large portion of cheese or seeds.
Also, "slapping consistency into me" is a laughable idea, and the comment has no place in a debate.
"Third, human obesity is caused by humans and what they eat."
You directly stated that human obesity is caused by what humans eat. Humans (with the except of vegetarians and vegans) eat meat. You seem to place humans on a pedestal, but scientifically we are still classified as an animal. Livestock's food supply is laced with antibiotics so that the animals get fatter, for butchering later. We use antibiotics make these animals fatter: cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, sheep, and goats. These are the most common livestock to raise. If these livestock get fatter from antibiotics in their food, we can get fatter from antibiotics in our food - and the antibiotics are in the meat. Of course, there are some farmers who realize the detrimental effects antibiotics have, so they refuse to add it to the feed. I thank them for supplying untainted meat for us to consume. Erosion is caused naturally as well, by water and wind primarily. If you are in a desert, yes, sand blows around and things start to erode. In a grassland or the plains, if animals trample all of the plants, they expose the dirt to the wind and what was once solid ground can be blown away by the breeze. That's also erosion, and it's still from a natural source - animals.
Animals killing themselves is natural, including humans killing any other animal. Again, the debate is over veganism, and the animals that vegans are boycotting include commercial livestock. Livestock are herbivores, and herbivores may kill each other for territory, but in the wild they wouldn't kill each other for food. You're saying that animals "would still kill each other" as if the same amount of livestock would be getting killed in the natural wild by predators, which isn't true. The primary predator for livestock to worry about is us. If we didn't eat these animals they would not be getting killed in such depressing numbers. I said "any logical person... [knows that humans won't stop eating meat]"; I didn't say everyone would go vegan. Why are you acting like I did? Most vegans are aware of this fact too. Only those who are fanatical do and say horrible things to attempt to convert everyone. I don't know where you live and what the population is like there, but I can tell you that there are more vegans that understand human nature than those that believe that you should be punished for eating meat on this planet. And have YOU thought about the fact that hunting elephants for ivory is not only a disgusting, awful thing to do, but it's ILLEGAL? Elephants are endangered, and it's perfectly reasonable to want those who hunt endangered species for fun and greed to be punished for their crimes, vegan or not. I'm sure you just gave a bad example, but everyone should care about endangered species being killed! Not to mention the fact that even with weapons, humans are not good hunters. Humans miss, and when they miss they often hit the animal in an area that unnecessarily injures them, and then they have to be chased down while bleeding to kill, causing unnecessary pain.
This won't stop us from hunting - but, again, if we were all vegan (which, to reiterate, logical people know isn't going to happen), these animals would be alive. That's what vegans care about! This is the reason they went vegan. They want animals to be alive, and they want us to stop hurting them. That's what I'm saying when I tell you that slaughterhouses are bad - they brutally kill and abuse animals for human consumption, which is why vegans don't like it. Vegans want animals to be in nature, but science tells us that animals cause certain types of damage. I'm just providing the counterpoint that animals also cause environmental damage, along with contributing to obesity. But, this is NOT what vegans are concerned about, they care about animal rights.
In order to debate well, you should look at all of the factors of a situation and consider them equally. Animal raising causes a portion of the problems I'm addressing, and you're not wrong when you say that other things contribute to as well. It's just that you're ignoring the facts that you don't agree with - cherry picking out anything that stands in opposition to your opinion that you can eat meat if you want. In the beginning, I told you I'm not a vegan; I couldn't care less what you eat. All I'm doing is playing devil's advocate, and all you're just repeating the same things over and over and completely disregarding anything that gives a legitimate reason to be a vegan. My point is that there are perfectly logic and moral reasons to not eat meat or use animal products. This doesn't mean that veganism should be a big deal, or that you should be harassed for not being vegan. All I'm saying is that they have a reason to do what they do, and all of those reasons are backed by facts and science. Veganism isn't wrong. It's just a lifestyle choice.
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