Debate Rounds (5)
Any questions will be answered in the comments.
Please present your arguments in Round 1 and no new arguments in the last Round.
Just to be clear, I am not a vegan. I really wish I was, but the time and thought that it would require to make sure I was getting the right nutrition is just not available to me at this time in my life, so I have to choose the easy option and eat what the other people in the house I live in eat. I recently signed up on the PETA email list by accident, and they have really opened my eyes to the horrifying meat industry.
(Evidence will be given next round)
1. Being vegan saves the lives of countless animals.
2. Being vegan is healthier for your body.
3. Being vegan is more ethical. Factory farming is horrifying, and the pain and suffering that is inflicted on the animals daily is cruel.
Alright, well let's get started then shall we?
"1. Being vegan saves the lives of countless animals."
I agree, it could save the lives of many animals (though it depends, cause with no meat industry the animals wouldn't be produced in the first place), but I think we can say that it would cause less animal DEATHS. But, a vegan diet assumes a largely vegetarian cuisine yes? So we'd get virtually all of our calories from plants, which means more plants would have to be farmed to be eaten. And so my question is, why is the life of an animal more valuable than the life of a plant?
"2. Being vegan is healthier for your body."
I was actually going to say the exact opposite!
1. Vegan diets do not provide fat-soluble vitamins A and D
2. Vegan diets do not provide vitamin K2
3. Many "vegan products"(such as milk and cheese substitutes) involve intensive use of artificial ingredients to compensate for lack of nutritional value
4. Vegan diets are deficient in vitamin B12 and iron
It seems that a balanced, omnivorous diet is a much healthier option than veganism.
We are biologically made to eat meat, other animals also eat meat, so why shouldn't we?
"3. Being vegan is more ethical. Factory farming is horrifying, and the pain and suffering that is inflicted on the animals daily is cruel."
I agree with your second sentence there, but then why don't we focus on the actual problem (poor animal treatment) rather than trying to completely remove them from our diet if (we have yet to conclude on this) there are nutritional disadvantages.
Yes, we do produce animals that are in turn killed, but those animals can still suffer. We breed them, torture them, and then slaughter them. Sounds pretty inhumane to me.
2. Being vegan is healthier because vegans have much lower rates of obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Which are two common causes of death in the U.S. today. Vegan diets are only deficient in vitamins and minerals if you do not work to maintain a healthy diet. Vegans can get their vitamins/minerals from cruelty-free produce, it is just harder to maintain this intricate diet. And in fact, if a vegan is having trouble maintaining a healthy diet, they can buy vitamin supplements.
'vitamin B12' Vegans can eat fortified nutritional yeast to keep up this vitamin level. And iron is found in many vegetables.
3. This horrible animal treatment isn't being stopped, and the only sure way to stop it is to stop giving the factory food industry our money and support. As one documentary noted, "When you spend your money, you cast a vote." (Can't find link because it was taken off of youtube for copyright reasons, sorry)
"Plants can't feel pain."
They don't feel pain in the same way we do, as they don't have neurons, but research has shown that plants have analogous structures. They also respond to their environment, they "'...have ways of taking all the sensory data they gather in their everyday lives ... integrate it and then behave in an appropriate way in response. And they do this without brains, which, in a way, is what's incredible about it, because we automatically assume you need a brain to process information."
We have chemical responses to physical damage, so do plants. It is wrong to say that plants "don't feel" just because they don't have neurons.
I'd like to note that my opponent said that plants don't feel pain, but didn't actually answer the question of why the life of an animal is more important than the life of an animal. The answer is, it's not. And it seems that plants also "feel" in ways we never thought they did. Taking both things into account, I think the veganist argument here falls apart.
So basically what you're saying here is that it's very difficult (near impossible) to maintain a balanced vegan diet without use of artificial supplements. This doesn't seem like a good solution to me. The points my opponent brings up against a meat diet may be valid, but slightly misleading because it seems that such issues stem more from fast-food than the fact that meat is being eaten.
I'd like to point out that you ignored my point 3 about artificial substitutes, as well as point 1 and 2. Points 1 and 2 (about Vitamin K2 and Vitamins A and D) were mildly addressed by you saying that we can just buy vitamin supplements, but as mentioned, this can be problematic. Heart.org mentions that "...they"re taken in addition to healthy diet choices and nutrient-dense foods. They"re supplements, not replacements." Overall the source suggests to avoid supplements unless recommended by a doctor.
3. Considering what has been said, I think the poor treatment of animals is essentially all my opponent has left on the table for veganism. We have seen that plants DO respond to their environment and "feel" in ways that we thought they didn't. We've seen that a vegan diet struggles to supply necessary nutrients to the body, unlike a balanced omnivorous diet. And so what remains is the poor treatment of animals. I completely agree with the quote that my opponent brings up, but I'd like to say that (again), it seems to be a better solution to prevent the poor treatment, but maintain an omnivorous diet. Indeed, this way we can still stay healthy.
At this point, this begins to turn into an Animal Rights debate, rather than about Veganism.
On a side note, there has been research that suggests that vegetarian males have significantly lower fertility than their omnivorous counterparts.
I await your response.
mangolife23 forfeited this round.
1. (by feel I meant feel emotion just btw) They react to their environment, yes, but they don't have conscious thought. They can't think, feel emotion, or hope. The fact remains, they can't suffer. Animals with brains can.
2. You failed to say why artificial substitutes are not adequate.
"They're supplements, not replacements." I'm not sure what this quote proves. Is there data that says that many vegetarians still lack these vitamins? And as for your point about vitamins K2, A, and D, well you can eat mushrooms for D, and for A you can eat carrot , butternut squash, sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, cantaloupe, kale, etc. For
3. "At this point, this begins to turn into an Animal Rights debate, rather than about Veganism."
Considering the fact that not being vegan means billions of animals slaughtered a year, I think has always been an animal rights debate.
And considering the amount of people on this Earth, a lower fertility rate is not necessarily a bad thing.
2. I provided a source, rather credible source that clearly said that using vitamins as supplements is not recommended. Here is another source that shows some of downsides of vitamin supplements, such as increased risk of cancer and higher mortality.
"...just like any drug, vitamins can and should be prescribed for special cases."
I've now provided two sources claiming that vitamin supplements indeed shouldn't be used as replacements for proper nutrition.
In reference to my opponent's examples of plants that provide the necessary nutrients, it should be noted that back in my first source in Round 2, it was acknowledged that yes plants have these nutrients but they are often in forms that are not directly usable by the body.
3. I think my opponent has failed to prove that animals' lives are more important than those of plants, and I think I've provided sufficient evidence that plants DO perceive and respond to their environment chemically just like we do. Therefore, one can't make the claim that "plants don't suffer". Of course we can't even imagine what it could "feel" like to a plant, obviously, but indeed plants do feel.
Absolutely not, a decreasing population has always been a negative for any society.
I thank my opponent for the interesting debate.
mangolife23 forfeited this round.
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