The Instigator
MisterDeku
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Noumena
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Vegans practicing on moral principle ought to become Freegan instead

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
MisterDeku
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,834 times Debate No: 35452
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (3)

 

MisterDeku

Pro

= Disambiguation =
Pro will argue that individuals who practice veganism on a a moral principle should prefer freeganism as a morally superior diet.

= First round =
This round is acceptance and clarity only. If you the as the contender decide to accept this debate, you may only post the phrase 'I Accept.' in the your first round. Anything else will constitute a full forfeiture of all 7 points of the debate.

If there is a need for clarity, it should be inquired about in the comments prior to accepting the debate.

= Rules =
1. This will be a public debate. The emphasis will be one clear communication and effective on-case arguments. There should be no discussion of framework, or use of debate jargon in the round.

2. The BOP will be balanced between the Pro and the Con. Neither side will maintain presumption so if at the end you believe the debate to be a tie no vote should be cast.

3. No semantics!

= Definitions =
[1] Vegan: "a strict vegetarian; someone who eats no animal or dairy products at all"
[1] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
[2] Freegan / Freeganism: "Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources"."
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Noumena

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
MisterDeku

Pro

The basic assumption made in this debate is that practitioners of either diet do so on a moral basis. Therefore health is not an issue of discussion. It is also not the intention of this debate to imagine a world where all people are either Freegan or Vegan. Our debate operates in a world where the number of Vegans and Freegans remains a constant. So neither my opponent nor I are claiming that everyone should switch to the respective diet we're arguing in favor of.

It would be morally superior for practicing Vegans to become Freegan because it would reduce waste and preserve resources. Freeganism works to reduce the waste created in a traditional consumer economy. Freegans only eat food they are able to find for free that would otherwise go to waste.

In 2008, food lost in retail totaled up to 43 billion pounds[3]. That is equivalent to 10% of all food sold at retail. But it's not just that this food is destroyed or wasted, most of this food is just thrown out after passing it's expiration date. And while it's true that you probably don't want to eat a piece of meat that's been in the open air for a few days, there's no reason meat that's slightly past it's expiration date and well packaged can't be eaten. Freeganism reduces this waste by consuming goods which would otherwise perish. Vegans do not reduce waste but instead consume goods they find less objectionable. Demand for vegan alternatives actually increase waste by adding potential goods to consume.
[3] http://www.nrdc.org...

Sometimes, it's not even that the food has gone bad. Many companies won't sell food that doesn't meet a certain standard. I work at a bookstore / coffee shop. At the end of the night, any unsold coffee is poured down the drain; staff members aren't allowed to take the coffee instead of disposing it even if they want to. And because believe me, I want to.
Further, we have to change the coffee we keep in the cylinders every 3 hours to ensure freshness as the coffee tastes burnt if it's in there for too long.

Coffee can be stored in this format for up to two weeks before it goes bad[4], but because we don't want the coffee to taste burnt we waste it. Demand for vegan alternatives actually makes this waste worse. We can't just brew anything, we have to brew organic coffee also. This too is wasted every three hours and at the end of the night.
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Organic produce is expensive and unsustainable. The refusal to use fertilizer in organic farming strips land of it's fertility[5]. Instead of being good for the environment, vegan food wastes resources. Any argument on meat consumption doesn't hold water either. If one becomes a vegan, they may not directly contribute to waste of meat from over production, but they don't reduce it either. Eating meat that has been thrown away doesn't increase demand or contribute to the deaths of more animals. If an animal has already been slaughtered, refusing to eat it's meat won't bring the animal back to life. Not eating meat that would otherwise go to waste in preference of other goods is not a moral high ground, but a waste by means of omission.
[5] http://www.spiked-online.com...

If meat is thrown into the trash, Vegan practices don't redeem the animal's death by not consuming it. Freegan practices do. Freegans don't opt to consume goods they find less objectionable, they eat whatever would otherwise go to waste. Their consumption doesn't even promote the slaughtering of animals if they happen to eat meat, as it doesn't correspond to any kind of market demand. They do however keep the animal from dying for no reason. They put the animal's resources to use. In conclusion Veganism is wasteful while Freeganism actually makes up for the waste of others. If existing Vegans became Freegan, we would greatly reduce waste without promoting the slaughtering of animals or unsustainable food production methods.

Vote Pro!
Noumena

Con

(1) Since my rebuttals will be (partly) predicated on Pro's arguments being irrelevant to the resolution, I suppose it would be pertinent to explain exactly what the resolution means. Let's begin with "Vegans practicing on moral principle". This essentially means that the debate will be made from the moral perspective of veganism. Our focus will necessarily take into account the moral foundations of vegan practice. Next we have "should". We are arguing what vegans should do based on the "moral principle" expressed in the first part of the resolution. Lastly is, "become Freegan instead". This means that, given the 'moral principle' (yet to be defined) which vegans operate under, they should drop veganism to practice freeganism. Pro instead argues that freeganism is prima facie morally superior (without defining or defending the moral perspective which informs this argument). This is irrelevant to the resolution as Pro is actually tasked with showing why the moral principles behind veganism support freeganism as morally superior. Given that vegan principles are expressly stated as supporting the abandonment of animal suffering, it seems at least implausible that freeganism could be shown to be born out of veganist principle. Pro has failed to follow the resolution, choosing instead to argue (without a coherent moral foundation) why Freeganism is a better choice regardless of the unique moral sensibilities of veganism.

Note: This is not a semantical argument, but a necessary elucidation of what the resolution means in light of an argument which appears to ignore its necessary implications.


(2) Even if we ignore the first point of criticism, it cannot be ignored that Pro has decided to offer points based off of a complete lack of moral justification. That is, even if one could coherently maintain that this debate is over which practice is prima facie morally superior, Pro would have failed in that he fails to offer a compelling moral justification for eating only that which is wasted. It's not as if it's obvious why curtailing animal suffering is morally inferior to consuming waste after all. In fact, given that pain is inextricably linked to our own moral sensibilities [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...] it seems rather obvious why veganism would be morally superior to freeganism (as opposed to the other way around). Pro's arguments are maintained only by presuming at the outset that stopping waste is not only morally right, but morally superior to allaying the suffering of animals. I do not intend to concede either of these principles. Therefore the onus is on Pro to argue in favor of them.


(3) But since the BoP is to be shared, I will also elect to provide an argument for the moral superiority of veganism over freeganism. As stated previously, it seems prima facie reasonable that allaying the suffering of conscious creatures is morally superior to reducing waste. But seeing as this is essentially a philosophical debate, mere prima facie reasonableness will not do. Instead I will draw on Peter Singer's preference utilitarian argument against the inflicting of unnecessary suffering against conscious creatures capable of feeling pain. Other standards of moral worth such as inclusion in the human species or cognitive ability are either arbitrary (the former) or non-universal in humans (the latter) which would put the severely, mentally handicapped at the same moral worth as animals. Suffering appears to be the best measure of moral worth both because of our own evolutionary history (see above) and given the inconsistencies which arise given other standards of moral worth. A vegan diet attempts to allay animal suffering by refusing to lend support practices which inflict unnecessary suffering on animals. Further credence is lent to the position by virtue of the fact that veganism does not present serious health risks that can't be allayed by nutritional supplements [http://ajcn.nutrition.org...].
Debate Round No. 2
MisterDeku

Pro

Right out of the batting box Con breaks two of the biggest rules in the debate. His first contention is an abusive framework argument which uses debate jargon and hinges on semantic abuse to ignore all of my first round arguments. Not cool man, you know better than that.

The impact to this kind of argument is two-fold; first, Con must be docked conduct for breaking not one, but two rules of the round. A discussion of framework should not happen in a public debate. our focus should be on the clash relevant to the resolution.

Second; this framework argument needs to be wholly discarded. If I am forced to discuss framework, then the entire debate may boil down to the relevancy and impacts of the framework instead of on-case clash. I have confidence that the voters are smart enough to be able to weigh our arguments without having to be told how to vote or view the resolution.

Aside from all that, the framework argument is bad anyway. It assumes that Con maintains presumption when the BOP is balanced. and that I don't incorporate a standard of vegan morality into my first round.

Next Con claims that I provide no moral justification for the superiority of Freeganism. This is wholly untrue. Perhaps the biggest tenet of my first round is reducing waste. The argument is that a Vegan diet requires a large amount of resources to maintain which contributes to a huge volume of waste produced by Americans every year. Further I argue that no Vegan values are violated through a Freegan diet as they don't create any kind of demand through their consumption. So if a Freegan did happen to eat a meat product it is moral because they keep the animal from having had diet for no reason while also reducing the waste from the meat having been thrown away. meanwhile they create no demand for the animal and produce no further suffering.

Con never even touches my arguments because he thought his abusive framework would have been able to circumvent that clash, but as I've already shown that argument is an illegal one and even then it doesn't prove that I'm not considering a Vegan morality.

Finally Con seems to believe that a Vegan diet is morally superior to a Freegan one in that it reduces the suffering of animals. I wrote in the prior round about the futility of this kind of thinking, in that it doesn't actually reduce any kind of suffering. Even considering the consumption habits of existing vegans, there is still a market demand for meat. And while it's true that not contributing to this market demand doesn't make Vegans responsible for the suffering, it also doesn't mean that animals aren't suffering already. Freeganism doesn't contribute to market demand at all, so they're on the same moral level here.

Con speaks of Singer's preference utilitarian argument, but this is flawed contrasting Veganism against Freeganism since a Freegan diet doesn't contribute to the market demand of meat. I said this in my prior round but con has already told us he ignored those arguments, so I'll write it here again; not eating an animal that has already been slaughtered won't bring it back to life. So claiming a moral high ground here is silly since it doesn't reduce suffering. If a Freegan were paying for the meat, thus creating a market demand to kill more animals, con's argument would make sense. But since Freegans only eat food that's already been tossed out, there is no market demand created thus Freegans don't increase suffering.

As for the health argument, it's irrelevant. That's a health issue, not a moral one.

In conclusion, Con's first argument is abusive, unwarranted and wrong, Con's second argument ignores the market demand argument which incorporates the vegan moral principle of reducing suffering, and Con's Third argument doesn't do anything to show a superiority of Veganism over Freeganism. Meanwhile, the pro argument of reducing waste is flat out ignored (not cool) and the market demand argument is also ignored.

Vote Pro!
Noumena

Con

(1) Resolution


Pro makes a few unsupported contentions in regards to my first point. He calls it semantic when in effect it was a serious and genuine point in relation to the disconnect between the resolution and Pro's argument. I accepted this debate because the resolution obviously implies a certain angle. The fact that Pro entirely disregards what is implied by the resolution should not go unnoticed or unmentioned. Pro doesn't attempt to show why this point was "semantic abuse" or why it is an abusive framework argument. Pro said in R1 that this debate would be about on-case arguments. I fail to see how a discussion on a very relevant aspect of debate could be considered abusive, even in the context of Pro's overly demanding and ambiguously worded rules.


(2)Moral Justification


--Con's "moral justification" lies in presuming at the outset that reducing waste should be a highly ranked moral value. For this point he presented absolutely no argument or justification. Therefore we may simply discard it. This is a debate on principles so a priori assumptions should not be tolerated. If Pro wishes to present a compelling reason for acceptance of this principle I'd be happy to debate it. I believe Pro to be sufficiently philosophically aware so that he can attempt to provide a reason why one *should* be morally concerned with waste.


--Con further argues that Vegan values are not injured by the adoption of Freeganism. However, this is a side-issue. The resolution argues that Vegans *should* adopt Freeganism. This means that Pro must show Veganism to necessitate Freeganism, not simply that they are capable of co-existence.


(3) The Ethics of Veganism and Abstaining


(a) Con's argument against abstaining from using animal products lies entirely in that merely abstaining ignores the present market demands for meat and other products seen as immoral by vegan philosophy. This is a bit of a confusing point in that it's so open to reductios. For instance, in the first half of the nineteenth century in the U.S. there was a booming market for slavery. Abstaining from this practice probably wouldn't have put a dent in the practice by *others*. But is that really the only reason to abstain from immoral activities? Obviously not. We would abstain from holding slaves because we wouldn't want to personally contribute to suffering and oppression. Likewise, abstaining from the use of animal products finds its moral weight in that one does not lend themselves to the practice. Whether or not it will continue to happen is another matter entirely. Remember that the debate concerns an onus on Vegans (from Vegan principles). Arguing that one should give up moral principles because others will violate them anyways ignores our reasons for acting on those principles in the first place.


(b) Con next argues that veganism doesn't reduce suffering of animals since they've already died. This is ostensibly true but Con is again missing something; that is, the separation of means from ends. The fact that animal products were brought about through immoral means certainly has an effect on the moral status of consumption. Pro is presenting the issue through a thick (and decidedly non-moral) lens. An action does not become morally acceptable because of a previous immoral occurrence. If we accept the moral principles of Veganism (which Pro hasn't taken issue with- the application of those principles appears to be the issue) then consuming animal products is wrong regardless of whether or not abstaining can take back the immoral action in question. Consumption *as well as* production are immoral activities under vegan morality.
Debate Round No. 3
MisterDeku

Pro

To start out with the framework discussion, this argument is abusive because it should have never taken place. In Con's first round he claims that the framework arguments needed to be made because I fail to define a vegan morality, and thus my arguments are mute because there is no moral standard to contrast Freeganism to. This discussion takes focus away from the on-case clash comparing Veganism and Freeganism which effectively derails the public emphasis of the debate.

Aside from that Con claims that his arguments are not semantic as they are sincere. Regardless, they hinge on the technical definition of vegan morality, and are thus an argument of semantics. Con's been around long enough to know that a semantic argument is a definition argument, so there's really no excuse here. Aside from that, because the burden is shared, he should have just argued for Veganism coming from the moral standard he found appropriate. Instead, he derailed the on case discussion to be one of morality instead of these two diets. Morality is an element of this debate, but it's not the prime focus.

Further, an individual not experienced with debate culture, jargon, or practices wouldn't know what an 'a priori' issue is in the first place. So when he claims I'm unwarranted in my moral standard of reducing waste by assuming it to be a priori moral, he continues to make the debate more technical than it should be. Also this argument is new.

Reducing waste it a good thing, and is something we should promote. For con to try and exclude that argument on the basis of a term in the resolution (via Con's *should* analysis) is about as semantic as you can get.

At this point I've spent more than half of my character allotment for this round discussing a framework of morality instead of how the moral principles behind these diets work for good. The inclusion of prohibiting framework and semantic arguments was meant to circumvent this kind of clash. But because Con has insisted on breaking these rules now I have less than 2000 characters to discuss the on-case debate.

Con finally addressed my market demand argument, but he doesn't actually refute it. Instead he claims that I'm priming him to make logical fallacies. The comparison to slavery isn't applicable here since slave-owners didn't eat their slaves, and since slaves could still live productive lives after being released from slavery. Once an animal is dead, it's dead.

If meat is being thrown away, eating it doesn't contribute to the market demand of meat, and so doesn't contribute to more animals being slaughtered. A Freegan would just as soon eat a box of pop-tarts if it were being thrown away as she would a rib-eye steak. Either way she reduces waste, which is something a vegan does not do.

Further, this encompasses a vegan morality as it does not contribute to the poor treatment of animals. As I said in the beginning, we're not trying to imagine a world where everyone is vegan or Freegan, so Freegans can maintain the moral impacts of reducing animal suffering. Con argues that it doesn't matter whether or not more animals are slaughtered so long a one doesn't lend themselves to the practice which causes the slaughter, but this ignores the fact that Freeganism doesn't lend to the practices which cause animals to be slaughtered.

Further this a cop-out of as Veganism doesn't reduce suffering. Freeganism is then morally superior since it reduces the same amount of suffering (none) with the added benefit of reducing waste.

Finally, the means and ends argument is a new one, but it still doesn't justify Veganism as a morally superior diet. While it's true that means and ends are ultimately linked, you don't solve immoral means by ignoring their ends. This is a core tenet to the market demand argument; by demanding food one finds less objectionable, they don't do away with what they do find objectionable. They do however manage to compound waste, which is something Freegans actually solve for.
Noumena

Con

Noumena forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by vbaculum 3 years ago
vbaculum
"Conversation with any persons during or after the debate round."

Based on this, I agree that I should have not detracted the conduct point from Pro. I have updated my vote based on your input. Please withdraw your vote. Thanks.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
His response of "Sorry, but I'm not going to explain my arguments in the comments section. That isn't fair to con." was a conduct violation?

Also as laid out on the DDO voting standards: http://www.debate.org...
"Remember, the basis for decision should NOT include:

Opinions held you, but not mentioned by the debaters.
Conversation with any persons during or after the debate round.
Comments made by other members of the site."

While his arguments can be faulted if not clear enough, even if he had posted extra debate rounds within the comment section such could not be considered in the vote; solely what happened inside the 4 debate rounds.
Posted by vbaculum 3 years ago
vbaculum
I wish you had contacted me first Ragnar.
I would argue that answering request for clarification from voters is part of the responsibility of the debaters. If you could have demonstrated that I was wrong to beleive this, I would have happily adjusted my RFV and my Conduct vote in accordance with propriety. If you can't tell me why I'm wrong on this, you should withdraw your vote. Thanks.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
I can't find the votebomb reported in the forums.
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
stem that prevents the use of morality taking an effect on his side.

I will ignore the forfeit due to the phrasal of this debate in conjuntion to Deku's arguments, and award Deku only the arguments portion in terms of superiority on logical premises.
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
Okay RFD time.

I have to say I completely agree with Nouema that the resolution deals with morality, and Deku's case revolves more around logic principles IE Utilitarianism. Do I think he broke Deku's Framework rule though? I would say no. I would be a little vexed if I had accepted a debate that was defined under terms of deciphering morality, and right after saying I accept, the Instigator argues for net benefits, and doesn't even make his arguments off of a moral premise.

With that said, I agree with Deku's case in it's entirety, and his points come from objective standpoints. This debate should have been phrased something like "Vegans should pursue Freegan practices." It is simple, to the point, and loses the distinctive terms between morality. Nouema was 100% right on this point.

Here is why I am giving the arguments to Deku:

I have to dis-regard the waste point, even though it was backed by a great informative source, and was made on logical premises. Ultimately it violates the purpose of this debate.

But Deku's point of "The animals are dead anyway" was the point that takes morality out of the picture. Nouema's combat of "the ends justify the means" do not do anything morally for the veegans specifically because the can't physically change things through their actions. Morally, veegan movements are pointless and will not effect morality through their good intentions to stop animal suffering. Nouema argues that the moral placement comes from how the animals are brought up, but as Deku responds " by demanding food one finds less objectionable, they don't do away with what they do find objectionable. "

The veegan movement is proven to be in-effectual on demands, and physically does not effect a moral standard that Nouema is trying to reach.

If Con argued for boycotting effects, and Veegan movements that prevent harm to animals, his moral premise would have been better achieved. Aesthetically, only Deku was able to support a better logical
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
"As stated previously, it seems prima facie reasonable"

Oops. Jizzed yet again.
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
" Pro instead argues that freeganism is prima facie morally superior"

Too late, I already jizzed before I could read the rest of your prime facial arguments :)
Posted by Noumena 3 years ago
Noumena
Must have been a slip.
Posted by MisterDeku 3 years ago
MisterDeku
Noumena, why are you calling me Con?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
MisterDekuNoumenaTied
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 Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter removed.
Vote Placed by vbaculum 3 years ago
vbaculum
MisterDekuNoumenaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 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:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I gave Con the argument point because Pro didn't adequately define the terms in the resolution which left it up to Con to break the resolution down and show the problems with it. In the end, Pro did not prove the resolution because he never defined what vegan moral principles were. People adopt veganism for multiple moral reasons such as the welfare of animals, environmental conservation and the health and well-being of themselves and their families. Each of these reasons for becoming vegan represent a subscription to a variety of moral principles. But we don't know which ones Pro was appealing to in his resolution. Since Con forfeited, I gave the conduct vote to Pro. I wish the debate had gotten off the ground a little more. I was undecided on the resolution before and still am.
Vote Placed by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
MisterDekuNoumenaTied
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 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.