Vegetarianism: A Positive Lifestyle.
Debate Rounds (4)
1)Health benefits of being vegetarian.
2)Global benefits of vegetarianism.
3)Environmental benefits of vegetarianism.
4)The ethical question behind eating meat.
Argument 1: There are numerous health benefits that a vegetarian diet can have. First of all, studies have shown that vegetarians are at least %25 less likely to contract chronic heart conditions, the biggest killer in America. Heart disease has plagued western civilization since the dawning of mankind, and perhaps a vegetarian diet is one of the keys to a final solution. Vegetarianism is healthy for the cardiovascular system as it reduces the amount of animal fats and cholesterol that people consume, instead replacing it with antioxidants and fiber. Furthermore, vegetarianism has been linked to a decrease in the likelihood of getting cancers. A study in Germany found that vegetarians have a decreased likelihood of getting colon cancer, for one. Lastly, vegetarian diets have been shown to help people lose weight, which explains why there are very few obese vegetarians out there. The diet essentially decreases the amount of saturated fats and excessive calories that people consume. Meat has very condensed calories, and our brains simply can"t figure out when we are full until about 20 minutes after our stomachs say ENOUGH. So condensed calories, plus a brain that can"t read if we are full or not fast enough, essentially spells out bad news for the bathroom scales. Plants, on the other hand, have very minimal amounts of calories, meaning that more of them can be consumed without causing weight gain.
The major issue that people have with a vegetarian diet is the belief that vegetarianism can be linked to nutrient deficiencies, and in some cases, this is true; however, when the diet is well planned out well, then malnutrition rarely poses much of an issue. The major nutrients that vegetarians lack are vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and protein. The only one of these nutrients that cannot be found in plants is vitamin B12; however, this is found in many supplements available to essentially everyone. Many people say that iron cannot be taken from plants as animals have a different kind of iron known as heme-iron; however, this is simply not true. Although it is harder for our bodies to process iron from plants, it can still be done fairly easily and efficiently, and for the person who can"t process it, there are cruelty-free supplements of heme-iron out there as well. In summary, if the vegetarian diet is planned out well, the effects can be remarkable, including lower risk of heart disease and certain kinds of cancer.
Argument 2: A vegetarian diet can have many positive effects on many current, global issues. A recent study found that nearly %40 of corn and %67 of soy produced in the United States is going towards raising livestock for the meat and dairy industry, essentially meaning that about 13 pounds of grain goes into one pound of edible meat. Doesn"t add up, right? In a society where approximately 805 million people live in starvation, does it really make sense to essentially throw away that much food? No, it doesn"t. But it gets a lot worse than that. Not only is food thrown away to the livestock industry, but water too. We"re talking about the raising of over 56 billion farm animals every year. That"s a lot of water. To put it into statistics, that"s about %27 of the freshwater deficit. Thus, vegetarianism not only has a positive effect on an individual"s health, but also the current state of global affairs.
Argument 3: The livestock industry has a horrible effect on the environment that only a vegetarian diet can really fix. Animals raised for food in the U.S. produce about 89,000 pounds of excrement per second. Where does it all go, then? Well many places, places that people probably don"t want feces. One of the ways to dispose of waste is to sell it as fertilizer, and all though this makes apples in the supermarket extra sweet and juicy, it also causes a run-off effect. This means that when it rains or water is sprayed on the area, the excrement flows into surrounding rivers and lakes where it kills fish and other wildlife. The other disposal method is throwing the excrement into lagoons and waiting for it to decompose. This too causes a seeping effect. So what does seeping actually do? The EPA reported that chicken, hog, and cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. When 25 million gallons of putrid hog urine and feces spilled into a North Carolina river in 1995, between 10 million and 14 million fish died as an immediate result.
Aside from water, animals grown for livestock also contaminate the air. A Consumer Union Study in Texas found that animal feedlots in the United States produce approximately 14 million pounds of particle dust each year, dust that contains harmful pathogens and toxins. Another way that the livestock industry gets rid of animal feces is turning it into a mist like substance and having it carried away by the wind. Unfortunately, unsuspecting citizens of neighboring towns inhale this toxic air and can become severely sick from it. There really isn"t a way to stop the industry from doing this, as what are their other options, contaminating more water and damaging the environment even more? The only real way to ensure that these horrible things don"t happen is to cut all funding to the meat and dairy industry by going vegetarian or vegan.
Argument 4: Whether or not it is right to kill an animal for the purpose of meat has been an ethical question for decades. The simple fact is that no, it isn"t. Nature dictates that killing an animal is okay when it is absolutely necessary. This is usually not the case with people. The simple fact of the matter is that in the general population, meat is consumed because of convenience and taste; however, what most people don"t realize is that the animals that the animals that they eat once had a face, a mother, maybe a son or daughter. We know that animals feel familial connections maybe even stronger than people do, so the idea of a baby calf being torn from its mother"s arms only moments after birth to be shipped off to some veal factory is simply horrendous. Or, it can be spun the other way, where the mother is torn away to be shipped off to a slaughterhouse. To cause an animal so much pain for the sake of a hamburger or a piece of steak is simply wrong and unethical. What a vegetarian diet does is stand up for the animals and essentially say that people don"t want to be a part of such cruelty.
Furthermore, the meat industry has shown time and time again that it is not responsible enough to be allowed to care for animals. It seems like every month a new case of animal abuse comes out. Two months ago it was chickens drowning in their own feces, while last month it was ducks being forced to walk on wire floors, breaking their feet and smashing their faces against the iron wiring. These cases pop up all the time and no matter how many lawsuits are filed, nothing changes. The only way to fully end this kind of cruelty is to go vegetarian and stop giving money to torcher.
In summary, vegetarian diets have many positive effects on everything from a person"s diet, to the state of issues like world hunger and pollution.
1)Discourages consumption of other food groups
2)Results in malnutrition for neglect of other food groups
3)Vegetarians are still contributing to meat consumption
4)Loss of business for food companies of other food groups
Argument #1: By becoming a vegetarian, one would only eat foods that are considered non-meat and will avoid eating foods of other food groups as a result. Fruits, vegetables, and grains would still be eaten, but dairy, meat, and alternative food groups would not. By not eating these other food groups, it will cause bad habits in the vegetarian which will eventually result in them becoming "picky-eaters". Not only does being picky have negative health effects, but it also makes one become discriminated against when eating with others and/or in public. Though people will not directly discriminate you for being picky, they will do it behind your back to the point they do not realize they are showing it to you directly, and when you notice, let us just say that it would bring down your self-esteem. And when your self-esteem is lowered due to the discrimination of being a vegetarian, even more negative health effects will arise, as well as negative effects towards your brain emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.
Argument #2: Getting into my next point, one of the negative effects of being a picky eater is malnutrition, or simply lacking the sufficient amount of nutrients needed by your body to survive, grow, and develop. Many that live in less fortunate countries within Africa, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia Pacific are diagnosed with malnutrition as a result of being forced to become a vegetarian because of the lack of meat, dairy, alternatives, etc. Even those that live in developed countries suffer of being malnutrition if they avoid certain food groups as that in itself will result in negative health effects, such as anorexia, obesity, diabetes, and so on. If the vegetarian is a child, teenager, or a senior, it will only increase the risk of getting the negative effects that come along with being malnutrition, as children and adolescents depend heavily on getting nutrients from different food groups in order to properly grow and develop.
Argument #3: An ethical question that arises from being a vegetarian is whether or not vegetarians are true plant eaters as they claim to be. But in fact, they are not; they will still continue to eat meat so long as it is not categorized as meat and/or separated as its own food group or section in a super-market. Because such vegetarians are not true herbivores and are still omnivores, they still contribute to the eating of meat. Some foods that are scientifically proven to be meat but rejected by vegetarians include: seafood, fish, eggs, and insects. Since many of the foods they eat are still considered meat, vegetarians contradict themselves and are extremely hypocritical when stating they do not eat meat, when in reality, some of the foods they eat is considered meat. Not only are vegetarians hypocritical and continue to eat meat, they do not go by the definition of a vegetarian - only herbivores are true vegetarians that eat fruits, vegetables, and plants, never eating any meat (whether or not it is considered meat by vegetarians) as it will negatively harm their body and overall health.
Argument #4:Finally, being a vegetarian will cause food companies that raise and sell meat for a living to run out of business. If, hypothetically, nobody in the world would eat meat, then the "meat" industry would simply crash. What happens if it crashes? No supermarkets and grocery stores would be willing to sell meat ever again. Those companies would become bankrupt and forced to lay countless workers off. Those workers would no longer have jobs and would suffer financially as their experience cannot land them better jobs than they had. The economy would also be hugely affected as food is one of the most important industries that determines how well an economy is doing. A bad economy would simply cause economic "epidemics", and soon everybody would be affected financially. It would also make the country itself weaker, with a weaker government, military, health-care, and so on. Inflation costs would rise, the currency would drop, social services would decline, unemployment would decrease; you get the idea. Being a vegetarian will eventually quicken this negative tragedy from occurring if many were to convert to vegetarianism.
Again, being a vegetarian is not a good life-style as it causes so much negative effects. Please argue my rebuttal in the next round and I will do the same.
Rebuttal for argument #2: Malnutrition is technically caused by not eating enough food. Starvation is a form of malnutrition. In the United states alone, %67 of soy and %40 of corn produced goes towards raising animals for meat. In a ratio, that essentially means that 13 pounds of grains go into one pound EDIBLE meat. The reason that "edible" was capitalized is because not all meat produced in first world countries is edible. Think of it this way, millions of animals die before they reach slaughterhouses, and even if they are killed for their meat, there are constantly meat recalls occurring all over North America. So in those cases, grain is essentially being thrown away. And even when meat is produced, 12 pounds of grain is being lost, as again, the ratio is 13:1. PETA actually calculated last year that if the grain is diverted, we could end world hunger, and so, malnutrition wouldn't be an issue, if the meat trade was closed down. Furthermore, there are many studies that show that vegetarianism is very healthy. Not only are vegetarians less likely to contract certain kinds of cancer, but also have a decreased risk of being obese, becoming diabetic, and dying of heart diseases. Moreover, when it comes to children, teenagers, and the elderly, yes it is more difficult; however, it can still be done. Take Jim Morris as an example. Jim is a 78 year old vegan body-builder. Personally, I'm 16 years old, and have been vegetarian for nearly a year now. I'm very athletic, as shown by my black-belt, competitive swimming history, and finished multi-kilometer races. So although being a vegetarian and a teenager, elderly person, or child is more difficult, it certainly is not impossible.
Rebuttal for argument #3: People who eat fish are not vegetarian, they are known as pescetarians. Also, the majority of vegetarians do not eat insects. Although it is a questionable debate among vegetarians, people who eat insects are a whole other category, and do not come under the banner of, "vegetarian." Furthermore, whether eggs can be considered meat is another debate; however, the eggs that are sold as a source of food are unfertilized. An unfertilized egg is essentially a chicken's period or menstruation, meaning that it isn't alive, part of anything that is alive, or have the potential to grow into life, nor does it have any flesh, and therefore, it cannot be considered meat. Thus, vegetarians are not hypocrites, as fish and insects are prohibited in the diet, and eggs are not biologically considered meat to begin with.
Rebuttal for argument #4: Yes, food companies that raise and sell meat will crash; however, what people tend not to realize is that vegetarians need to consume more food than non-vegetarians. Where does said food come from? Well the fruit, vegetable and grain industry essentially. That means that although the meat industry will fall, the industries listed above will rise dramatically. This has the potential to open up huge amounts of jobs. Furthermore, people who work directly with animals are often exposed to a large amount of feces, bacteria, and methane, three things that can be extremely hazardous to a person's health. Thus, not only would there be other jobs opening if the meat industry closed, but these jobs would also be a lot safer for the workers.
Thus, vegetarianism is an extremely positive lifestyle that can improve the world in many ways.
Shrek_sDrecKid forfeited this round.
Sbear forfeited this round.
Shrek_sDrecKid forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by EndarkenedRationalist 2 years ago
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