Vegetarianism is good
Debate Rounds (4)
1st round- Acceptance.
2nd round- Arguments.
3rd round- Rebuttal.
4th round- Conclusion.
My First Point: Vegetarianism is good, because it is moral. The causing of pain, or the ending of life on a whim, as we do not need meat to live, is deeply immoral. Some say that animals are somehow lesser than us, and this justifies our people from eating their flesh, but such a desperate claim holds no water. Would we butcher people if they were of the same mental capabilities as an animal? Or perhaps meat eaters are actually intolerant of different species. When it comes down to it, such a theory is just an attempt to justify the murder of another race of creatures, and in many ways an outdated prejudice. Society over time has changed to embrace the different. Why then condemn many races that share more than 80% of their DNA with us, and are in a way, our evolutionary cousins? There is, frankly, no way anyone can justify the ending of lives without a good reason. There is no good reason to kill animals, as humans can live without eating meat. Therefore, no one can justify the eating of meat.
Now many meat eaters claim that somehow it is unhealthy not to eat meat, as one would have less iron or protein in one's diet. This could be true, but only assuming I simply removed meat from my diet. In fact, most people who give up meat in their diet are sure to make up for it in other foods, like beans, nuts, seeds and apricots, that replace needed iron and protein. People can live like this very easily, and have in parts of the world for thousands of years, as part of the culture. Not only is vegetarianism healthy, but it is also more healthy than the eating of meat.  Scientists have now connected the eating of pork, beef and other types of red meat, with cancer and heart disease, and recommend cutting, if not removing, meat from the diet, and meat is a major cause of food poisoning. So frankly being a vegetarian is good for one's health.
Finally, the meat industry is a major source of pollution, cutting down trees for grazing space for cattle, catching fish to extinction, and breeding cows that produce methane that is harmful to the ozone layer. To support the meat industry is to support the giant business that is neither sustainable nor environmentally friendly. This is why vegetarianism is good for the environment.
I hope you too understand that all of us must take a stand prejudice and cruelty, obesity and disease, and of course the destruction of our beloved world, and for these reasons, it is indeed good to be a vegetarian. Thank you, and please vote Pro!
I will be arguing that Vegetarianism is not always the right option and that we should not be enforcing Vegetarianism upon them.
My first point is that in order to have a balanced diet one will require meat. Now I agree with 'Cloud's' statement that you can probably balance it out by eating other foods that are high in iron and protein. He uses the examples of 'nuts, seeds, and apricots.' However, the things that he lists are all quite expensive. This point is more important than it first looks. When you are a family that is enduring crippling cuts and are struggling day in and day out to make ends meet, you have to prioritise what foodstuffs you buy. They have to be cheap and bring added nutrition for the right price. You have to eat a lot of nuts/seeds to replicate the benefit of a piece of meat. It is simply unrealistic to assume that these families will make great sacrifices to make sure that they get the right protein and iron intake. And meat is not only bad for your health. There are many benefits that can be drawn from eating meat. It is good for your muscle build up in a way which vegetarian foods can only do at a slower rate.
One study found children who consumed two spoonfuls of meat daily in addition to their regular diet had an 80-percent increase in upper-arm muscle compared to other children in the two-year study, according to an article on BioEd Online, the website of the Baylor College of Medicine. 
His point that meat is the cause of cancer and heart disease is irrelevant as meat is also a preventer of diseases. It is a high source of zinc and so can therefore help build up the immune system.
I have proved that meat is not always a liability to a person's health and that 'Cloud' has not considered that those in our society are not very well of will not always be able to afford a stable diet if they are forced to spend a lot of money on other sources of iron and protein. This poses a serious health risk and needs to be examined in greater detail before we can claim that vegetarianism is the best option for every person.
In the next round I will be tackling the morality of the issue and be examining the ethics of this debate.
 Read more: http://www.livestrong.com...
Your first point was very passionate, but I feel you had ignored my points, and went over the risk of life threatening heart disease and cancer too lightly. I will not repeat myself, but I will say that meat needs replacing with minerals and proteins. You said that such a 'sacrifice' was too much to ask from the Dickensian families you described, who endure "crippling cuts and are struggling day in and day out to make ends meet". I totally disagree with this, as simple changes are easy to make, and very cheap. Proteins can be found in affordable eggs, milk and cottage cheese, and iron found in baked beans, lentils and oatmeal. Lentils are not, by the way, expensive, sold at about �1.50 per 100g. In fact, just a cup of lentils has more iron in it than a reasonable serving (3oz) of lean beef. Such changes are hardly a sacrifice, as they are morally good, healthy, and environmentally friendly. And if you are still worried about the human immune system, local pharmacists sell bottles of zinc tablets here in the UK at about �3 ($4.50 US) or cheaper. One might not want to promote a pill-dependent society, but frankly they have already become ingrained into the modern way of life, from aspirin to contraceptives. Sadly, your point didn't hold water. Admittedly, some will not be able to become vegetarians, due to defects or illness, but this does not mean that vegetarianism is not preferable, just not practical in some scenarios.
As this was your only point I cannot rebut any more, but I look forward to your tackling of the morality issue, as well as my other two and my rebuttal in your next round. Thank you again.
Regarding my point about the impracticality of asking less well off (not Dickensian) it's not just the price but also what you are asking these families to do. The thing about these kinds of food is that they require lots of preparation and other ingredients to make a nice meal. I am thinking about lentils specifically here. When you are struggling financially and need to feed 2, 3, 4 or even 5 children, the cheaper and probably more unhealthy option is going to appear more attractive.
A) It requires little effort on their part.
B) The children are more likely to eat it.
C) It will be substantially cheaper.
When parents are stretched for cash, making sure that their children are having a balanced diet is not on the top of their list of priorities. Making sur that their children receive 3 square meals a day probably is. In order to have any structurall upheaval of how people eat, it needs to be sorted out that what you're banning can replaced from another source. In this case it will not work as the alternatives are more expensive, harder to prepare and less likely to be well received by the children. When Cloud says " Simple changes," I think he underestimates the significance of what he proposes. It is not realistic to assume that families who are financially unstable are going to accept that they can't take their children to McDonalds and are going to have to feed them lentils instead. No one will go along with that as meat (especially cheap meat) is such a main part of the modern western child's diet.
And now I would like to address the morality of the debate. A key point for Pro in this debate has been about the suffering of the animal; how it's immoral due to the pain we are causing to the animal. Well there are guidelines in place which means that the animal has to be sedated before being killed. This means that the animal receives the absolute minimum of pain. All of the biggest meat providers in the U.S.A conform with these standard, meaning this 'pain,' which Cloud talks about is just non-existent.
So as you can see, every point 'Cloud' has made in this debate is flawed in some way. I wil be concluding my case in the next round and sincerely urge you to
1) I agree that I may have overlooked your 'meat benefits' somewhat, but only because meat has significant, and very real risks. If I was able to buy an asbestos hair-dryer, I would choose not to, as though it might be practical withstanding heat, it is easily possible that I would contract lung problems. In the same way, while meat may make my immune system a little stronger, or be cheaper, it must be avoided if I should wish to remain healthy. Ultimately, it is up to the individual, but the safer option is to abstain from eating such products.
2) Also, I never claimed that "meat should be banned" as you just implied.
3) You have admitted that meat is often an unhealthy option "...the cheaper and probably more unhealthy option is going to appear more attractive."
4) Something easy to prepare does not mean something preferable. Sometimes preparation is necessary, unless you would rather junk food.
5) What you are saying seems to contradict yourself - you want children to have a wide range of foods for their balanced diet, but now you are saying that they should eat junk food, simply because they'll gladly eat it?
6) When lives of people and animals are at stake, I do not believe you can reduce the costs to money. This is the most shallow point of all, as you have not noticed that dairy products and eggs are rich in protein, and even baked beans, a common, cheap food is high in iron (apologies, I have already said this, but I felt it was forgotten).
7) Thank you for bringing up McDonalds, the symbol of processed, unhealthy meat, terrible conditions for the animals that they slaughtered, and the epitome of western mass production that deforested vast areas of rainforest for grazing. You have not taken on my point about the environment, which I hope you can fit into your conclusion, despite your guideline. McDonalds is also one of the greatest symbols of how meat in the "modern western child's diet" is to blame for generations of obesity and heart disease . Just take a look at Spurlock's documentary, "Super Size Me" or perhaps read Schlosser's "Fast Food nation", both of which reveal how this diet of the modern western child or even adult is an exploitative and deeply unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, it is a similar craving for fast food that costs you, and me, and those desperately poor people you were describing in the UK �4 billion (over $6 billion) every year on the NHS in the form of obesity . The meaty fast food industry is solely to blame for this. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend a little on a risotto for my tea than our nation spending �4 billion every year on people who prefer nuggets and cheeseburgers.
8) They are small changes. Lentils is one example that you have taken a shine to, but like I say, there are thousands of dishes that are vegetarian from all over the world. These can be simple and cost effective, or lavish and complex. The point is one could replace meat with tofu. It is just that easy, and if it is for a good reason, then it is worth such effort.
9) You tried to "address the morality of the debate", but settled on one weak point, that if there was no pain, effectively murder was justified, a ridiculous idea when put into use. Animals may not feel pain as they are slaughtered and butchered, but the branding, force feeding or battery farming in which they are kept certainly can. Battery farming alone would be a whole point in itself, damaging and drugging the animals for the sole purpose of them gaining weight by the time they need to process their corpses. And even if they are free range, this is highly costly, as the same land could be used for more cost effective and sustainable farming of crops. You still have not tackled the key argument that I left for you:
1. Killing animals without reason is wrong.
2. There is no reason to kill animals for meat (humans can live healthy lives without killing them to eat them).
3. Killing animals for meat is wrong.
If you can topple this, you have surely tackled the issue of morality, but it remains untouched.
To conclude my case, eating meat is ethically wrong, it is risky to eat for heart disease, cancer, obesity and food poisoning, and it is environmentally damaging. Huge industries have been based around the trading and producing of meat, which cut costs by putting the animals in bad conditions and feeding them chemicals, which can also be unhealthy. The alternative is clean, cheap and simple, and the sooner people accept a better diet, the better. The philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras sums up my case most brilliantly:
"As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other."
Thank you, newspapers_are_cool, for a very enjoyable debate. Please vote Pro.
newspapers_are_cool forfeited this round.
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