The Instigator
guesswho
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
InsertNameHere
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

Vegetarianism is wrong

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 13 votes the winner is...
InsertNameHere
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,778 times Debate No: 12575
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (13)

 

guesswho

Pro

Although I can see why some people choose to be vegetarians and the noble cause behind it, I contend that Vegetarianism is a wrong practice due to its conflict with Nature.

1. Human teeth structure contradicts vegetarianism:
If we examine the teeth structure of both herbivorous and carnivorous animals, we will find a stark difference: Herbivores have flat teeth while carnivores have sharp teeth. The reason behind this difference is quite simple. Flat teeth are ideal for eating plants while sharp teeth are ideal for chewing through meat, which is why herbivores are by definition plant eaters and carnivores are by definition meat eaters. If we examine the teeth structure of human beings, we will find a mix of both sharp and flat teeth. This suggests that humans are intended to be both plant and meat eaters. Why would Nature give us sharp teeth if we are only to eat plants?

2. Animal reproduction rates contradict vegetarianism:
In Nature, animals that are expected to be consumed on a large scale by humans tend to reproduce much faster or in greater number than animals that are not. For example, it is common knowledge that fishes and cows reproduce faster than tigers or dogs. This natural phenomenon occurs in order to meet the food demands of human beings, and we can infer that it has worked out successfully given that cows and fishes are not even close to becoming extinct nor are they overpopulated. However, Nature can only bring harmony to our world if the correct actions are taken, in this case - to eat meat. If at any time humans wrongfully decided to stop eating meat and go against Nature's wishes, cow and fish population will quickly soar to dangerous heights as a result of their naturally fast reproductive rates. They would overpopulation which can lead to many potential problems.

3. Human nutritional needs contradict vegetarianism:

To be healthy, humans must have a well balanced and nutritious diet containing a wide range of important vitamins and minerals. A vegetarian diet due to its food restriction does not meet this diet standard. Among many important vitamins that are largely found in meat products, Vitamin B12, which is responsible for converting protein and fats into energy, is non-existent in a vegetarian diet. That is why herbivores, like rabbits, whose normal diet also lacks B12, have to eat plants that are infested with insects or even their own feces in order to meet their B12 requirement. If Vitamin B12 is so important to the body that rabbits are even willing to eat their own feces to get it, why would anyone purposely choose a diet that rejects it?

http://www.acu-cell.com...

Moreover, according to diet experts, children raised as vegetarians will not get enough nutrients, especially iron, zinc, copper, Vitamin D & Vitamin B12.

Furthermore, most of the vegetarians have to take supplement to fulfill their daily requirements of both the minerals, unlike those who eat non-veg.
This fact alone proves that humans were never meant to naturally be vegetarian.

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com...

Those are my arguments for now. Thanks for reading and I look forward to a good debate.
InsertNameHere

Con

I thank my opponent for reinstalling this debate so I can argue Devil's advocacy. Good luck to both of us! :)

My opponent begins by pointing out the human teeth structure. While it's true that we have teeth suited for consuming both meat and plants this doesn't necessarily mean we have to. Humans are, by nature, considered to be omnivores. http://dictionary.reference.com... Due to this nature we are able to survive by consuming only plants. We have the teeth structure that we do so if we do choose to consume meat we can.

Secondly, my opponent mentions the higher rates of animal reproduction among certain species that are bred to be consumed by humans. However, one can also assume that this wasn't always the case. For example, humans probably didn't always eat the animals they eat now. One prominent example is the Cro-Magnon man which survived largely off seeds, berries, fruits, nuts, and some smaller prey such as insects and bird eggs. http://studyingsocieties.wikispaces.com... Another point I'll like to mention is rabbit reproduction. Rabbits are not bred primarily for human consumption, yet have a notorious rate of reproduction. One female rabbit and her offspring would be able to produce about 64 billion rabbits in seven years. http://www.quickspay.com...

Thirdly, my opponent goes on to talk about nutrition. Following a vegetarian diet can carry quite a few health benefits including lower medical costs and lower risks of disease. it is estimated that the medical costs in the United States attributed to meat consumption are about $30-60 billion a year due to a higher prevalence of hypertension, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info...
It has also been observed that vegetarians live about seven years longer than the average meat-eater while having lower risks of dying from diseases such as cancer. On a low budget? Vegetarian diets are much cheaper than an omnivore diet, being able to save about $4000 a year. You'll also be slimmer too. http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info...

I'll pass this on to my opponent. Thank you and I look forward to my opponents rebuttals. Good luck . :)
Debate Round No. 1
guesswho

Pro

I'd like to thank InsertNameHere for engaging in this debate.

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1. Human teeth structure contradicts vegetarianism:

Con writes: "While it's true that we have teeth suited for consuming both meat and plants this doesn't necessarily mean we have to."

My response: I never said we have to (must) eat both plant and meat. As humans beings with freewill, clearly we have a choice in the matter, but that's completely irrelevant to my first argument. My first argument regarding human teeth structure was not to prove that humans are forced to eat both plant and meat, rather, it was to prove that it is naturally intended for humans to eat both plant and meat, not plant alone. Con's rebuttal, aside from pointing out the obvious, has failed to address this argument.

Con also writes: "Humans are, by nature, considered to be omnivores. http://dictionary.reference.com...... "

My response: Here my opponent seems to be in agreement with my side of the debate and contradicting his own side. If we click on the link Con has used to define Omnivorous, the definition clearly reads:

Omnivorous
- adjective
1. eating both animal and plant foods.
2. eating all kinds of foods indiscriminately.

Therefore, by admitting that "Humans are, by nature, considered to be omnivores," Con is also admitting to the fact that humans, by nature, eat "both animal and plant foods" or eat " all kinds of foods indiscriminately". This fact that Con has admitted to completely refutes the practice of Vegetarianism and thus, his own side of the debate.

Con further writes: "Due to this nature (omnivorous) we are able to survive by consuming only plants."

Response: I never said human's can't survive on consuming only plants, but that doesn't mean not eating meat is right.
In essence, what you are saying here is without a point.

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2. Animal reproduction rates contradict vegetarianism:

Con writes: "Secondly, my opponent mentions the higher rates of animal reproduction among certain species that are bred to be consumed by humans. However, one can also assume that this wasn't always the case. For example, humans probably didn't always eat the animals they eat now. One prominent example is the Cro-Magnon man which survived largely off seeds, berries, fruits, nuts, and some smaller prey such as insects and bird eggs."

My Response: Interesting example, but one distinct group of man with a unique life style hardly says anything significant. On the other hand, if we consider the billions of people around the world today, who, despite their different origins, all surprisingly share a similar meat diet, in part, consisting of beef and fish, we can make a significant case that cows and fishes are naturally eaten on an enormous scale and has been eaten for a very long time.

http://www.allcountries.org...
This link shows that beef is eaten on a massive scale by people in all corners of the world.

Con also writes: "Another point I'll like to mention is rabbit reproduction. Rabbits are not bred primarily for human consumption, yet have a notorious rate of reproduction. One female rabbit and her offspring would be able to produce about 64 billion rabbits in seven years."

My response: Again very fascinating, but this is only true IN THEORY. In reality, however, with a variety of factors such as environmental conditions and number of predators, things can turn out quite different. In fact, to my knowledge, no one has yet to complain about an overpopulation problem with rabbits.

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3. Human nutritional needs contradict vegetarianism:

Con writes: "Following a vegetarian diet can carry quite a few health benefits including lower medical costs and lower risks of disease."

My response: Con is absolutely correct in saying that there are many health benefits to leading a vegetarian life style, for example, a lower risk of attracting heart disease. However, this is only true if done properly and many vegetarians fail to do this simply because of the large variety of fruits and vegetables a vegetarian must eat in order to make up for the important nutrients they have lost to rejecting meat. But more importantly, this rebuttal fails to address all the health disasters that can surface due to the lack of important vitamins and minerals in a vegetarian-based diet in the first place. My argument about vitamin B12 being non-existent in a vegetarian diet has not been refuted.
Moreover, "contrary to vegan-based reviews or commentaries, people following a strict vegetarian diet are not healthier than their omnivorous counterparts. In fact, on average, they suffer from as many, or more medical problems as compared to non-vegetarian individuals, who include meat or eggs in their diet." "There is absolutely no question that the average person does best health-wise by consuming a mixed diet."
http://www.acu-cell.com...
To summarize, a vegetarian life style does not triumph a non-vegetarian life style health-wise, and just because there are health benefits to a vegetarian life style, that does not mean there aren't any drawbacks. In fact there are many, including vitamin and mineral deficiency, high levels of triglyceride, high levels of cholesterol, poor bone development etc... http://www.acu-cell.com...

Con also writes: "It has also been observed that vegetarians live about seven years longer than the average meat-eater while having lower risks of dying from diseases such as cancer."

My response: Most people today are unhealthy eaters; the obesity rate in USA is a testament to that fact. Most people today are also meat-eaters. Having said that, this observation reflects little accuracy as the "average meat-eater" is most likely an unhealthy eater. In contrast, it would reflect more accuracy if a group of healthy non-vegetarian eater is compared to a group of healthy vegetarian eater.

Con further writes: "On a low budget? Vegetarian diets are much cheaper than an omnivore diet, being able to save about $4000 a year. You'll also be slimmer too."

My response: Before I begin, I just want to say this sounds like an excellent statement to put in an advertisement promoting vegetarianism! The last line: "You'll be slimmer too" almost had me convinced :) On a more serious note, a low budget does not in any way mean vegetarianism is right. All it means is that it is on average cheaper to live a vegetarian life style than a non-vegetarian life style. Nothing more.

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Although it is my opponent's full right to offer new arguments to reinforce his own position, my opponent also has the duty to refute my arguments. In the previous round, I had a little trouble distinguishing between Con's new arguments from his rebuttals as they were all grouped together. It would be very appreciated if in future rounds, Con can separate them.

Thanks very much. I look forward to Con's response.
InsertNameHere

Con

Thank you for an interesting response. I'll now proceed to offering rebuttals to my opponent's arguments.

Firstly, I'll like to address my opponent's points about animal reproduction and diets around the world. It makes sense that one group of people would develop a diet based on their environment. To go back to the example of the Cro-Magnon man they ate much different things than what we would consider to be a balanced diet today. Why? They ate whatever they could scrounge from their surroundings. There wasn't much large game thus they didn't eat much meat. It would be the same for a society today living in a landlocked country. They wouldn't eat much seafood in contrast to a coastal or island community. People tend to eat more of the resources that are available around them.

As for my opponent's point about beef being eaten worldwide, much of that has likely resulted in modern technology making it possible to raise any kind of animal worldwide. Another point to bring up is that it's now easier to import certain kinds of food due to refrigeration technology so people no longer have to rely on what is available locally like the Cro-Magnon man had to(which eventually led to more meat consumption by humans) as food can be transported over longer distances and kept safe at the same time. http://articles.directorym.com...

Next, my opponent addresses the point about rabbit reproduction. Rabbits often breed in the wild which is filled with predators and other factors which would naturally lower the rabbit population. This keeps the population under control. However, the animals which are domesticated or bred for food are usually kept in controlled conditions thus aren't exposed to the conditions that would naturally lower the population. Some examples include the neutering of pets in order to keep them from reproducing(http://www.humanesociety.org...) and segregation based on the gender of the animal.

Finally, my opponent goes on to talk about nutrition. My opponent mentions vitamin B12 and that it's non-existent in a vegetarian diet. While meat is the main source of this nutrient it's not the only source. It can also be found in eggs and dairy products, both of which vegetarians consume. Vegans consume neither of these products, but this debate is about vegetarianism, not veganism. There is also research being done to find possible plant sources of vitamin B12. Soya products, seaweed, and algae are all being considered as possible sources. http://www.vegsoc.org...

As for the health problems caused by vegetarianism, they are not non-existent. They are just less likely to develop certain health problems such as cancer and heart disease which is the number one killer in America. Cancer is a close second. http://www.cdc.gov...

Another point addressed by my opponent is obesity. This certainly occurs in larger numbers of meat-eaters than it does vegetarians. The over-consumption of meat is likely the main culprit.

Lastly, my opponent talks about my point about the low-budget of vegetarian meals. It is natural that somebody on a low budget would be inclined to eat less meat as meat is often expensive due to the nature of producing it. http://wiki.answers.com...

I thank my opponent for numerous interesting rebuttals. I'll now like to point out that vegetarianism being wrong is a matter of perspective just like vegetarians saying eating meat is wrong. That's also a matter of perspective.

Also, certain animals are likely only bred in large numbers due to large demands as a result of the high number of people who consume meat. If vegetarianism was widespread there would be a lower demand for these animals.

Good luck in round three! :)
Debate Round No. 2
guesswho

Pro

I'd like to thank InsertNameHere for another timely response.

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1. Human teeth structure contradicts vegetarianism:

Unfortunately, Con has chosen not to tackle this argument any longer and since I cannot reply to any further rebuttals relating to this topic as this is my last round, Con cannot write anything more and therefore has ultimately failed to refute this argument.

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2. Animal reproduction rates contradict vegetarianism:

Con writes: "It makes sense that one group of people would develop a diet based on their environment. To go back to the example of the Cro-Magnon man they ate much different things than what we would consider to be a balanced diet today. Why? They ate whatever they could scrounge from their surroundings. There wasn't much large game thus they didn't eat much meat.

My response: Again, Cro-Magnon man is one group of people, living in one small region on a massively huge earth. Just because they had little access to living animals, that does not mean the rest of the planet had trouble finding animals. In the hunting and gathering age, people had trouble getting meat not because there weren't enough animals running around in large herds, they had trouble getting meat because catching animals the way they did was never easy.

Con also writes: "It would be the same for a society today living in a landlocked country. They wouldn't eat much seafood in contrast to a coastal or island community. People tend to eat more of the resources that are available around them."

My response: When I mentioned human consumption rates, I was referring to global human consumption rates. Obviously, a landlocked country will have less access to fish products than coastal regions, but globally, fishes are still consumed on a massive scale nonetheless.

Con further writes: As for my opponent's point about beef being eaten worldwide, much of that has likely resulted in modern technology making it possible to raise any kind of animal worldwide.

My response: So according to what you're saying, if everyone all of a sudden wanted tiger meat as part of their main food diet as beef is today, this will be possible through modern technology? Please tell me how and please source this information.

Con further writes: "Another point to bring up is that it's now easier to import certain kinds of food due to refrigeration technology so people no longer have to rely on what is available locally like the Cro-Magnon man had to(which eventually led to more meat consumption by humans) as food can be transported over longer distances and kept safe at the same time."

My response: I agree, but any animal meat can be transported with this technology, not just fish meat or beef. Why then is fish meat and beef so widely transported rather than, say, Rabbit meat.

Con further writes: "Rabbits often breed in the wild which is filled with predators and other factors which would naturally lower the rabbit population. This keeps the population under control. However, the animals which are domesticated or bred for food are usually kept in controlled conditions thus aren't exposed to the conditions that would naturally lower the population."

My response: In case voters don't know, humans are the biggest predators by far, so to say that farm animals "aren't exposed to the conditions that would naturally lower the population" is completely illogical.

Con further writes: Some examples include the neutering of pets in order to keep them from reproducing and segregation based on the gender of the animal.

My response: This completely has nothing to do with my original argument.

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3. Human nutritional needs contradict vegetarianism:

Con writes: "As for the health problems caused by vegetarianism, they are not non-existent. They are just less likely to develop certain health problems such as cancer and heart disease which is the number one killer in America. Cancer is a close second. http://www.cdc.gov...;

My response: "less" is a relative word. If Con is stating that vegetarians are less likely to develop certain health problems than the average meat eater, then this is an invalid argument because as I stated in the previous round, "the average meat eater is most likely an unhealthy eater." Moreover, this point has little weight because it has already been stated that "contrary to vegan-based reviews or commentaries, people following a strict vegetarian diet are not healthier than their omnivorous counterparts. In fact, on average, they suffer from as many, or more medical problems as compared to non-vegetarian individuals, who include meat or eggs in their diet." "There is absolutely no question that the average person does best health-wise by consuming a mixed diet."
http://www.acu-cell.com......

Con also writes: "Another point addressed by my opponent is obesity. This certainly occurs in larger numbers of meat-eaters than it does vegetarians. The over-consumption of meat is likely the main culprit."

My response: I did not address obesity. I simply used it to prove that most people today are unhealthy eaters to support something else. Please don't twist my arguments.

Con further writes: "Lastly, my opponent talks about my point about the low-budget of vegetarian meals. It is natural that somebody on a low budget would be inclined to eat less meat as meat is often expensive due to the nature of producing it."

My response: Yes... it is logical that less money affords less meat, but this point as I mentioned before has nothing to do with proving Vegetarianism.

Con further writes: "Also, certain animals are likely only bred in large numbers due to large demands as a result of the high number of people who consume meat. If vegetarianism was widespread there would be a lower demand for these animals."

My response: Not all animals can keep up with human demands. There is a reason why cattle and fish are chosen to be farmed rather than other animals.

Please Note:
Con has not yet addressed the point that "according to diet experts, children raised as vegetarians will not get enough nutrients, especially iron, zinc, copper, Vitamin D & Vitamin B12." Nor has Con addressed the point that "most of the vegetarians have to take supplement to fulfill their daily requirements of both the minerals, unlike those who eat non-veg." Both these points suggest humans were never meant to naturally be vegetarian.

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With respect to vegetarianism being wrong as a matter of perspective, I have been trying to avoid this issue for this whole debate by arguing only with objective evidence rather than with subjective opinions. I agree that there are always different perspectives out there, and I see that as a positive quality, but I do not believe that this can stop humanity from figuring out what's right and what's wrong.

I want to sincerely thank InsertNameHere for his contribution and dedication to this debate. You have brought up many great rebuttal which at times left me wondering what to write next. I hope you enjoyed your time spent on this debate as much as I have! Good luck and I hope we will have many more debates in the near future!
InsertNameHere

Con

I will like to thank my opponent yet again for an interesting debate. I will now conclude the debate with a few final rebuttals.

I'll begin by addressing my opponent's statements about the Cro-Magnon man. He claimed that they were one group of people living in one small region. However, this is not entirely incorrect. When they roamed they were THE humans, evolving from earlier humans, and then finally into the modern human known as "Homo Sapiens Sapiens". http://www.elephant.se... Cro-Magnon were all part of the same species so generally all lived similar lifestyles regardless of where they came from.

Next, my opponent addresses the point about different trends of meat consumption in different areas. While it's true that fish is consumed on a massive scale worldwide, it's still more widely consumed in coastal societies. http://www.fao.org...
http://www.fao.org...

Next, my opponent addresses technology. It would be very much possible to import and eat tiger meat if people suddenly decided to eat it. The same technology used for processing other kinds of meats would be used. As for rabbit meat, it generally isn't transported as it's consumed on a lesser scale than more mainstream meats such as beef, poultry, and pork.

My opponent then goes on to state that humans are the largest predators. However, many animals in the wild die naturally without exposure to humans thus they don't need exposure to humans in order to kill them off. We could get away with not eating meat as other natural elements would kill these animals. As for the neutering, that was intended to bring up the point that animals in captivity are often kept in controlled conditions to prevent reproducing.

Nutrition was also addressed. As addressed in the previous round, vegetarians do suffer from health problems, just not to the same extent as meat-eaters. However, many vegetarian health problems result from vitamin deficiency which is easily preventable by taking vitamin supplements. http://www.essortment.com...

Lastly, by giving this debate the title of "Vegetarianism is wrong" it is implying that you're intending to argue from a subjective viewpoint rather than an objective one. I have countered this by stating that saying something is "wrong" is a matter of perspective, which vegetarianism is. There are many facts out there supporting both sides of the argument.

Finally, thank you again to my opponent for providing an interesting debate. It has been fun and I will now turn it over to the voters. Good luck to both of us!

P.S- please vote fairly! :)
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Aini 6 years ago
Aini
Humans have seminal vesicles which make us the only animal with it that chooses not to be herbivorous.
Posted by Wikuk 6 years ago
Wikuk
Although we are (and were) omnivores there is nothing wrong with trying to not eat meat. Of course it's almost impossible to leave meat out of the table, but if you want to limit that, no problem. Furthermore is vegetarian not accountable for lack of nutrients just as much as a diet with meat is not accountable for heart attacks. The problem there lies with a bad diet and lifestyle. I don't see a problem with eating meat, since I do it myself, but the Con won bigtime.
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
KFc!!!!!!!
Posted by Anacharsis 6 years ago
Anacharsis
There really isn't any definition of "wrong" offered by Pro, leaving one to wonder whether his assertion relates to a moral framework or to a being erroneous. His statement here, "With respect to vegetarianism being wrong as a matter of perspective, I have been trying to avoid this issue for this whole debate by arguing only with objective evidence rather than with subjective opinions," leads me to believe he is trying to avoid a debate about morality. An erroneous practice has to be measured in terms of both the good and bad effects and he has failed to show a preponderance of bad.
Posted by dollydo 6 years ago
dollydo
Just because humans have "flat and sharp teeth" today does not necessarily imply that humans are "naturally" designed to be meat eaters. Pro did not prove that early humans consumed a meat diet. Pro also did not prove that humans have always had "flat and sharp teeth." By examining early homosapiens one can see that teeth shape and size has significantly changed. Leading one to conclude that teeth shape and size is a direct result of food accessibility, environmental changes, survival, and preference. If humans are "naturally" designed to eat meat why were we not designed to have claws to tear through the flesh of animals? Why do we cook our meat instead of consuming it raw? As Con suggests, evolution and environment plays a large part in what we eat. Recent research has concluded that humans are born with only two inherent preferences in regards to food. The preference for sweet and salty foods over bitter foods. All other preferences (whether you prefer to consume only vegetables or only meat) is a matter of ones environment, culture, accessibility, and survival.
Posted by lovelife 6 years ago
lovelife
I keep my voting periods up to one year if I start the debate.
Posted by Anarcho 6 years ago
Anarcho
Ok the voting period ends in 88 days? What the hell is with it being that long?
Posted by Nick11 6 years ago
Nick11
Sorry, my last sentence should read "Not the best choice..."
Posted by Nick11 6 years ago
Nick11
I so no reason why vegetarianism is "wrong".

All of Pro's arguments seem to fail logically: Teeth structure and reproduction rates are simply a description of how things are--but doesn't lead us to what ought to be (Pro should have described better why sharp teeth obligates humans to eat meat); there's no reason nutritional needs can't be supplemented.

Con did little to put forth arguments of his own, relying instead on refuting Pro's arguments. The best choice but burden of proof rests on Pro anyway.
Posted by lovelife 6 years ago
lovelife
Yeah, gotta agree with alex. At least naturally they have a chance at life and happiness, and they are growing up and living how they were meant to and not how farmers can afford
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