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Animal Rights

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,128 times Debate No: 19586
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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In order to be a just society, should animals have rights? I will argue Affirmative, but I am a novice debater, so I'd prefer someone who isn't going to annihilate me, I'd rather learn from this debate.


I thank my opponent for this debate and accept your challenge. Just to let you know, I am all for animal rights, but, I will debate against it for the sake of the argument.
Debate Round No. 1


I affirm. I value justice as prescribed by the resolution. The resolution asks for the just course of action in the context of animal rights. Julius Simon (Simon, Julius. "Becoming For-the-Other." Third International Prague Conference on Evil, March 2002.) explains what measures justice in these situations:

Suffering … exposes me to a medical, ethical duty … to respond to the sufferer's original call for aid … The face of useless suffering imposes itself on me a just suffering, viz., my suffering for the suffering of the other. … Such a just suffering [This] … points out the radical difference between the suffering of the other and suffering in me— and is the only way that suffering can be meaningful. Suffering or enduring pain for the other is then raised to a compelling ethical principle … Such Suffering for the other is … so inescapable that … we lower and degrade ourselves … waiting for a redeemer … to take over the responsibility which can only ever be mine.

Thus, lest all suffering be meaningless, my criterion, and the best way to decide the just course of action, is Respect for the Other.

My base argument is that failing to give animals rights can be equated with failing to give minority groups of people rights.

Disrespecting animals is a form of racism. Peter Singer 1 (Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement. Harper Perennial, 2009.) writes, "The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"
The impact of this argument is that disrespecting animals necessarily has the impact of disrespecting and otherizing groups of people, like African Americans, for example. This leads to totalitarianism and genocide, which disrespect the other by excluding the other group of people. In fact, said genocide of animals is happening right now: on factory farms.

I also offer a distinction of animal rights: since the AFF is only giving animals the specific right not to be eaten, AFF can still defend animal testing. Infliction of unnecessary and avoidable suffering is unjust. Eating animals is avoidable, and so the AFF gives the right to animals not to be eaten. The AFF can still defend animal testing because, the same way we test on humans, the benefits of testing are huge.

I contend that disrespecting animal rights leads to not only animal suffering, but also disrespect of minority groups.

Contention 1: not recognizing animals rights leads to animal suffering, and thus animal disrespect.

Subpoint A) Eating animals necessarily requires mass-producing of animals which leads to unlimited suffering. Singer 2 furthers, "once we place nonhuman outside our sphere of moral consideration and treat them as things we use to satisfy our own desire, the outcome is predictable… 102 million chickens are slaughtered each week after being reared in highly automated factory-like plants that belong to the large corporations that control production. Eight of these corporations account for over 50 percent of the 5.3 billion birds killed annually in the U.S…chicks [are] [put] into a long, windowless shed…they still may have as little as half a square foot of space per chicken… the stress of crowding and the absence of natural outlets for the birds' energies lead to outbreaks of fighting… farmer[s] burn away the upper beaks of the chickens…an excessively hot blade causes blisters in the mouth… burned nostrils and severe mutilations due to incorrect procedures which unquestionably influence acute and chronic pain"
This card only shows the effect of eating animals on ONE species, not even all animals that humans eat. So this impact is 10 fold for all the types of animals humans eat.

Subpoint B) Linguistically, the way we classify animals for eating further otherizes them. Singer 3 writes, "we eat beef, not bull, steer, or cow, and pork, not pig… the term "meat" is itself deceptive. It originally meant any solid food, not necessarily the flesh of animals… These verbal disguises are merely the top layer of a much deeper ignorance oft the origin of our food."
The impact of this argument is that the way we speak about animals we eat itself otherizes them and disrespects them.

Contention 2: The eating of animals necessarily leads to disrespect and suffering of minority groups of humans.

Subpoint A) Factory farming causes suffering in farmers, low-income, otherized people. Singer 4 elaborates, "The department of community medicine at the University of Melbourne, Australia conducted a study into the health hazards of this atmosphere for chicken farmers. They found that 70 percent of farmers reported sore eyes, nearly 30 percent regular coughing, and nearly 15 percent asthma and chronic bronchitis."
The impact is that those lowest at society, farmers, are affected by eating animals.

Subpoint B) Disrespecting animals emotionally inflicts minority groups because of their beliefs. The PR Newswire (PR Newswire, "CAIR: Paul Harvey Says Islam ‘Encourages Killing' Islamic Civil Rights Group Seeks On-Air Apology," December 5, 2003. Copyright 2003 PR Newswire Association LLC.) reports about an Islamic woman who, "was punished by God because of a cat. She had neither provided it with food nor drink, nor set it free so that it might eat the creatures of the earth."
The impact is that, by slaughtering and disrespecting animals, we necessarily devalue the beliefs of minority groups like Islamic people.

All my impacts have GREAT MAGNITUDE because they necessarily harm those who are ALREADY otherized and disrespected. In order to respect said minorities, I affirm.


Animals are not on the same level as humans. We've been debating this issue for years and talk about the horrible abuse of animals and animal rights, but what is the real issue here. In your argument it seems as though you mainly defend the use of animals as a whole. To satisfy your cause we must all be vegetarians, even as far as vegans. Even if we were to find a better and healthier way to tend animals, we will still have to slaughter them and use the meat of animals for our own gain. Yes, we as humans may take the use of animals too far, but do we really want to give up on the control we have had for many years.

That brings me to my first contention: A halting decrease of animal killings would lead to a population increase that would be way too much to handle.

We as humans must understand that we are keeping the animals under control by using them for our benefit. We also help many species populate by using them as many species would go extinct. This would happen because of selective breeding that we use on animals. With breeding put in the animals own hands a stable balance that we had for years would cease to exist and everything would be out of control.

My second contention: Animals do not have moral standards and giving them rights doesn't necessarily change anything.

We hear about dog bites or mountain lion attacks all the time. Animals do not care about how they are treated. They are just trying to live there life, and when death comes, death comes. It is not necessary to give animal rights because animals can't really tell whats right from wrong. They can't tell their actions. We need to understand that we life on this planet as a whole amongst the animals and all creatures live for there personal gain. The lion kills to feed its young, we kill to feed ourselves. Both humans and animals live equally on this planet and what we do is totally moral for our own gain.

This is why I believe that animal rights is a subject that isn't necessary. We kill and animals kill for our own gain and in the end it is a matter of life or death.

*Note: Remember, this is a subject that i don't really care for. I am sort of for animal rights but in the end it really doesn't matter to me what happens.

Debate Round No. 2


madisons16021 forfeited this round.


I want to thank my opponent for this debate and I am sorry that you had to forfeit. I don't think that there is any point of posting my final argument so I won't. This debate was interesting, but i wish we were able to talk about it more.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Multi_Pyrocytophage 6 years ago
Nobody voted... The bad thing about a single forfeit in a debate means that the debate won't appear on the home page, basically meaning most people won't vote on it...
Posted by vmpire321 6 years ago
PRO is going to forfeit... She hasn't been active for a while.
Posted by Sillybookworm 6 years ago
That quote "The questions is not Can they reason? Nor can they talk? But can they suffer?" isn't even from Peter Singer. It's JEREMY BETHAM.
Posted by MrCarroll 6 years ago
"Disrespecting animals is a form of racism..." That is pretty bad. I find this quite funny.
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