The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

"Livestock" slaughter is acceptable

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/24/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,017 times Debate No: 55307
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)




This is a duplication of a debate started by kbub and I was pipped to the post by a more worthy adversary but we have agreed to also have the debate ourselves.

The official resolution is: "The practice of humans' killing "livestock" animals for food in the US ought to continue (Is the preferred of the two possible worlds)"

The "practice" may include ANY practices of "livestock" slaughter, including so-named "humane" slaughter practices.

"Practice" limitation
However, neither hypothetical examples nor obscure/extreme real-world examples will be included as instances of "practice" in this debate. Therefore, for example, it is not expected to address a slaughtering of two calves to save one human child on a deserted island, etc.

The burden of proof (BoP) will be shared. The Pro and Con positions will be evaluated on balance.

Voting limit (elo)
Voting will be limited to those with elo scores over 2500.

No new arguments
Furthermore, the last round is reserved for summaries. Neither Pro nor Con should give new arguments in their last round (R4). However, new analysis of old arguments (such as how to weigh them) is permissible. Failure to meet these standards is not an automatic loss, but the new argument in question ought to be completely ignored by the voter.

Thanks for your interest! Feel free to message me or comment to suggest changes or accommodations. Best of luck!
Pro Initial Argument
First I wish to qualify my stance on the argument proposed. I believe that the current way in which we manage livestock is not acceptable. I will be arguing specifically on the point that consumption of meat as a part of our diets is preferred to a on meat diet and that therefore we ought to continue to rear and slaughter livestock.

Point 1 - There is a revealed preference for meat consumption
From a study completed by Gallop ( showed that 5% of the current population in the USA are vegetarian and that this has remained relatively static over the last 13 years. As a democratic society you can therefore see that the preference is towards meat consumption.

Point 2 - Our bodies are designed for Meat
Through evolution, homo sapiens have bodies designed to consume a mixed herbivorous and carnivorous diet. We do not have a fermenting vat commonly found in herbivores, our teeth are structured as those of a typical omnivore, our intestines are not large enough to extract enough nutrients from plants. It is therefore natural for us to consume meat and unnatural for us to live solely on a herbivorous diet.

Point 3 - It can be sustainable
Current farming methods for livestock are not sustainable but they could be. There are many things we are already aware of that can improve the sustainability of livestock based farming and I'm sure there will be more in the future. Also allocating areas of land for livestock grazing has been shown to maintain the landscape. (

Point 4 - Carnivorous animals in zoo's and rescue centres
There are currently many zoo's across the US and they house many carnivores. These carnivore rely on a meat based diet. If we were not to slaughter animals to feed these carnivores then we would not be able to keep what are mostly endangered species within zoos. A similar argument is applicable for rescue centres allowing for rehabilitation of animals into the wild.

Point 5 - Vegetarian Diets to not provide us with the correct nutrients
Vegetarian Diets tend to lack several vital vitamins and minerals including
iron, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D and omega-3
Although there are way to include these within a vegetarian diet but it involves large consumption. Vitamin B12 is the most difficult to include in a vegetarian diet. One option to mitigate this is the use of supplements but like all heavily processed products, we are realising that there may be drawbacks to this.

Point 6 - Highly processed alternatives
The majority of meat alternatives are heavily processed and contain many additives to make them possible. As I touched upon in my last point there is a growing consensus that heavily processed products are generally less healthy of an option.

Point 7 - High carbohydrate and low fat diets
Meat is our best source of good fats and protein. The alternatives lead to eating a high carb low fat diet, like any unbalance diet this has health impacts.

I hope my argument is sufficiently well structure and look for ward to your responses.


Thanks for the invitation! I'm sure this will be a great debate.


Pro makes two main contentions about livestock slaughter: That vegetarian diets are less healthy for humans than meat-inclusive diets (Points 2, 5, 6, and 7) and that livestock slaughter is better for the environment than no livestock slaughter (3 and 4). I will address each.


Pro's Point 1, however, is somewhat different compared to the other arguments. Pro points out that most humans in the US eat meat. I concede this point, but fail to see its relevance in this debate. This debate is not concerned with a particular government policy, but only about whether or not livestock slaughtering ought to continue. Thus, the fact that slaughtering for meat is commonplace is irrelevant toward the question of whether or not slaughtering for meat ought to exist.

Furthermore, Pro's suggested "democratic society" only extends towards humans. In 2013 there were 8.6 billion chickens, 239 million turkeys, 113 million pigs, and 33 million cows actively resisting their demise [1, 2]. A democracy is a "rule of the majority" [3]. If all relevant voices were heard (and believe me: they are loud and clear [4]), a consensus would clearly swing in the favor of resisting livestock slaughter. After all, more "livestock" are slaughtered in the US in one year than the number of humans in the world, plus several US human populations.

[4] (audio/video)


Point 2: Evolution
Pro suggests that because evolution has given humans the tools to eat meat that that means they must or should eat meat. There are a few problems with this line of thinking. First of all, evolution is merely a description of what kinds of things continue to exist; it does not tell humans what or what not to do. Everything in the status quo is a result of evolution by definition--from murder to rape to computers to diabetes. The claim that something is "natural" due to evolution misses the dynamic nature of evolution; the world is constantly changing, and not slaughtering livestock will make it better. Thus, even if our teeth are able to eat meat, that doesn't mean that they should; just as the ability or desire to murder does not justify murder.

In fact, humans' earlier ancestors were insectivores and vegetarians. In terms of evolution, meat-eating is a relatively new diet, developed as humans started building tools, which allowed them to compensate for their non-weaponized teeth. However, humans never lost their ability to have a vegetarian diet and need for non-animal foods [5].

Currently, however, humans' biological cravings work against humans. The sweet and fatty foods that were rare for their ancestors are common for most contemporary human societies due to the massive influx in technology in a short time--so common that humans' cravings are doing massive harm to themselves [6]. They crave ice cream and steak when these empty calories are harmful. Furthermore, early ancestors were constantly running or walking to find these high-energy foods--in a society that does other things besides scavenging and escaping predators, humans are have far too much surplus fat and sugar [6], which leads to obesity, lack of nutrients, diseases, heart failure, and diabetes.

Thus, an evolutionary perspective reveals that humans' "natural" cravings are actually harmful, and that their diets are in need of change, such as by removing high-calorie high-fat foods like meat from their diet. Moreover, the actual ancestry Homo sapiens reveals that a meat-inclusive diet to be a relatively recent development, and that vegetarianism is also in our ancestry. Also, the teeth we have allow us to eat animals, but don't help kill them [5].


Point 5: Lack of nutrients
Pro states that a vegetarian diet cannot allow appropriate nutrients without supplements. However, two of Pro's own sources (www.nhs..., www.eatlife... ) contradicts him:

"With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy balanced vegetarian and vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy without the need for supplements." (nhs)

"Eating vegan or vegetarian is not a problem. Eating processed vegan or vegetarian is." (eatlife)

Apparently vegetarian diets aren't a problem if done carefully, according to Pro's sources. According to the Nutrition Society in Oxford, vegetarian and vegan diets are not worse than non-vegetarian diets. Obviously, vegetarian diets ARE able to provide the correct nutrients.

According to the American cancer society: "Vegetarian diets also provide more fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals (plant chemicals) than diets that contain meat." [7]

Furthermore, much of the US already has vitamin deficiencies [8].


Point 6: Alternatives
Pro's own source admits that eating processed foods is not inherent to or necessary for vegetarian diets. Furthermore, even these alternatives are far less harmful than the actual products. Veggie burgers are much healthier than meat burgers.

In contrast, livestock farms are the #1 source of food-related illnesses, and responsible for hundreds of human deaths and millions of sicknesses [9, 10]. Ending slaughtering practices will end these diseases.

However, there is a more tragic disease that meat eating is responsible for, that can no longer be stopped so easily: HIV/AIDS [11].


Point 7: Fat is healthy
No, as it turns out saturated fats are very bad for you, contrary to the book's "riveting storytelling." They greatly increase the risk of heart disease, failure, and stroke [12]. The majority of these fats come from animal sources [12].

Starches are also good to avoid, but this is irrelevant to the debate.

According to the American cancer society: "Some studies have linked vegetarian diets to lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer" [7]. Thus, meat causes massive health problems--problems that vegetarian diets solve.



Point 3: Farming could be sustainable (one day)

Pro admits that livestock farms are currently unsustainable, and fails to show that they could be sustainable in the future. Improving doesn't mean fixing, and Pro doesn't even say how improvement will occur.

Livestock farms have contributed to water and air pollution that killed hundreds of thousands of fish, miles of wildlife, and many humans, with hundreds of thousands sick [13].

Global Warming. The United Nations found that livestock farms contribute to 25% of ALL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS [14]. These emissions are more than all transportation combined [15]. Because of global warming, freshwater will become scarce, diseases will spread, and species will be wiped out [16]. Thus, maintaining these practices will aggravate global warming.

Livestock biodiversity loss is a huge danger [17, 18].


Point 4: Need to feed carnivores
Obscure real-world examples are excluded from the debate (R1). Feeding dying endangered animals is one such extreme; thus, this concern is beyond the scope of the debate.

Even if it were part of the debate, slaughtering "livestock" wouldn't be necessary. Zoos find that allowing the carnivore to hunt is healthy, so the human needn't slaughter. Furthermore, the slaughtered animal needn't be "livestock."


I will further address the nonhuman animal next round.
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly I'd just like to say an excellent response and I am also looking forward to this debate as it progresses.

My main argument is that elimination of meat is not a preferred option to a reduction in meat consumption. A lot of my opponents arguments are on the scale of livestock farming, which is not the subject of the debate.

In order to tidy up the structure of these arguments I will add a layer of overarching themes as introduced by my opponent.

Theme 1 - Choice (T1)

Point 1a - Peoples Choice (T1P1a)
I believe that the fact that the majority of US citizens consume meat is highly relevant to this debate. The part of the initial statement "ought to continue" is subjective, which is why I asked for clarification and was given "the preferred of the two worlds". I would say that the preference of Americans is towards meat consumption. Animals voting is an extreme example and I believe should be dismissed on the feasibility of such a situation.

Point 1b - Animals Choice (T1P1b)
Animals do not have a choice just as prey does not have a choice when hunted, that cannot change, please provide some evidence of how this could be achieved. You are making the assumption that the animals will be suffering more through farming than they would otherwise. At the moment this is true but it is possible to give them a life that is better than that they would receive in the wild and there are already methods of killing them that are instantaneous and pain free. I argue that suffering of animals is not a part of this debate. The animals in question do have a right to have a decent life and I believe strongly that they should have this. The animals lives are in our hands and that is true for all animals across the globe whether for livestock or not. The reason we have that responsibility is due to our position in the food chain.

Theme 2 - Health (T2)

Point 2 - Evolution (T2P2)
The reason I brought in Evolution is not based around choice, it is simply based around the structure of our bodies. We are built to have an omnivorous diet and my opponent has not refuted these claims. This simply underpins my future arguments with regards to nutrition, our bodies are not designed for a purely vegetarian diet, we do not have the correct digestive system to absorb all the nutrients we need from a vegetarian diet. That does not mean that with a controlled diet it is not possible, it just means that it is difficult.
The subsection of insectivores is a part of the omnivores and therefore the point in our ancestry you are talking about is not far enough back to consider them vegetarians I am under the opinion that insect farming falls under livestock slaughter and therefore is a part of the practice in debate.

Point 5 - Lack of nutrients (T2P5)
The main point here is that we are talking about more than simply two different options for diet. There is a purely vegetarian diet, a mainly vegetarian diet, a mainly meat based diet and a purely meat based diet. I am arguing that the preferred of the 4 choices here is not a purely vegetarian diet but a primarily vegetarian diet. I do not argue that is it not possible to achieve the required nutrients from a vegetarian diet but that it is more difficult. You have not refuted these claims. We already do not eat healthily so I have little confidence in peoples ability to eat a vegetarian diet that would supply them with all the necessary nutrients.

Point 6 - Alternatives (T3P6)
I concede that this is not a valid argument for the continuation of meat consumption as this is based on how the products are processed not the products themselves. It also does not provide arguments for the exclusive consumption of non meat products.

Point 8 - Disease (T3P8)
Diseases are carried through all manner of materials and are largely down to cramped and confined conditions that the animals are kept in. With improvement of the conditions the animals were kept in the disease would reduce.

Point 7 - Fat is healthy (T3P7)
Like all nutrients Fats including saturated fats are required as a part of a balanced diet. The sources of the information you have linked are in regards to a disproportionate amount of saturated fats in our diets as opposed to a balanced diet containing saturated fats.

Theme 3 - Environment (T3)

Point 3 - Sustainability (T3P3)

I provided two references to more sustainable farming. The latter of the two I believe to be the future of livestock farming, insects. They can be farmed very densely and the theoretical outputs from such methods far outstrip plant based farming. Sustainable methods for farming livestock have been around for as long as we have been consuming meat, it is only recently that we have started using unsustainable methods.

Point 9 - Greenhouse Gases (T3P9)

Greenhouse gas emissions would drop if the animals in question were to be fed on better diets. A reduction in greenhouse gases could also be achieved by a reduction in our meat consumption but we are not talking about reduction but elimination. As greenhouse gases cannot be eliminated but can be reduced without terminating livestock farming.

Point 10 - Biodiversity (T3P10)

Biodiversity is an issue but livestock farming is not the only cause of the issue. Any time we use land for something other than it was originally intended for we are affecting the biodiversity, this include plant farming. Control of farming's impact on biodiversity is something we should be doing more of but elimination of farming would not stop humans impacting on the rest of the natural environment. Also again a reduction in the scale of livestock farming would reduce this issue.

Point 4 - Need to feed carnivorous (T3P4)

R1 stated extreme examples, I do not believe that the maintenance of the biodiversity of our landscape to be an extreme example. We are not talking about isolated incidents but as a part of the ongoing protection of endangered species. In knowingly sending an animal to it's death we are slaughtering the animal, whether that be at the hands of a carnivore, a human, a machine or a cliff.

So to summarize my argument so far.

We are discussing complete elimination of all livestock slaughter for food. I argue that this is not the preferred option to a world of reduced meat consumption with higher standards of animal welfare. I am arguing this on three main themes,

1 - The majority of people do not want it and therefore enforcement of it would be un-democratic, this has not been refuted.
2 - Our bodies require nutrients commonly found in meat that are difficult to find in non-meat products. I do not argue that a purely vegetarian diet is less healthy than what we currently consume, just that meat is a vital part, even if it is a small part, of a healthy balanced and varied diet.
3 - The environmental impact of livestock farming can be managed through a reduction in meat consumption and better farming methods. Damage can be done to the environment through any human activity, including plant farming.


Pro’s advocacy


Pro does not specify her exact alternative. I cannot be expected to debate against every possible world; Pro needs to please clarify her position next round. Currently, Pro’s shrub and insect alternatives seem mutually exclusive. I have arguments against both, but ask Pro to clarify so I don’t waste space.

Theme 1: Choice

“Is preferred”

The original framing of the debate and wording of the resolution were my own []. My opponent asked me to clarify the meaning of “ought to,” which I did, providing a philosophical definition: “the preferred of the two possible worlds.” In other words, if one debater can show that one possibility is better—that is, merits ‘preference’—then that possibility ‘ought to’ exist. The reason I did not say ‘better’ is that doing so implies that there is a particular system of ethics that the voter must follow, instead of voting on the overall preferable advocacy.

Unfortunately, my definition seems to have mislead Pro. I am very sorry about that; I had tried my best to make the wording clear. That being said, I wish my opponent would have messaged me to clear up this potential confusion beforehand.

My opponent has interpreted “preferred” to mean that whichever side most people agree with wins. This odd interpretation has many problems. First of all, popular preference is not a synonym for “ought to.” We know that simply because an action is popular doesn’t make it right. Secondly, appealing to the population is not a debate—it is a poll. Having whichever side is more popular win the debate means that our problem solving and rhetoric becomes completely pointless. Thirdly, in a debate it is the voter who decides the winner, and not a survey. Naturally subjectivity is involved in the final decision, but that feature is inherent in persuasive discourse.

The “preference” is the voters’. We try to show that one world is better than the other—whichever side the voter “prefers” wins. This type of debate follows “ought to” more closely, follows the framer’s (my) intention, is more fair (otherwise a poll outcome renders one side impossible to debate), gives the voting power back to the voter, and allows a debate to occur. Finally, popularity contests (unlike debate) do not bring education or change, which is the whole point of debate in the first place. Thus, the debate ought to follow the definition of “preferred” in the definition of “ought to” that I presented.

I apologize for making the wording open to misinterpretation. I hope I haven’t made my opponent waste much debating space.

Not relevant to debate

Pro has continued to talk about how any government enforcement of slaughter prevention would be illegal and undemocratic. However, this debate does not discuss any form of government intervention, and therefore such concerns are off topic.

We seem to agree that evolution does not dictate current action and that vegetarianism is not unnatural.

Theme 2: Health


Pro concedes that livestock is the #1 source of diseases. Millions are affected, and hundreds of humans dead from livestock farming.

Pro claims that some of the diseases can be reduced by treating the animals better (how?), but the diseases are increasingly common in livestock—treating them better will not eliminate these diseases if they are eaten by humans. Besides, new diseases may develop.

Heart failure/disease

All the sources show that vegetarian diets strongly reduce the risk of heart disease/failure. Pro concedes this fact. More Americans die from heart disease than anything else in the US. This makes heart disease have the biggest weight in this debate. 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year. Significantly reducing this will save hundreds of thousands of lives [19]



Vegetarian diets do not compromise one’s vatimin intake compared to meat-inclusive diets. Obviously, meat is not vital for one’s diet, and in fact makes one worse in terms of vitamins according to my uncontested sources.

Theme 3: Environment

Global Warming

Factory farms contribute 25% of all greenhouse gases. That means that if people suddenly decided not to transport themselves, the amount of greenhouse gases reduced would be less than if the meat industry were halted.

These greenhouse gases cannot be fixed by making farming “better.” To the disappointment of the industry, animals have to be alive before they are dead; their bodies have to release CO2 and methane per their biology before being rendered motionless. The only improvement to the meat industry in terms of greenhouse gases is a lack of meat industry.

Furthermore, any attempt to reduce global warming would be more effective without the meat industry.

Global warming due to greenhouse gases poses eminent threats, including of dangerous weather, worldwide starvation, worldwide lack of clean water (due to flooding), risk of life to disenfranchised humans, and extinct species due to migration changes (marine and aquatic) according to the IPCC [20].

Because global warming risks the life of everyone on earth, its impacts ought to be weighed most heavily.



Pro does not contend any of the pollution statistics I gave. Millions of fish will die, diseases spread, drinking water lose its integrity, and ammonia and low altitude ozone will flurish, despite the industries attempts to prevent pollution.


The livestock industry poses a direct threat to biodiversity. Pro has failed to mention HOW the alternative fixes biodiversity.

The endangered species could easily eat game meat. Pro gave no reason why they need to feed on livestock.

Theme 4: "Livestock"

My opponent would have us ignore the livestock themselves. However, the idea that the victims of violence are irrelevant to the discussion of acts of violence boggles my mind.

Death slaves

The meat industry is an industry of death. It seeks to sell death and in the meantime reduce life—an expensive commodity—as much as possible. Life in the industry thus becomes merely a means to more death.

Like the sex industry, the death industry buys and sells individuals and reduces them to their bodily utility. A sex slave is reduced to her/his potential to pleasure—a mannequin for assisted masturbation.

Likewise, the death slave is reduced to ‘its’ (is not the consumer is oblivious to the slave’s sex?) ability to pleasure the tongue. The consumer sees a dead body in living individual. Like her/his other possessions, the consumer owns the death slave’s body, heedless of the slaves’ own claim to life. The bodies of these slaves killed in one year stack higher than the worst human genocide (x 500).

Perhaps most sickening part is that these slaves’ deaths are measured in pounds.

Bad faith claims

We know animals feel pain, and we know they make rational decisions.

Shall we claim that the nonhuman animals are unintelligent? However, what then should be done with unintelligent humans? We know they have the right to life, and a good life. Surely low intelligence is not a death sentence.

Shall we claim that might is right? However, we know that this very claim has justified the worst genocides and crimes in history. Surely the power to kill does not establish the right to kill.

Shall we claim that if the animals are treated well then they do not suffer under bondage? Then surely we forget that this was the argument against the Abolitionists in America.

Shall we say that the other animals should be killed because they do not have a tax system, a government system, or a religion? Then surely we forget the European genocide of the “un-Christian” Native American “savages.”


Ending the slaughter of livestock would save hundreds of thousands of human lives, keep millions more from getting sick, radically reduce pollution, reduce more greenhouse gases than ending all transportation, and help end the system of violence and death slavery.

Debate Round No. 2


I do not believe I have been vague in my previous statement, I believe I have been very clear. We are arguing over two possible worlds, one with "Livestock" slaughter and one without. I think Con is confusing vagueness with choice, I propose that a world with a variety of methods and food sources is preferred to one with limited choice. I cannot see any point made within my arguments where "shrub and insect alternatives seem mutually exclusive" I request Con to clarify what aspects of these they are referring to as being unable to co-exist.

Theme 1: Choice
From Con's statements, there seems to be no consideration to the impact on people that do not want this world. I am not arguing, solely on the basis of peoples opinions but on the impact this change would have. A world that involves limiting what people can or cannot do involves a restriction in free choice. I asked for clarification of "ought to" for a reason, it is subjective and provides no clear ground for debate.

The reason I brought in government enforcement goes back to the fact that even if the majority of people chose not to eat meat there would still be some that wanted to. If not by government enforcement how would this world come to fruition?

Theme 2: Health
Con has simply dismissed by arguments without providing any rebuttales
Our bodies are not designed for a purely vegetarian diet,
It is difficult to get all the beutriants we need from a vegetrain diet due to this.

Heart failure/disease
Con claims I have not given methods for reducing the Diseases yet I did provide two and gave links. My argument around "livestock" diseases being caused by cramped conditions were clearly stated. The solution is clearly to reduce the cramped conditions and this would easily be achieved with a reduction in meat consumption. Diseases cannot be eliminated only reduced, so we are talking about two different worlds, both containing diseases. If we had more pressure on the amount of plant based food we had to produce, there would be an increase in the amount of diseases from these food sources, as shown by the same reference. Disease is caused by population density not by the consumption of meat whether the population be plants or animals.

To quote con, "Significantly reducing this will save hundreds of thousands of lives" I agree completely, however, eliminating it will have no benefit above this.

Con has not provided any evidence showing a vegetarian diet has a better nutritional content to that of a largely vegetarian diet. Con also has not address my points around the increase difficulty in achieving a balance diet when solely consuming non-meat products. Con also has not address my point that the majority of people fail to choose a balanced diet while we have more choice and that in limiting the choice this would actually worsen.

Theme 3: Environment
Global Warming
All animals produce CO2 whether farmed or not, so by Con's arguments we should kill all the animals on the planet including humans. Con has provided much the same argument as they have previous and not provided any details of how completely stopping livestock farming will be better than massively reducing it. Again elimination of livestock farming would not stop methane and CO2 production just reduce it, so why is this beneficial over reducing the impact of livestock farming and the scale of livestock farming.

To address the point raised by con, I give you a breakdown of fertilizers currently used to grow crops to levels currently in demand. Nitrate and ammonia pollution would only rise with crop farming increasing.

From link originally supplied by con with regards to pollution
All the issues here can be linked to one of the following, population density, poor livestock management, isolated incidents. These kind of issues are not isolated to livestock farming either

Impact caused by scale, all human activity has impact on these thing, stopping livestock farming does not stop the impact, reducing livestock reduces the impact. Game meat deliberately kept for feeding to endangered species would be livestock being slaughtered.

Theme 4: "Livestock"
I did not say we should ignore them but I request some sort of proposition as to how what you suggest animal voting would be achieved. Give animals a vote and they would vote to kill their predators and competitors in order to improve their own survivability.
Death Slaves
The meat industry seeks to sell meat not death, death is just inevitable in the process.

The meat industry does not reduce life, I take you back to the 8.6 billion chickens, 239 million turkeys, 113 million pigs, and 33 million cows you mentioned, these animals would not exist if not for livestock farming,
And again I ask you to tell me what would happen to these animals in a world without livestock farming?
"Life in the industry thus becomes merely a means to more death" - All life is followed by death
Bad Faith Claims
There are methods for killing livestock do not involve pain. Rationality within animals effects this discussion how?
We do not consume animals solely based on their intelligence levels but based on sustinance.
Animals with the power to do so kill for the benefit of their species. (in particular mammals, group survival is a relatively recent concept in terms of evolution)
If the animal within it's mind feels as free as it does in the wild, or even more due to the lack of predators, then where is the sufforage?
All mammals have social structures of some form or another, I fail to see the bearing.
The majority of these arguments could equally be applied to plant life and I request that Con provides good reason for killing plants over killing other lifeforms. All animals eat other living this, most living things consume other living things, why draw the line at the point that you have given, the plant/animal border? Where would the following fit in your world?
The universe operates on a grey scale while we try to make everything black and white, considering we have yet to define life itself, I don't see how we can make a clear distinction between killing of plants or animals.
Everything Con has argued could be achieved by a reduction in meat consumption and an improvement in methods used. If we were to reduce meat consumption by 99% all of the issue rasied by Con would be reduced to a point where the were negligable, although at the same time the impact from crop farming would rise. With the complete removal of livestock farming. I ask Con to provide reason to go that extra 1%. I see a world with reduced meat consumption as a better world to one without it.


I'm afraid that I have not had access to the internet for a time. I'm borrowing this for 2 minutes from a friend. I'm afraid I am not going to be able to post this round. I ask my opponent to skip next round, but totally understand if s/he refuses to do so. Her/His choice. Thanks for your patience, and so sorry!
Debate Round No. 3


LiamWhlaes forfeited this round.


Please do not vote Pro down on the basis of the previous forfeiture as it was that my request. Thanks very much to Pro for his/her consideration!



In Pro's summary, s/he clarifies that her/his position is to lower 99% of livestock farming, and challenges me to provide reasons for removing the extra 1%. I will gladly do so.

However, I first want to point out that in conceding that 99% of livestock slaughter should be stopped, Pro is effectively conceding the entire debate. By removinh 99% of the livestock farming, any "benefits" of livestock farming would be reduced by 99%. The only two benefits that Pro has managed to argue for are health and increase of life. By conceding that 99% of farming should be removed, the health and life "benefits" are cut by 99%.

In fact, by proposing that absence of 99% of livestock farming is good, Pro is essentially conceding to the calculous of absence of livestock farming being better than livestock farming. The fact is, the last 1% isn't special. Consider that Pro has conceded that the benefits of 99% is better than 100%, that 98% is better than 99%, and so on. Essentially, the harms of each percentage of livestock slaughter is worse than no livestock slaughtering. Thus, it is the same for each percentage, whether it be the difference between 86% and 85% or 1% and 0%.

For example, each 1% of livestock farm contributes to .25% of greenhouse gases. Pro agrees that reducing livestock farming by 1% ninty-nine times. Why not 100 times? The fact is, removing livestock farming is the easiest way to fight global warming there is. Global warming will still be a problem when the livestock farming is removed, however. Why hang on to a slight bit of livestock slaughter when removing it altogether would be more beneficial? If removing livestock farming is the best solution to livestock farming, then it only makes sense to remove it all the way.

Game animals are free until capture and following death, and not made into livestock, who are slaves. Game are wild animals; they do not live in captivity. Game animals could be used to feed endangered species.

Pro makes that plant farming is as bad as livestock farming in terms of pollution. To avoid new points, I'll concede this.


Pro's alternatives
Pro does not say how much livestock slaughter will contain insects. However, it seems her/his plan will include some large animals because part of his solution to environmental problems is bush feeding, which would not benefit large animals. Furthermore, Pro does not say any unique benefits in either heath or environmental impact with insects over current livestock, so we have to assume that they are the same or worse in this regard.

Furthermore, insects are hardly a profitable business. Pro gave no evidence for their being sellable. Insects are everywhere in America. Spending vast amounts of money to kill insects and not sell them is pointless slaughter and a waste of money. There are no advantages for this in terms of health, life, or money.

Pro also claims to reduce meat consumption in people's diets by 99%. However, that is not necessarily the case. Reducing slaughtering would only raise the prices of meat. Thus, a different demographic would be able to obtain large amounts of meat in their diet--this meat would not be distributed evenly. Thus, all of the health problems that exist in the status quo would occur.

I previously showed how meat consumption is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans and making tens of millions sick. Reducing these numbers by 99% would still cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to be sick and thousands to die.

Whereas continuing to kill animals kills thousands of Americans, not doing so will allow them to live. Pro gives NO health benefits for eating meat, since vegetarian diets provide more nutrients and less deaths and diseases. Thus, I have already won that it would be a better world.

Obviously, the statistics from vegetarians show that our bodies are indeed very able to handle being vegetarian.

The diseases would not be eliminated by making the conditions less cramped, even if reduced. Pro gives no mention of where the money for these changes would come from.


Global Warming/Breeding

Currently livestock farms cause certain species to have greater numbers than are natural, so that more meat may be produced. Notice that this is not mercy--they simply want more slaves to render into meat through their deaths. The quantity and quality of live is unnatural in these environments. Currently, they are bred without their concent through a probe being stuck in the females reproductive organs [21].

It is these unnatural quantity of slaves that is causing global warming. Pro immidiately jumped to the conclusion that I want them all killed to stop global warming. Again, I am shocked at my opponent. I advocate simply allowing these animals to live out their natural lives and allow fewer to breed (through their own choice, not sexual violence). Their numbers would reduce to natural quantities, and they would eventually be able to return to the wild.

25% of greenhouse gases would be reduced. This is an amazing offer! More greenhouse gases would be reduced by ending livestock slavery than by stopping all of transportation. Pro says to keep 1%, but gives no reason to stop there. There are many reasons not to, including reducing the greenhouse gases from that 1% and improving health.



"Grey area"

Pro essentially says what I was planning to argue. The fact is the life is not black and white, but grey. For example, it would be silly to suppose that only one type of animal deserves not to be senselessly killed, while all others are mere objects. The fact is other animals besides humans are capable of thinking and feeling and making rational decisions. Pro concedes this point.

Pro rebuts that plants may also deserve moral consideration, and are essentially the same as animals. Because humans are a type of animal, Pro is saying that plants are the same as humans, which is a strange argument to make.

Of course, if plants were found to be sentiant they certainly ought to be afforded moral consideration and not be slaughtered. However, Pro gave no evidence that the plants that humans eat are sentient. Even if that were the case, not slaughtering plants is not the debate we are having.

Still, I think it is strange that Pro sees plants and animals as being the same, despite having different Kingdoms, while humans and nonhuman animals that share the same Kingdom, phylum, class, order, and family are seen as immesurably different.

Pro claims that the livestock animals would do the same to humans, but none of the livestock are predators to humans--only herbavores, granavores, and insectavores.

Fellow animals are being senselessly slaughtered. They are enslaved and killed young for no reason. There is no justice in that. There is also no logic--the meat that the humans consume is tainted with fats and diseases that are killing the humans. The livestock process is creating greenhouse gases that are killing us all.


Voters are required to look at which possible world is preferable on weighing their impacts. Pro gave no benefits for keeping livestock slaughtering at 1%, while not slaughtering livestock animals saves human and nonhuman lives, and prevents global warming.

Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LiamWhlaes 7 years ago
Judging by the comments being way off what I was intending to get across I clearly need to practice communication what I mean.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago

Alright, let's go through this thing one point at a time.

Vagueness -

I agree with Con that Pro's case is vague, mainly because there's a lot of things in here with little certainty as to how they'd be implemented or what they would look like. Shrub and insect alternatives make me think that you're implementing new solutions, yet I don't see any explanation of how they'd work. Worse yet, I'm not sure what kind of conversation in animal treatment Pro is arguing for. I get that she doesn't want factory farms to be in existence any longer, but I need some clear idea of what Pro wants to exist following their disuse. The arguments against insects come too late from Con, but I have trouble from the start buying the viability of an insect harvesting business in the first place, and Pro needs to support this more effectively.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago
Theme 1: Choice -

And this, right here, is a large part of the reason why. Pro is saying throughout this debate that Con is restricting free will, but isn't her policy engaging in much the same thing? It may not be an absolute barring of all meat like Con's, but it is still a forced change to the diets of the public. If Pro is arguing for no more factory farming, that's a restriction on free choice. She's also arguing for less meat consumption, which is again a restriction on free choice. She might have discussed gradations of loss of freedom, but generally this sounds like a hypocritical point.

Worse yet, I don't know how to evaluate the loss of these freedoms in the debate, and I'd love to have seen some reason why I should care about basic rights over the lives of humans, the environment, and the lives of animals. I don't get that analysis, so even if I'm buying this, it doesn't affect the debate.

Theme 2: Health -

Evolution: Again, I'm left without any solid implications. The worst I get here is that it's harder to get the necessary nutrients in the absence of meat in our diets. If that's the case, why should I care? Making life a little harder has no solid impact. Now, if you had said that getting these nutrients is often expensive and time consuming, ensuring that the poor in any given country is going to be suffering from malnutrition due to a lack of these necessities, then I might have given this point some weight. I didn't see that link, so this point falls away.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago
Heart failure/disease: Con's response in R4 shows that health problems would still exist. I think it's not the best point (mainly because those health problems would only occur among richer portions of the population), but because I'm buying it, I can see some harm coming from Pro's case that doesn't exist in Con's. The lack of an obvious health benefit for eating meat is pretty glaring here, though I think Con could have done much more to show that the harms are inherent to meat, no matter the amount of fat or other contents (there are actual studies to this effect, especially with regards to carcinogens when meat is cooked).

Pro's response here is essentially mitigation. She's saying that we can reduce the disease burden that results from cramped living conditions by removing them from those environs. I agree, but that leaves your disease burden higher than Con's, since no disease from meat results in his world. Again, you might have discussed how malnutrition can cause a plethora of diseases as well, but that didn't come up. Instead, you make the unwarranted claim that more pressure on the amount of plant-based food produced would ensure that more diseases would come from those food sources, something you say is supported by your reference, but I don't see it anywhere in there. The latter point you're making IS in there, but it's about population density, not about density of plant production, and since that exists in both of your cases, it's a null point.

Theme 3: Environment -

Global warming: I do buy many of Pro's arguments on this that global warming isn't that adversely affected. Again, though, these are just mitigation. At best, I'm wiping this point off the board. At worst, I'm giving Con a slight edge here, since, as he points out in R4, it's the amount and density of these animals that worsens global warming issues.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago
Pollution: Pro's responses here are good, the trouble is that all they do is mitigate the point out of existence. It could have been a positive for Pro's case, as another thing you might have mentioned is that fertilizers serve a very important purpose, and they only exist so long as we farm animals. We can make fertilizers by other methods, but it requires planting a lot more crops, dramatically increasing necessary farming area, perhaps even beyond what we have available currently. Just something to think on. Pollution increases, not decreases, in the complete absence of the meat industry would have been a huge point.

Biodiversity: This point seems to be leaning Pro for me, mainly because I see the point that forcing game animals into a pen with carnivores is indirect slaughtering. Trouble is, I never get a definitive impact here. Sure, there's some loss of carnivores in zoos and other enclosures, but is the loss of biodiversity that result from losing these animals (which is a much smaller number than the animals being slaughtered, even under Pro's case) really so bad? I get that it sucks, but it's not enough by itself to make a dent in this debate.

Theme 4: "Livestock" -

Death slaves " Con gets a little emotional here, and I think this point becomes a little overmuch. Whether we are morally sound in our decision to raise and kill a lot of animals for consumption certainly matters, but I think this point comes up too late to be elucidated fully in the debate, especially since I'm being told throughout the remainder that I should look at the stark realities. The same is true for the bad faith claims point, which I felt could have been more fleshed out and better analyzed.


Overall, I think Con has proven a small but everpresent health benefit, shown that the loss of these lives is harmful (even if they can't vote), and generally shown that the harms of implementing such a system are miniscule by comparison. Thus, I vote Con.
Posted by Wylted 7 years ago
I need to add some stuff, but I've been refraining. Here is some stuff anyway. I've given this debate deep thought.

As far as the "preferred of 2 seperate worlds" controversy. I agree with con on that. Debates aren't about popular opinion. Otherwise you really wouldn't even need to debate this.

I may add more of thoughts on this later. I did take a lot of notes while reading it.
Posted by LiamWhlaes 7 years ago
Lol just noticed a typo of mine and decided it's an excellent new word.

beutriants: Nutrients that make you beautiful
Posted by LiamWhlaes 7 years ago
Posted by kbub 7 years ago
Wait no. Can you go in advanced options for voting style and press "select winner?"
Posted by kbub 7 years ago
Wait nvm it's fine
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Wylted 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: What I did in this debate is revisit the resolution a lot. I felt like pro got off topic a little bit. It started out with pro giving lot' so reasons why livestock slaughter ought to continue, but when con offered rebuttals. Pro actually attempted to alter the type of livestock slaughter to meet each rebuttal. Pro needs to make his position clear. I can only assume after reading round 1 that pro is advocating for livestock slaughter as is currently practiced. Con did a good job actually using pro's own points against her. I'd advise pro to make his case clearer in the future. I'd also advise not caving in and changing your position due to a little bit of pressure. Stick to your guns, be creative and dig deep. Good luck to both debaters in future debates.

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