Should Humans Eat Meat?
Many people in the word now are becoming vegetarians. This debate will deal with the question: Is this a good idea?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Animals are below humans, therefore humans can eat them
From a rights based perspective many humans who have developmental disorders also lack the the ability to be a moral agent, be creative or have rational thought, yet i doubt anybody would advocate eating them or denying them rights. The lack of these abilities are therefore irrelevant for judging if animals should be eaten or have rights.
Additionally many animals use tools to help them get food such as sticks or stones to get at otherewise unreachable food sources. Is this not the same kind of thinking that we consider creative? The ability of many animals to solve problems and even display meta-cognition (ie the ability to be aware of whether they know something or not) is well documented (see Couchman et al. 2011). As the exact cognitive abilities of animals is still unknown would it no be prudent to give them the benefit of the doubt especially when one can be perfectly healthy not eating meat?
Humans need meat in their diet
Additional while some vegetarians do consume supplements, the cost of these are minimal compared to the cost of meat.
If humans are like animals they should be able to eat them
Eating meat is indeed natural in the sense that other animals do it as well. In fact, it is even done on occasion by our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees. However, there are many other things which are also natural. For example, chimpanzee males sometimes rape the females in their tribe. Chimpanzees sometimes engage in organized warfare against other tribes with which they compete for territory. A chimpanzee male, in a moment of rage, sometimes picks up a nearby infant, and crushes his skull against a rock.
If we believed that eating meat was ethically permissible simply because other animals did it as well, then this would imply that there is nothing wrong with rape, cannibalism, or infanticide, all of which routinely occurs throughout the animal kingdom.
All the opposition's arguments are environmental
There's nothing inherently wrong with eating animals
Animals are moral just as every much as humans are. Animals are very intelligent, much more than we give them credit for. Certain animals are carnivores by nature. They are currently designed to eat only meat. This is important to keep in mind when we realize that these carnivores are moral creatures with a high enough intelligence to recognize that they are eating other animals. So, the question then becomes, is meat eating inherently immoral? I argue no, because if it was, then I would have to say carnivores are sinning by eating the only thing they can eat naturally. The truth is, animals, which are moral creatures, can morally eat other animals. Therefore, if they can, then there is definitely a possibility we can morally do so. At any rate, even humans should not, carnivores morally can, and thus eating meat is not inherently immoral.
Now, the main argument for vegetarianism is that it causes unnecessary pain and suffering and unnecessary death. The vegetarian seems to be opposed to death for any and all reasons, but why? Do they even know why they don't like death? The truth is, life is a precious gift, and to trash it, or treat it disrespectfully, is a serious moral offense. But, are there not times when killing is justified? Let us say for example, in war, for defending others, or self-defense when you defend yourself and one's family. And the death penalty being given to people. Things like that. Death is a natural part of life. But death is not to be brought on by any immoral means. But, death will naturally come, and we should respect this course of life. We should be greatly that the animal becomes part of us. Their spirit and soul do not go inside us, but they died so that we could live. And this is honorable. We should respect animals. Animals should be treated rightfully, and if they are killed, we must make sure they do not go to waste, for to kill an animal for no good reason, and then not use the animal, is a serious moral offense. I argue that killing is sometimes justifiable, and in the case of killing animals for food, it is not murder, but justifiable killing, so long as you are not cruel in your killing.
I also believe that just as animals do, we have a prime duty to our own kinds. What I mean by this is I believe humans priority should be humans. Cats priority should be cats. Dogs priority should be dogs. etc. I am against all forms of cannibalism. I believe animals that are cannibals are sinning. And I believe that certain animals have a moral right to eat humans. So, let's say if a bear comes and kills a human for food. We should not kill the bear. however, if the bear kills the human for no reason, as I said before, killing something for no good reason is a serious moral offense. The bear would be sinning. But, the bear has every right to eat the human just as much as we have every right to eat some animals. We also have the right and moral right to defend ourselves and our families. So, if an animal is trying to eat one of my fellow humans, I will seek to defend that human. likewise, if one of us is trying to eat an animal, they have a right to defend themselves.
One last bit of clarification that sets me apart from other meat eaters. I am a Nazarene Jew. Part of being a Nazarene Jew means I believe that some animals are off limits. We are not to eat anything that is unhealthy for us. Thus, we are not to eat any unclean (or in other words, unkosher) animals. This includes shrimp, clams, lobsters, swine, and other animals that are extremely unhealthy. basically all scavengers and meat eaters are off limits for humans. Are unique body structure cannot have these unclean animals healthily in our bodies. I believe eating meat is necessary for perfect health in our current state of environment. However, once the Messiah returns, the environment will change as the prophecies indicate, and we will no longer need to eat animals, and it will be a sin to eat animals. Animals will also not be allowed to eat animals. This is found in the Book of Isaiah chapters 65 and 66. This is a restoration to how it was in the beginning, before the flood. I look forward to when that day comes.
While killing may be justifiable in some circumstances at the extremes of survival, the eating of meat is not required for any aspect of our health, and eating a meat free diet may reduce the occurrence of many diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. As most people will never encounter those conditions under which killing of any animal is necessary for survival, the eating of meat by those people is wrong.
We shouldn't eat as muh meat.
The arguments that meat is inefficient and environmentally unfriendly do not mean that we should not eat meat, it simply means that we should not eat as much. We as a species have developed some obsense methdos of slughter and production to feed our gluttony, it is not moral to keep a pig in a cage simply because we want to consume its flesh, however this does not mean we should not eat meat.
We should not activly practose cruelty to animals, we should treat them as living things that do require protection, but we should also treat them as a food source, not a food source to be exploited and mass farmed like we currently use them but a food source to be hunted to satisfy hunger and nutritianal needs.
Lets look back to early civilization where most of a person;s diet would consist of grains and vegetables. A small villiage would practise farming of grains to make breads and vegetables, this was most of their diet. They would use cattle to pull plows and occasionally tehy would kill the cattle and eat it. This was how life was.
I do not believe that this was an immoral way of living, it is not about wether we shoudl eat meat it is about how we currently eat meat. We need to have an awarness of environmental harm and look at reducing it, we need to aknowledge animal cruelty and stop it, we need to farm and prodice efficiently but we do not need to stop eating meat.
Nutrition & Well-Being
Nutrition & Well-Being
Meat is not only one of the very oldest foods for humans, but is also one the most biologically valuable. This fact is mainly due to its high protein content. In addition, however, a part of the human requirement for vitamins and iron is also covered by eating meat. It is therefore not surprising that meat has an especially high importance in the menu planning of those people who have to deliver extreme performances.
In general, raw, unprocessed meat from the muscle is made up of the following:
15 - 22 %
3 - 15 %
1 - 5 %
65 - 75 %
Meat protein supplies the body with the necessary amino acids in almost the ratio that it needs. It is therefore of particularly high value.
The fat that is present in meat not only represents a high-quality source of energy, but is also an important quality factor. The juiciness and the aroma of meat and meat products is largely determined by the fat content. In addition, the fat from the meat from the muscle contains fatty acids that are indispensable for humans, and therefore has a very high nutritional physiological value.
Meat exhibits a wide spectrum of various trace elements in a balanced composition. A special importance is hereby placed on iron, which is present in meat in a form that can be utilised particularly well by humans. A significant proportion of the iron requirement of humans is covered by meat. Meat also plays an important role in the supply of zinc.
The water-soluble vitamins of the B-complex from meat and certain entrails make an important contribution to a human being’s vitamin supply. Humans are particularly dependent on foodstuffs from animal sources for the supply of Vitamin B12. With 100 g of muscle meat, the need for individual B-vitamins can be covered to between 20 % and 100 %. The liver takes a special position with regard to vitamin content, which, in addition to the B-vitamins, also has a high Vitamin A content.
Furthermore those who require "extreme performance" can find a comparable grade of protein quality from soya based products including soya "milk" shakes. All essential vitamins and nutrients can be acquired from vegan sources.
Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Dietetic Association have endorsed vegetarian diets. Studies have shown that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than meat-eaters and that meat-eaters are almost twice as likely to die of heart disease, 60 percent more likely to die of cancer, and 30 percent more likely to die of other diseases. Consumption of meat and dairy products has been conclusively linked with diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, clogged arteries, obesity, asthma, and impotence.
According to Dr T. Colin Campbell, nutritional researcher at Cornell University and director of the largest epidemiological study in history, "The vast majority of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented simply by adopting a plant-based diet." (i.e. a pure vegetarian diet with no animal by-products).
Plus just think about this for a moment: some of the world's largest and strongest animals are pure vegetarians e.g. The Elephant, Hippo, Giraffe, Rhino, Cattle, Horses, Gorilla etc. And they seem to be thriving very well living off vegetation and have done so for many hundreds of years. . . . So does this not at least show you that to grow up big and strong we as humans too can gain all of the nutrients and dietary requirements solely from plant sources alone? Of course it does - common sense confirms this statement plus there have been countless studies with much evidence to show that a pure vegetarian diet is one of the healthiest choices you can make for you, the animals and the planet.
And about the augument that 'vegetarians don't get enough protein'
Plant foods offer abundant protein. Vegetables are around 23% protein on average, beans 28%, grains 13%, and even fruit has 5.5%. For comparison, human breast milk is only 6% (designed for the time in our lives when our protein needs are as high as they'll ever be). Professional recommendations for adults range from 2.5% to 10%, and plant foods supply that easily.
People should be free to choose what they will eat.
When we are debating about whether people should eat meat strictly from a nutritional viewpoint, vegetarians fall apart in their arguments, as you will read in the other points discussed from a nutritional standpoint. The problem is not with meat per se. The problem expressed by many who say "don't eat meat" is with how animals are raised, how they are fed, and how they are slaughtered. However, passing a law that says you cannot eat meat is short-sighted.. In a free society, we are free to buy or not buy products that we have an issue with, without imposing our morals and choices on others. If you don't like how a particular corporation or farmer raises, feeds and slaughters the animals, then don't buy their meat. Or, go through the proper legal channels to get regulations passed to change their practices. Don't just legislate that people can't eat meat anymore. That is a personal diet, as well as moral, choice. Personally, practicing "fair chase" and obeying the laws when hunting and making sure an animal is killed quickly and humanely is how we come by our venison, which we choose to eat over beef because we know the animal has lived and eaten natural foods. Another choice could be to buy from organically operated farms which raise animals in an environment as close to natural as possible, with the animals being able to roam freely in clean areas with natural foods to eat.
Meat is inefficient
The warning about meat and the environment isn't coming from crazed hippies. It's coming from people like the head of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who has openly identified eating less meat as an important step in combatting climate change. Why? Because cows are more damaging than cars.
Livestock production requires enormous amounts of energy. We put far more energy into animals per unit of food than we do for any plant crop. The main reason is that cattle consume 16 times as much grain as they produce as meat, so right there we have 16 times as much energy just to grow those crops, just so we can waste them on livestock.
But the energy use doesn't end there. The livestock themselves take energy to process beyond the energy that goes into their feed. And then there's refrigeration, including during transport, necessary for meat but not for grains and beans. And then there's the transportation itself.
Wasting energy isn't problematic just because there's less and less of it to go around. (We've already used more than half the oil that exists on the planet.) It's also a problem because burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming. And raising animals for food is the driving force. As the U.K.'s Independent put it:
"Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together."
That figure comes from no less authority than the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Meat production requires so much water it's hard to comprehend. , a pound of potatoes takes 99.6% less water to produce than a pound of beef, and 97% less than a ound of chicken.
If you gave up showering, you'd save less water than what's required to make a single pound of beef. Not beef for a whole year, just one miserable pound. A whole year's worth of showers takes about 5,200 gallons, but it takes 5,214 gallons to produce a single pound of beef.
you gave up beef, you'd save over 300,000 gallons a year. A whole lot more than you could save by never showering.
When land is used to raise animals instead of crops, precious water and soil are lost, trees are cut down to make land for grazing or factory-farm sheds, and untreated animal waste pollutes rivers and streams. In fact, it has such a devastating effect on all aspects of our environment that the Union of Concerned Scientists lists meat-eating as the second-biggest environmental hazard facing the Earth. (Number one is fossil-fuel vehicles). No wonder, when you consider facts like these:
* Cows must consume 16 pounds of vegetation in order to convert them into 1 pound of flesh. Raising animals for food consumes more than half of all water used in the U.S. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. A totally vegetarian diet equires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.
* Producing just one hamburger uses enough fossil fuel to drive a small car 20 miles. Of all raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S., more than one-third are used to raise animals for food.
* A typical pig factory generates the same amount of raw waste as a city of 12,000 people. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, raising animals for food is the number one source of water pollution.
* Of all agricultural land in the U.S., 87 percent is used to raise animals for food. That’s 45 percent of the total land mass in the U.S. About 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to produce feed for animals raised for food. The meat industry is directly responsible for 85 percent of all soil erosion in the U.S.
* More than 80 percent of the corn we grow and more than 95 percent of the oats are fed to livestock. The world’'s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people—more than the entire human population on Earth. According to the Worldwatch Institute, "Roughly 2 of every 5 tons of grain produced in the world is fed to livestock, poultry, or fish; decreasing consumption of these products, especially of beef, could free up massive quantities of grain and reduce pressure on land."
To produce 1 lb. of feedlot beef requires 7 lbs. of feed grain, which takes 7,000 lbs. of water to grow." Note that he equates 7,000 pounds of water to raising just one pound of beef to maturity. Considering many feedlot cows can end up weighing well over 1,000 pounds, it's not hard to see how much water is used to simply fatten up cows for slaughter.
Some people don't know that methane is also a large contributor to global warming. The Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook cites John Robbins's arguments that cattle on the planet "produce nearly 100 million tons of methane."
The first is that land (such as rainforest) is cleared to grow grain to feed cattle; the second is that land is also cleared to raise cattle. They mention that one "third of the world’s land suitable for growing crops is used to produce feed for farmed animals." It is "inefficient" to use land to feed animals that become food for human beings when using the land to directly feed people would result in more food and less land use.
On farming meat, this is not efficient, however thsi does not mean we shouldn;t eat meat it means we should look at makinf more efficient farms or smaller, more localized farms. We shouldn't however simply stop farming and either slaughter the animals currently there or just let them free, because lets face it, animals will always drink water.
If the Opp is trying to say that using water on animals is inherently bad then there is a much bigger problem than simply eating meat.
All the statisics being used highligh the issue that animals drink water. Yes this is true, tehy need to to survive, tehre is no conclusion on wetehr we should stop eating meat, this point os more of a fun fact. If indeedwater supply is limited we need to look at ways to make things more efficient, this does not mean we should abandon eating a large part of the human diet.
Ethical arguments in favor of eating necesarily lead down a slippery slope.
If a cow had more than enough grass to survive and even live happily with, and this cow decided to eat you, a human being, would such a cow be permitted to do so?
If a human being had the same mental composition of a cow (no morals, very very dumb, etc), should other humans be allowed to eat him (in a non-survival situation)? What if this human tasted as good as cows? Does that change anything?
In response to your answers:
1) Lions are not exactly permitted to eat humans in our society. If this occurs anywhere except for in isolated nature, the animal would most likely be round and destroyed (think Jaws for an example with a shark).
2) There are many examples of animals eating their own species. "Cannibalism has commonly been observed in the wild for a variety of taxa, including octopus, bats, toads, fish, monitor lizards, red-backed salamanders and several stream salamanders, crocodiles, spiders, crustaceans, birds (crows, barred owls), mammals, and a vast number of insects, such as dragonflies, diving beetles, back swimmers, water striders, flour beetles, caddisflies and many more". [(http://www.whereincity.com/india-kids/animals/)]
In answer to the second question: it is not normal for a member of a species to eat another member. If a cow would eat another cow it would get mad cow disease. The rules of nature do not allow us to eat cows only because they are "dumber" than us, but also because they are of a different species. As long as BOTH those conditions remain- you're okay.
Source to support that plants can speak too http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article3500338.ece
This article also talks about the brutality towards animals and rather gives the meat eaters like me who eat meat but at the same time have a concern towards their environment a choice to eat artificially produced( in the laboratories by scientists) meat.
Shweta Singh Bisen
vegetarians visit hospitals 22% less often than meat eaters
The farming of animals causes suffering. Causing suffering is wrong. The farming of animals is wrong
The life of a farmed animal is filled with pain. This may include being branded with scolding iron, castration and being de-horned all without pain relief. Many factory farmed animals will be forced to live in cramped and dirty conditions without the opportunity for much exercise or environment enrichment. In the dairy industry after giving birth, calves will be forcibly removed from their mother. After a short life of being made pregnant, having their calves forcibly removed and being milked at a high intensity many dairy cows can get mastitis(a very painful udder infection) and have reduced milk production and are then killed. Some of those male calves are then used for veal. Those cows used for beef are transported in poor cramped condition's in lorries to the slaughter house. The capacitive bolt is not a humane method of inducing permanent unconsciousness before killing, the prevalence of a shallow depth of concussion after being hit with the bolt in one study was 7.7% for all cattle, and 15.1% for young bulls. [[http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0309174007001544]] This suggests many cows could regain consciousness before being slaughtered.
These animals are psychologically damaged by these experiences. One animal model of depression in rodents is enforced separation of pups from the mother. These animals show a reduced performance in a forced swim test, ie they stop trying to tread water and escape from a tank of water and instead enter a state of despair. Another way of inducing depression in animals is the chronic mild stress model that involves the exposure of animals to a series of mild and unpredictable stressors and results in long lasting changes of behavioural and neurological function that can be reversed with antidepressants, just like in humans.
If one values psychological well being of sentient animals then one must also oppose the eating of meat.
Those who say "no" from an environmental/moral standpoint are extending this argument which, in my opinion, belongs in another debate. However, to answer the rebuttal to my argument (to the right), his/her argument is more about the practices associated with (in particular) factory farms. I have studied and viewed documentaries concerning factory farm practices, and agree with many of the things my opponent has to say. However, we tread on dangerous ground when we offer the simplistic solution of not eating meat. There are many who would legislate what we put into our own bodies. Freedom in this country means the freedom to eat what we choose to eat (other than cannibalism). We go down a slippery slope when we begin to legislate what people can eat. We are already on a slippery slope, in my opinion, as more laws are passed and government gains more control over the lives of citizens.
The answer to the problem outlined above, and by my opponent, is to go through the proper legislative channels to improve regulations concerning how factory farms operate. In the meantime, you can choose not to eat meat, or to buy meat from those corporations and farmers whose practices you approve of. Personally, I choose to eat wild game because it comes from a natural environment in which the animals have eaten natural foods. These range of choices allow us to preserve the freedom to choose what we put in our bodies, including the freedom to do business with those who engage in humane farming practices, as well as the freedom to present legislation to change the inhumane practices of factory farms.
What do you think?