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A 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change and air pollution; land, soil, and water degradation; and biodiversity loss. According to the report, the livestock sector is an even larger contributor to global warming than transport (cars, trucks, airplanes, and so forth). Huge quantities of the potent greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide are emitted by farmed animals and their waste. Animal agriculture is also a key factor in deforestation, which releases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The total area used for grazing and the production of feedcrops accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the earth’s land surface. About 20 percent of the world’s pastures and rangelands have been degraded (over 70 percent in the dry lands), mostly through overgrazing, compaction, and erosion created by livestock action.
Regardless, nutritionists hardly need more evidence about the potentially negative health effects of eating red meat. For starters, the saturated animal fat in red meat contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. Recent research also shows that frequent red meat eaters face twice the risk of colon cancer as those who indulge less often. Red meat is also thought to increase the risks of rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis.
Meanwhile, according to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and other debilitating medical conditions. While red meat is a key source of protein and vitamin B12 in North American diets, nutritionists explain that properly planned meat-free diets easily provide these important nutrients while keeping you healthier in the long run.
While there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, the mind may be said to be in the state of Equilibrium. When those feelings have been stirred, and they act in their due degree, there ensues what may be called the state of Harmony. This Equilibrium is the great root from which grow all the human actings in the world, and this Harmony is the universal path which they all should pursue. ~Confucius
“Behold, all flesh is as the grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field” Isaiah 40:6.
like plant eaters (but un-like meat eaters), our colons are long and complex (not simple and short); our intestines are 10–11 times longer than our bodies (not 3–6 times longer); our saliva contains digestive enzymes (un-like carnivores); and our teeth resemble those of plant eaters—for instance, our canines are short and blunt (not long, sharp, and curved).
Ahimsa...is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa) It is an important tenet of the religions that originated in ancient India (Hinduism, Buddhism and especially Jainism). Ahimsa is a rule of conduct that bars the killing or injuring of living beings. It is closely connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences.
Practice of Ahimsa develops love. Ahimsa is another name for truth or love. Ahimsa is universal love. It is pure love. It is divine Prem. Where there is love, there you will find Ahimsa. Where there is Ahimsa, there you will find love and selfless service. They all go together.
The one message of all saints and prophets of all times and climes, is the message of love, of Ahimsa, of selfless service. Ahimsa is the noblest and best of traits that are found expressed in the daily life and activities of perfected souls. Ahimsa is the one means, not only to attain Salvation, but also to enjoy uninterrupted peace and bliss. Man attains peace by injuring no living creature.
Vegetarianism in its ethical form is an approach to life based on compassion for all animals. The Humanist Vegetarian Group understands that humans are merely animals and that the capacities which evolution has bestowed upon us for survival give rise to compassion, fairness and morality, which we apply as well as we are able to all animals.
Before I begin I'd like to refer my opponent to the literal definition of morality. Rules are rules, and bending or breaking of rules constitutes a failure to achieve the goals intended by the moral system, that is: Morality.
God gave us cattle and grass. Without grass there are no cattle, and without cattle there are no Maasai".
Humans are classic examples of omnivores in all relevant anatomical traits. There is no basis in anatomy or physiology for the assumption that humans are pre-adapted to the vegetarian diet. For that reason, the best arguments in support of a meat-free diet remain ecological, ethical, and health concerns.” link
I understand the literal definition of morality and along with that I understand is that in moral debates, or ethical debates as they are synonymous, there are MANY views on what constitutes morality. In this debate I have chosen tot take the middle path, the Dào, the Golden Mean. As such I contend that your definition of morality would essentially boil down to moral absolutism.
Q#2: What is it that qualifies Animals for more moral considerations than all other life forms?
Q#1: Do you believe that vegetarianism is, without discrimination, that is globally, morally superior and that any person on the globe who consumes meat is less moral than those who do not?
...is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is to all people regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or other distinguishing feature. The source or justification of this system may be thought to be, for instance, human nature, shared vulnerability to suffering, the demands of universal reason, what is common among existing moral codes, ...
“Question 1: Are there any moral systems in which eating meat is a prerequisite to "morality"?”
Honestly the only one that I can think of, off the top of my head, is Rastafarianism.
Many Rastas eat limited types of meat in accordance with the dietary Laws of the Old Testament; they do not eat shellfish or pork. Others abstain from all meat and flesh whatsoever, asserting that to touch meat is to touch death [with the exception of fish which can be eaten], and is therefore a violation of the Nazirite oath. However, the prohibition against meat only applies to those who are currently fulfilling a Nazirite vow, for the duration of the vow. Many Rastafari maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet all of the time.
Q#3: When you say “By this moral system, we can see that we have been endowed by evolution with the capacity for compassion, and it behooves us as morally right humans to exercise this compassion for our fellow mammals” are you saying that mammals deserve more respect than say fish, reptiles, birds, or insects?
29: Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30: And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.