Veganism Debate (03:25)
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Forum Chairman Robert Rosenkranz and moderator John Donvan discuss how ethics, environment, and health play a role in dietary choices.
Debate "Housekeeping" (07:08)
Donvan states the motion, explains the debate format, and introduces the panel members for each side.
For the Motion: Neal
George Washington University School of Medicine professor and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine president Dr. Neal Barnard cites health studies showing meat consumption increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's Disease.
Against the Motion: Chris Masterjohn (07:03)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researcher Chris Masterjohn describes his experience with veganism, outlines Weston Price's dietary philosophy, and cites vitamins that are best sourced from meat products.
For the Motion: Gene Baur (06:16)
Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder Gene Baur argues that domestic animals have emotional intelligence and that factory farming is exploitative and environmentally unsound.
Against the Motion: Joel Salatin (07:36)
Farmer and author Joel Salatin argues that humans are natural predators; and that ecological animal husbandry is the most efficient way to address environmental degradation while producing nutrient rich food.
First Round Summary (01:56)
Donvan clarifies that both sides agree factory farming is wrong—but disagree on whether it's right to kill an animal for food.
Vegan vs. Omnivore Health Evidence (03:27)
Neal Barnard (for) cites studies showing plant-based diets improve mental and physical health. Chris Masterjohn (against) argues that studies linking meat consumption to cancer and heart disease are observational.
Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk (01:32)
Neal Barnard (for) states that cooking skeletal meat produces carcinogens. Joel Salatin (against) cites studies showing Argentina cancer rates are half the U.S., despite high beef consumption.
Sourcing B12 (04:04)
Panelists debate whether B12 can be maintained without eating meat or taking supplements.
Debating Cancer Causality (05:55)
Neal Barnard (for) argues that meat consumption increases cancer risk, while Joel Salatin (against) argues that his evidence is based on factory-farmed meat, and doesn't take grass-fed meat into account.
Meat Consumption Ethics (09:21)
Gene Baur (for) argues against killing domestic animals. He and Joel Salatin (against) debate whether vegetables can be farmed without animal fertilization; all panelists agree that people should eat less meat.
Low Carb Diet Health Effects (02:28)
Neal Barnard (for) explains that low carbohydrate "fad" diets are effective because of overall calorie reduction—but increase cholesterol in the long run.
Fish and Veganism (02:27)
Gene Baur (for) and Joel Salatin (against) debate the ethics of eating fish and seafood; Neal Barnard (for) argues that it is only marginally healthier than meat.
Speciesism Debate (03:01)
Gene Baur (for) believes it's ethically permissible to eat animals that have died natural deaths. Joel Salatin (against) argues that humans are part of the ecosystem and should use pasture-based agriculture to care for other species.
Farming without Livestock (03:35)
Gene Baur (for) argues for veganic agriculture and replacing domestic animals with wild species. Joel Salatin (against) and Neal Barnard (for) debate whether crop or pasture-based systems are more ecologically sound.
Meat and Human Evolution (02:02)
Chris Masterjohn (against) argues that nutritional needs vary according to the individual; some thrive on a vegan diet and others need animal protein.
Price of Meat (02:04)
Panelists agree that animal products from factory farms are priced artificially low, while a vegan diet can be inexpensive to follow.
Reversing Heart Disease (01:06)
Neal Barnard (for) discusses how plant-based diets have been shown to reverse diabetes, while meat-based diets have not.
Ethics of Raising Vegetables (03:59)
Gene Baur (for) and Joel Salatin (against) debate whether killing microorganisms when planting seeds can be compared to killing livestock for consumption. Salatin argues for farms mimicking ecological relationships between plants and animals.
Ethics of Hunting (03:13)
Gene Baur (for) argues for replacing natural predators. Chris Masterjohn (against) says that humane slaughter techniques are better than animal deaths in nature.
Closing Statement Against: Chris Masterjohn (02:33)
Masterjohn argues that there is no correlation between health conscious vegetarian and meat eaters, and that we should choose a diet based on our personal nutritional needs.
Closing Statement For: Neal Barnard (02:18)
Barnard argues that not eating meat reduces heart disease and cancer risk, and names athletes and people with high IQs excelling on a plant-based diet.
Closing Statement Against: Joel Salatin (02:24)
Salatin argues that humans are built to be predators, and points out that 60% of the world's poor rely on livestock.
Closing Statement For: Gene Baur (02:17)
Baur argues that plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable, and raising livestock results in disrespect for animals.
Time to Vote (03:24)
Donvan instructs the audience to vote a second time, and introduces the next debate "Obamacare is Now Beyond Rescue."
Audience Vote Results (01:30)
Predebate - For: 24 - Against: 51 - Don't know: 25 Post-debate - For: 45 - Against: 43 - Undecided: 12
Credits: Don’t Eat Anything With a Face: A Debate (01:05)
Credits: Don’t Eat Anything With a Face: A Debate
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