I've been in a funk since last Friday, when I debated John Mackey at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas on the topic: "EATING MEAT IS UNHEALTHY AND UNETHICAL."
The crowd, where Mackey (founder of Whole Foods) is a bit of an icon, took great umbrage that I would disparage Mackey as either a hypocrite, liar, or greedy for making millions of dollars selling meat that he said was unhealthy and unethical. It would be like a casino owner later in life saying gambling was immoral--would you believe him?
Mackey took it as a personal affront and many other folks did too. Apparently the whole topic, telling me I want to hurt and kill people, is not a personal affront. He kept shaking his head in disappointment about how sad I was to bring up the practical disparity: "So sad, Joel, you're just so sad." He defended himself by suggesting that his morality was big enough to embrace the topic but still sell poison to people. I wish I could get a dab of that morality.
Be that as it may, here is what came out of his side during the debate:
1. Lettuce is more nutrient dense than steak, by like 4 times.
2. Eating a pet cat is morally equivalent to a commercially-raised chicken--anyone who would eat a chicken would also eat a pet cat.
3. "Heavy meat diets" are identical to eating one bite of meat a year (the topic was quite simple, not making any qualifications for quantity, time, or place).
4. No difference exists, for health or ethics, between pasture-raised, GMO-free animals versus those raised with antibiotic stimulants and housed in concentrated animal feeding operations.
5. Most of the biggest and strongest beings on earth don't eat meat (elephants, gorillas, whales). His point was that humans could be like that too if we ate like them.
6. The resolution simply means we should think about what we're eating for lunch. That's all. No more, no less.
At the beginning of the debate, 9 people in the crowd agreed with the resolution. At the end, 17 people agreed so I was officially declared the loser. Now I ask you, are these convincing arguments? If I had not said a single word, would these arguments have changed your mind? Do all of them have anything to do with the resolution?
I've been in a funk. Given the simple resolution: "Eating meat is unhealthy and unethical" would these arguments convince you to agree?