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Don't Eat Anything With A Face

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  • Carcinogens: Meat vs. Vegetables

    Clip: Clinical researcher & author Dr. Neal Barnard and farmer Joel Salatin, debate the dangers of carcinogens in meat products and the benefits of B12 supplements.

  • Do Plants Have a Face?

    Clip: Farmer and author Joel Salatin and Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, debate the ethics of whether plants are living organisms and if they should be eaten.

  • 'Dressing' Animals for the Table

    Clip: Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary and farmer and author Joel Salatin, discuss the assumption that because one dresses an animal, they can not love the animal.

Debate Details

According to a 2009 poll, around 1% of American adults reported eating no animal products. In 2011 that number rose to 2.5%--more than double, but still dwarfed by the 48% who reported eating meat, fish or poultry at all of their meals. In this country, most of us are blessed with an abundance of food and food choices. So taking into account our health, the environment and ethical concerns, which diet is best? Are we or aren't we meant to be carnivores?

The Debaters

For the motion

M.D. Neal Barnard

Clinical Researcher & Author, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart

Neal Barnard, M.D., is Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., who guides... Read More

Gene Baur

President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary

Gene Baur, President and Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine. Since the mid-1980s... Read More

Against the motion

Chris Masterjohn

Nutritional Sciences Researcher & Blogger, The Daily Lipid

Chris Masterjohn pursued a career in health and nutrition after recovering from health problems he developed as a vegan by including high-quality... Read More

Joel Salatin

Farmer & Author

Joel Salatin is a full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm full-time in 1982... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • A meat-free, plant-based, whole foods diet, low in fat and high in fiber, can have immense health benefits, controlling diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, kidney failure, obesity, and other life-threatening ailments.
  • The majority of meat today is produced on inhumane, industrialized factory farms. And just as it is unthinkable to kill one's dog or cat, the slaughter of farm animals—sentient beings, capable of suffering, happiness, sadness, and intellect—is not ethical.
  • Farm animal production, one of the leading causes of global warming, has disastrous effects on the environment, including waste, water pollution and shortages, dead zones, deforestation, and soil degradation.
Against The Motion
  • The most environmentally friendly, ethically responsible, and healthy diet is a not a meat-free one, but rather a locally sourced, sustainably produced one. It is not meat consumption that must end; it is agribusiness's factory production of foods.
  • The meat, bones, skin, and organ meats of healthy animals provide a balance of nutrients necessary for optimal physical and mental health.
  • Meat is only unhealthy when it is produced in factory farms where animals are unnaturally fed grains and hormones, infested with bacteria, and pumped with antibiotics.
  • Animal husbandry is critical to sustainable agriculture, which depends on the balanced, regenerative ecological cycle between humans, the land, vegetation, and animals.


  • Live Audience
  • Online Audience
  • Results
  • Breakdown

The Research

The Research

In U.S., 5% Consider Themselves Vegetarians

Frank Newport
June 26, 2012

5% of American adults consider themselves to be vegetarians, 2% say they are vegans.

8 Fatty Foods with Health Benefits

Jeff Volek and Adam Campbell
December 31, 1969

Unlike most nutritionists, we also say go ahead and eat both the dark meat and the skin.

Would We Be Healthier with a Vegan Diet?

T. Colin Campbell and Nancy Rodriguez
September 18, 2012

Campbell argues that a vegan diet is healthier than diets that include meat and dairy products, while Rodriguez says it's healthy to eat meat and dairy products as part of a balanced diet that includes each of the major food groups.

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