QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: Meat eating will soon be morally unacceptable.
REASONING: We could feed animals grain, or feed humans grain. We can feed more people by feeding the grain directly to people. Meanwhile, every year there are more people and less farmland.
ANALYSIS: This sounds like an airtight argument. But the author makes the assumption that animals need to eat grain. Historically, many grain eating animals were raised on grass. So that may be one alternative.
- It doesn’t matter what people prefer. Some people might prefer to steal for a living rather than work, but stealing is still morally wrong.
- CORRECT. This means that at least some meat expands the food supply. You can raise some cows and sheep for meat without taking away from grain. So, those cows/sheep expand the food supply.
(Of course, in this case it might still be morally unacceptable to eat grain-fed animals. But that wasn’t the conclusion.)
- This strengthens the argument! It means that the lower nutrition of grain isn’t a problem.
- The argument didn’t say why large areas of farmland are going out of production. Maybe only 10% of the annual loss is due to suburbs, and the rest is due to soil erosion. In such a case, urban living wouldn’t do much to address the problem. Also, the fact that people could stop the suburbs doesn’t mean that they will. People might prefer to make meat immoral instead.
- The author wasn’t saying that we should eat only grains. A no-meat diet can include grains, vegetables, legumes, soy, etc.
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