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A&M debate team to face PETA on meat ethics

The Battalion

Published: Friday, September 3, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

The Texas A&M Speech and Debate Team will face off with the vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Monday, to discuss the ethics of eating meat.

Bruce Friedrich, vice president of policy for PETA, will be on campus at 3 p.m. Monday in the Harrington Education Center Complex room 207 to argue vegetarianism as an ethical imperative.

Ryan Huling, senior college campaign coordinator with the youth division of PETA, said the debate was originally proposed to members from the Animal Science Department in May.

"They never responded to our inquiries," Huling said, "presumably because they had something to hide about unethical practices in the meat industry."

Friedrich said he contacted the school repeatedly, but was ignored.

"The A&M debate team jumped at the opportunity, however," he said.

PETA has asked other university animal sciences departments across the country to engage in debates about the ethics of eating meat.  No departments followed up, but Huling said he is "pleased that all the debate teams have readily accepted our requests."

This debate is part of a series called "Is Eating Meat Ethical?" put on by PETA across the country at different institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin and Yale University.

Friedrich, who has led most of the debates in the series, just recently wrote a piece in The Huffington Post about the nationwide egg recall and the unethical treatment of chickens.

Omar El-Halwagi, president of the debate team, and treasurer Audrianne Doucet will represent the debate team. He said they would discuss the benefits of eating meat as well as debate the meaning of ethics.

El-Halwagi said he and Doucet accepted PETA's request for two reasons.

"First of all, it was a fantastic opportunity to use our skills from debate in the real world," El-Halwagi said. "Even more, is that we wanted to bring varying viewpoints to this topic in an educational environment. I think it is important to show both sides in every debate, and we wanted to bring that to our university."


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