by Natalie DeFord, News Writer
Would you eat anything with a face? The “Meat Debate,” Pacific Lutheran University’s second annual Ruth Anderson Public Debate, took place on Oct. 9 in Xavier 201 with roughly 100 people in attendance.
The meat debate’s resolve was “this house would not eat anything with a face.” The ending poll showed more votes in favor of “team veg,” which was against the consumption of meat, but some say the results were inconclusive.
Debaters, including professors Karen Emmerman from the University of Washington and Michael Schleeter from PLU, presented arguments both for and against eating meat.
“Team meat” had to face “team veg,” and anyone could participate in the discussion by using the hashtags “#teammeat” and “#teamveg” to tweet comments or questions.
Tweets were shown in a live feed on a projector above the debate, which gave the debaters instant feedback.
Junior Brendan Stanton, PLU Speech and Debate Team member who argued in favor of eating meat, said the live feedback provided by social media made for an interesting experience.
“The Twitter feed added a fun, interactive level to the debate,” Stanton said. “I would look above me and see what people were saying and it was really interesting to get instant feedback.”
In addition to the Twitter feed, the audience could also
participate by voting both before and after the discussion.
“We polled the audience at the beginning asking whether they agreed with the resolution that the house would not eat a face and then at the end we asked the same question,” Stanton said. “There were more votes for the meat side but more people changed their vote throughout the debate to vegetarianism.”
Interestingly, there were 11 more votes at the end of the debate than there were at the beginning. Stanton guessed this was due to people coming in late during the event.
“It was basically exactly the same at the end except for the 11 votes out of nowhere,” Stanton said, “so things got a little skewed.”
Sophomore Elise Anderson attended the debate and ended up changing sides by the end.
“I liked the arguments for ‘team meat’ better,” she said. “I was leaning toward ‘team veg’ at first but I thought ‘team meat’ brought up a lot of stronger points so in the end I sided with them.”
Anderson said she had not previously realized how controversial the topic was until she got to the debate and saw all the arguments and involvement on the Twitter feed.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people interested and glad to see so many people come out and support the debate team,” Anderson said.