Debate: Can It Be More Ethical To Eat Meat?

03/20/2012 03:01 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

We all have to eat, so it's the debate that never ends -- is it more socially responsible to kill and eat animals, or to rely on a vegetarian diet?

You've probably already heard strident opinions from the likes of PETA, which has gone to great lengths (human barbecue, anyone?) to guilt society out of eating animals. And though the pro-meat contingent doesn't have a mouthpiece quite so vocal, we all have a friend or two who wouldn't give up burgers and bacon for the world.

But there are, it turns out, valid and rational arguments from the experts to support each side of the battle. In the first installment of our Change My Mind debate series, we challenge two leading voices in the debate to defend their views on which is more socially responsible: eating meat, or following a vegetarian diet.

Speaking on behalf of vegetarianism is Ellen Kanner, syndicated columnist of The Edgy Veggie and contributor to publications including Culinate, Bon Appetit and Every Day With Rachael Ray as well as her own blog, Edgy Veggie.

Her opponent is Daniel Klein, a chef, activist and filmmaker who supports responsible consumption of meat. He has cooked in the restaurants of Thomas Keller, Heston Blumenthal and Tom Colicchio, and is currently documenting his culinary, agricultural and hunting explorations on film in a web series called The Perennial Plate.

Join the debate below, and see if Ellen or Daniel change your mind.

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