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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Ande Carbonel (San Diego Christian College) vs. Opposition: Giuseppe De Matties (City University of New York)

Judge: Lisa Heller Boragine (Cape Cod Community College)

Resolution: RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should ban all testing that requires the use of animals.

  • Ande Carbonel
    Ande Carbonel
    vs.



    Giuseppe De Matties
    Giuseppe De Matties
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    Speech Details

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    Posted at N/A by Ande Carbonel

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    Posted at N/A by Giuseppe De Matties

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    Posted at N/A by Ande Carbonel

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    Posted at N/A by Giuseppe De Matties

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    Posted at N/A by Ande Carbonel

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    Status

    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at N/A by Lisa Heller Boragine

    Category Ande Carbonel Giuseppe De Matties
    Use of evidence: 2.6 2.8
    Delivery skill: 3 2.3
    Coherence of arguments: 3 3
    Responsiveness to opponent: 3 2.1
    Identification of key points: 3.3 3.6
    Comments: A strength for the proposition was the introduction speech. It was well structured and identified three key reasons why we should reject animal testing: poor success rate, high cost, and its cruel to the animals. The weakness was knowing how to more effectively extend and capitalize on the weak refutation by the opposition. Also, work on identifying effective summary statements and effective introductory remarks for each speech. Strengths for the opposition were that the speaker had a bold ability to claim ground and to stake a claim. The issue of the key benefits of human testing was critical to this side of the debate. Weaknesses were refutation and responsiveness to opponents arguments regarding alternatives - these were not well addressed. Speaker also needs to work on jargon filled speech: counter-plans and solvency are not vocabulary you should be using in this format.

    The decision is for the Proposition: Ande Carbonel

    Reason for Decision:

    The key issues in this debate are whether the advances in human health based on effective medical testing on animals are more important that the high cost, ethical concerns for the animals and the option of effective alternatives.

    The issue of cost was where the debate saw the most clash. Both sides did a good job of extending and arguing the costs and effectiveness of testing. It seems as if there are good arguments on either side about animal testing cost-benefit analysis: on the one hand, perhaps we have seen some poor success rates and it may cost money, but the opposition points out that many costly and problematic human trials are avoided through animal testing. Some of the most compelling arguments coming from the opposition side were about how it has doubled the rates of survival from cancer.

    Surprisingly, there were strong controversial assertions on both sides where little clash occurred. For example, the opposition makes a pro "Humans are more important than animals" stance, stating "We don't have to start over when animals die, we just get more animals." I was expecting a serious refutation of this point on the part of the proposition to this provocative stance, and was surprised when the proposition basically let this go.

    This was a blunder on the part of the proposition, because it allowed the opposition to then capture the "MORALITY FRAMEWORK" for the round, solidifying the position that we don't care about animals, we are greater than them. The proposition tries to recapture this moral high ground by stating in her concluding speech that "Animals have rights too" but this commentary should have come sooner in the debate and more forcefully.

    Therefore, I am forced to consider that animals are really less important than humans (a position I find difficult to embrace, I might add) which changes the entire evaluation on the debate. There are so many reasons that this stance is abhorrent: we are actually giving up quite a bit of our humanity when we commodify animals. However, none of these arguments enter the debate, so instead I will evaluate testing on animals on a purely human level, what do we get out of it?

    Which brings me to the discussion of the alternatives. This is another area where there was surprisingly little clash and give and take. The opposition doesn't address the alternatives effectively in this debate, in fact much of the arguments in the 1st opposition speech are focused on the alternative of human trials, which are largely irrelevant if the proposition is advocating non-human alternatives that can be shown to be cost effective and workable. These alternatives become the best option for the proposition in this debate.

    What makes the decision so difficult is that the proposition doesn't do a lot of the development on these alternatives. Simply mentioning that they exist, and that they can work isn't really demonstrating their efficacy. The argument is asserted that they work, but there isn't any comparison between the success rates of animal studies and any of the three alternatives. On the other hand, the opposition doesn't really help here when he doesn't even name the alternative methods, stating "She has some alternatives, none that I can remember by name" and has not done any counter research to prove that they don't work.

    So I am left with unsupported claims on the side of the proposition stating that alternatives are cheaper and more effective than testing on animals, compared to unsubstantiated claims on the side of the opposition stating that alternatives are not more effective than animal testing because they don't solve for toxicity (why not is not explained or supported.)

    The only side of the debate who supports their claims on the alternatives with any evidence is the proposition side, who quotes a human society article stating that these alternatives exist. But where is the evidence establishing that these alternatives are cost effective? Having more explicit analysis comparing the costs of these different methods would have strengthened this claim, by the way.

    In the end this was a very close debate. I end up voting for the proposition because the proposition convinces me we should use alternatives to animal testing because it might save us a few bucks.


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