Many veg*ns are interested in advocating veg*nism effectively, and almost all are at least interested in being able to defend their choice from critical meat-eaters. Therefore questions which will help readers in such discussions are probably of great interest to many members of this community, and I think they should be on-topic. However there seems to be very few questions like what I have in mind, so I'm hesitant. Here are some examples of questions I want to ask, along with justifications:
What percentage of chickens labeled 'free range' have their beaks cut off?
- It's common for non-vegans to be against animal cruelty but fine with eating animal products in general, based on the assumption that cruelty is not common and/or cruelty is not involved in the products they eat. Answers to this question would help determine the probability that someone who is not researching their food sources carefully is participating in a system they would object to. They would also give insight into the feasibility of a utopia where animal products are still eaten in high volumes but all the animals are treated kindly.
How much meat, dairy, and eggs could be produced without using land that could be used to grow crops for human consumption?
- When discussing the environmental impact of eating animal products, particularly in terms of land use and deforestation, a common counter-argument is that a lot of land is not fertile enough to grow crops for humans: it can only be used to grow lower quality crops for animals, or for direct grazing. Answers to this question would indicate how significant this counter-argument is.
Can chickens suffer?
- I've been in an argument where someone insisted that chickens do not have sufficiently advanced brains to suffer, i.e. experience negative emotions. They only accepted that chickens feel 'pain' but with a naive understanding of what pain means (they were thinking of nociception). I found this hard to counter because all of my initial sources were dismissed as not being credible. I did eventually find a good source which I intend to include in my own answer to this question.
I'm not looking to ask questions that will lead to philosophical discussions or anything of the sort. They should still be specific and answerable with concrete facts.
The questions are not necessarily meant to promote veg*nism, but rather to help find the truth that both sides seek. Sometimes such questions may lead to answers that are in favour of eating animal products.