Animals kill and consume animals. It’s a fact of life. And the Earth itself not only provides life for animals but it consumes them too (through death and decomposition). Nature is carnivorous, through and through.
I do not mean this as a criticism of vegetarianism or veganism. Everyone has his or her reasons. But I really do think that a person who loves reality, who is committed to being at peace with reality as it is, will not shy away from the consumption of animals on purely ethical grounds. Perhaps taste. That is understandable. Some people simply do not like meat (though the lamb lollipops I had last night make this hard to believe:-P )
It is also understandable to not eat meat because you are not happy with the modern food supply and modern practices of raising meat.
But let me just be clear about something: modern industrial practices do not nullify the fact that human beings are part of nature and, in fact, natural meat eaters.
The best solution for the modern person is not to abandon meat and thus further your displacement from nature, but to change the way you eat meat. Raise your own animals and participate in (and appreciate) their death. Or buy your meat from a neighbor. Know where your meat comes from. Experience the harvest of an animal (this past spring I experienced the harvest of rabbits for the first time and it was a rewarding experience). For a great book on this topic read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
As a species, we have displaced ourselves from our natural setting. Part of realizing peace and health is restructuring our lives to be at peace with our natural constitutions as human beings.
All the science shows that every successful population of human beings to have lived prior to the agriculture revolution (i.e. the vast majority of human history) consumed meat / fish / fowl as their primary source of calories. And modern science (and personal anecdote) clearly show that meat satiates us better than any other other macronutrient. The thing is, just like everything else, doing meat the *right way* takes work. It’s a lot easier to get our calories through convenience than our own hard work. But it’s not the best way.
We are omnivorious and primarily carnivorous. Just like nature.