One of the reasons I decided to stop eating meat is because I didn’t believe I could love animals and eat them too. Loving animals doesn’t mean just loving some of them – the cute and fuzzy ones (cows are cute and fuzzy too!) or the ones you call your pets. Loving animals requires you to stop thinking of them as a piece of meat, and distancing the meat on your plate from a living, breathing organism that can think and feel just like you.
I think many people have a problem with this, because they don’t see animals as being equal to humans. I disagree. I believe that “man [is] just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his ‘divine spiritual and intellectual development,’ has become the most vicious animal of all” (Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible, p. 25). In extension, this means I don’t believe we own animals and we especially don’t have the right to decide when another being should die. There is no ethical meat. No animal wants to die. There is no ‘humane’ way to kill.