Animal flesh--proteins and minerals--are not available in plants (not the same at all); while one can argue we eat too much red meat in western cultures, that's a different argument altogether. Moreover, scientists believe that the eating of animal flesh is what in fact is responsible for the growth of the human brain. Also, and contrary to the beliefs of vegans (who sometimes say otherwise), it's an accepted fact that monkeys, like chimpanzees for e.g., eat meat: the lead male of the tribe is in fact smarter and stronger than the rest of his "tribe" as a result of that meat. Now, not being "savages" like that chimp, we don't grab baby animals and eat them alive. I don't have anything against vegans any more than I have anything against those who don't follow kosher law. (Food rules, including the proper treatment of animals; humans have the right to use animals for legitimate human needs, like food and clothing and including hunting and trapping, but not "blood sports"--i.e., dog-fights/cock-fights/etc.) Freedom of religion and consciousness is an individual human right and I won't ram the bible down the throats of those who feel differently, provided they don't try to force their beliefs--howsoever arrived at--onto the rest of us. To each their own. Besides, steak comes from the grocery store and leather boots/shoes/coats/belts, etc. come from the retail store, don’t they?
(Guys, might as well be arguing religion here, which views on the matter are actually backed by science on this one; I’m just saying, that’s all. Otherwise, it's a human right to choose for oneself so to each their own. This is all).