I love animals. And I eat animals.
How do I reconcile this?
By respecting the mighty elegance of nature and its cycles and symbioses.
In nature, things must die so other things can live.
The plants are eaten by bugs, which are eaten by birds.
Small prey is hunted by big predators.
Carnivores eat herbivores, which eat plants.
Humans — carnivore-leaning omnivores (kind of like dogs: can eat plants and get some nutrition from them, but earn the bulk of their nourishment from consuming animals) — must eat other animals in order to thrive in the way we are designed. Period.
Just like sharks eat meat, lions eat meat, and even our cute little house cats are ferocious, meat-eaters, we, too, eat other animals.
I respect that animals must kill other living things in order to stay alive.
And I'm an animal too.
The one way I believe humans differ from the other animals in the kingdom is that, with our big brains and uber-sentience, we can express gratitude for the living things that gave their lives for us. And I do. I appreciate the cattle, the fish, the wild game, the pigs, chickens, flora, fauna, and fungi.
And I respect my predator peers — bears, big cats, wolves, sharks and other sabre-toothed creatures that would gobble me up in a heartbeat if the chance presented itself.
It's nature and we are nature.