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I was a vegetarian (plus fish, couldn't give up fish) for 2 years. It stemmed from a documentary on elephants and just how people take animals for granted. Oh and I wanted to keep getting action from my PETA loving girlfriend of the time.
The first time I had bacon after that whole ordeal was almost orgasmic and I'll never go back. I got a lot from that time though, like a deep respect for animals. And now I raise (or hunt), kill and butcher a lot of my own meat. But it's with a lot of respect. I've taken the mindset from the native americans and acknowledging that my prey has made a great sacrifice to feed me and my family. I don't let much go to waste and try to really appreciate that sacrifice they didn't choose to make. I raise my animals with respect and treat them well so that though their deaths are immanent to feed my family, their lives may be well lived.
When I do buy meat I try to avoid big corporations that treat both their animals and farmers like shit.
In my life I try to avoid swinging pendulums. Meaning just because the way animals are treated in horrendous factory farms doesn't mean I need to swing to the opposite end and be a vegetarian. It means I need to respect living creatures and honor them in death. This is all because I want to make a conscious effort to live my life in the middle. Balance0