The presence of canine teeth
in a critter's mouth does not necessarily make said critter a carnivore
, (and dogs, by the way) are omnivores, meaning that though they can eat meat, they also eat everything else, including grains, vegetables, etc. Cats, otoh, are carnivores. Most of the teeth in a cat's mouth are pointy-ish and cone shaped, the perfect design for ripping and tearing flesh and muscle.
Humans differ from most of the other members of the beloved food chain
because they are able to exercise an (also beloved) option known as free will.
Humans, unlike cats and slugs and fleas, have the capacity to decide whether they want
to eat meat or not. Generally speaking, you're not likely to run into a cat who's thinking to himself, "you know, that little mole over there looks succulent and tasty, but is it really right
for me to end someone else's life just so I can have a hearty meal?" Or, for that matter -- "hmmm, I'd really like to eat that there injured baby 'possum, but oh, me oh my...the fat and the calories!"
For a human to choose not to eat meat is not a refusal of that particular human to accept his or her rightful position in the ecosystem or on the food chain. It is usually a decision based on nutrition, environmental concerns, and morals. It is an exercise of one of the things that truly separates us from our non-human counterparts -- the ability to choose behaviors based on factors other than instinct. And, in my everso humble opinion, it's relatively crappy for those of us who do eat meat to behave as though those of us who don't must simply be silly, bleeding-heart, anthropomorphist
According to Frances Moore Lappe's Diet For A Small Planet,
"cattle are the most wasteful converters of grain to meat, (and) They are responsible for releasing enormous quantities of methane
into the atmosphere
, which has made a documented contribution to global warming. Moreover, commercial invasion of the South and Central American rainforests
now implicates cattle ranching in the one-and-a-half acre per second (!) destruction of the remaining rainforests worldwide."
Besides. Cows are cute. ;)