It's important to remember than humans are biologically designed to consume and utilize animal protein, and thinking "protein is protein" is a mistake as there are significant differences between animal and plant proteins. Humans need to stop trying to separate themselves from the rest of the natural flora and fauna of this planet! Like bears, humans, are OMNIVOROUS! For crying out loud, if we realize that the other fauna of Earth are also sentient, then we must accept and fully acknowledge that the bear knows the salmon is also sentient, yet the bear seems to have no issues eating the salmon when the opportunity arises.
And considering most of the alternatives to leather, etc, are in fact made of petroleum based products, you're trading one problem that you don't like to a bigger problem that you'd rather turn a blind eye to.
A much bigger and far more real problem is the massive overpopulation of humans on this tiny planet.
An aspect that so many people miss is that this planet is becoming ever more dangerously overpopulated with humans. The REAL problem is the fact that this planet is not evolutionarily designed for the MASSIVE overpopulation of humans. It took just 123 years for the human population to double from the first 1 billion in 1804 to 2 billion in 1927. Then only 33 years to reach 3 billion. In 47 years, the total population has more than doubled from 3+ Billion humans to 7+ Billion today. The problem is NOT the people who eat meat but that humans breed nearly faster than unchecked rabbits. Human breeding (not black, not Jewish, not Muslim, not [fill in the blank with ethnic group(s) of choice], but HUMAN breeding desperately needs to be slowed. It is this overpopulation that ultimately causes all of the major fights over resources (e.g. fuel, potable water, etc), and is the root cause of climate change (that statement is in no way a defense of Big Oil or King Coal). When the original texts of the Bible were written, particularly the bit about "be fruitful and multiply," human population worldwide on Earth only counted in the millions. It was just over two centuries ago that humans crossed the 1 billion mark. And the population has more than doubled in the last 50 YEARS. Guess what: you've been very fruitful and multiplied like rabbits. Now knock it off already!
And there's something else the high and mighty vegans constantly overlook in their deluded superiority - Veganism is in fact Not healthy for everyone.
What about all of the plants every one of us murder every day? What? Just because they can't run, fly, or swim away and you can't hear their screams, it's alright to kill and mutilate them? (Mowing the lawn and cutting shrubs into fanciful shapes is mutilation, even though they don't bleed!) Thinking otherwise further proves you're faunacentric.
It wasn't long ago that it was generally accepted that non-human animals don't feel pain the way that humans do. Now, it is becoming far more accepted that the inverse is true. What's more, scientists are discovering that plants also form friendships and remember their experiences, that they really are asking asking for our help, and the evidence is growing that plants are also conscious.
Let's face it, Human "ethics" in terms of diet are an artificial construct born from humanity constantly trying to separate themselves from the rest of the flora and fauna of this planet. If plants were able to fight back, humans would undoubtedly be at the top of their target list due to not only the ingestion of plants but also that humans are continuously cutting down living plants for everything from buildings and clothing all the way to topiary.
Just as there is a whole sexuality spectrum that we see and know clearly within the biological gender binary, there is also obviously a dietary spectrum to be found within the omnivorous binary that runs from herbivorous to carnivorous and everything in between; and trying to force people, even if only by social pressure, to become completely herbivorous is just as wrong as it is to put peer pressure on members of the LGBT community to be heterosexual.
- Rev. J.T. Smith