Meat tastes good.
That’s why. Why are so many people overweight, when it’s clearly better for your health to avoid eating too much? Because junk food tastes good.
We’ve evolved to eat meat, and to like foods that are high in fats and salts, because that’s what we needed to survive. We can survive on vegan diets now, but there were times in our evolutionary past when that was more difficult. So while as a society we’ve developed civilizations and societies that no longer REQUIRE meat to survive, we’re still the same biological entities that have evolved to eat meat, and have a taste for it. We’re omnivores, and as omnivores we have a certain amount of predatory instinct.
For most people, they can hear about how animals are hurt but they are able to ignore it… to shut it out and keep on living the way they do. Societies don’t change so easily, and something as common as meat consumption is easy to just go along with.
What it takes is to truly realize the level of suffering that’s going on, and your role in it. You have to realize that your taste is not worth the amount of suffering happening in the world. That’s not easy. I love the taste of bacon, steak, a meat lover’s pizza… and to a certain extent I miss them. I look forward to the day when we can grow meat in a vat, or replicate it a-la Star Trek… so that we can eat meat without killing or harming animals. But I recognize that eating meat causes more suffering than it’s worth, no matter how good it tastes to me.
That’s not an easy realization to come to when everyone around you eats meat. When it’s normal to eat meat. When vegans are stigmatized as just “hippies”.
There’s also the case of religion. Some people interpret religious texts as giving humans dominion over animals… as claiming that animals are soulless machines with no real value compared to humankind, and saying that we can do whatever we want to them. That’s not everyone, but that’s some people.
But some of us are vegans and that’s good. We’re growing in numbers. It’ll probably take Star Trek or meat-vat technology before we’ve put an end to the killing of animals for food and clothing but we can certainly move things towards that goal.