Most of the contributors to this site are fortunate enough to live in America. For this reason, nearly all of us are blessed with the ability to decide how we wish to live our own lives, what value systems we wish to adopt, and how to manifest those value systems in our own lives...
Some vegetarians/vegans (VVs) have chosen their lifestyle for religious reasons. Others have done so for supposed health benfits. Still others have done so out of some sense of morality and duty to animals. No matter the reason for the choice, they all have the benefit of being correct.
Correctness in this context is not defined by absolutes, but rather on whatever lifestyle choice makes the individual happy. VVism has become a contentious issue because a portion of VVs (typically, though not uniformly those who have chosen on the basis of "morality") have become somewhat evangelical in their beliefs, extending them beyond personal lifestyle choices to "animal rights activism" and the like.
Few people would argue that animals should generally be treated well, and generally not be abused. Few would argue also that those animals raised for consumption purposes should be brutalized or tortured as part of their slaughter. But few would agree that animals should not be consumed at all because that mere consumption is brutality and torture.
The issue, it seems, could be satisfactorily put to rest if people would agree to let each other make the choices that are best for themselves, and not try to impose choices on others. Any alternative would simply be un-American.