That there is evolution of species does in no way justify us inflicting unnecessary suffering and death upon animals. You have already recognized that animals have a moral value, since you are opposed to the abuse of animals. However, killing and hurting animals for "taste" is surely a transgression of their right to live as free and independent individuals, which they have being sentient beings with a moral value.
Humans having the body of an herbivore [see footnote 1], animal products are being bad for us , and we have no nutritional need at all for animal products . Just like the gorillas, cows and horses and many other animals we are herbivores. Just like cows, we can eat meat, however it is not good for our body, and not good for us spiritually .
We can’t look at other species, and justify our behavior, just because there are predators that hurt and kill other beings. There are many behaviors that some predators do that we would never justify, and if we use this methodology almost any human behavior can be justified. Put a small bunny in the same room as a small child. She will not try to hurt and kill the bunny. Hurting and killing other sentient beings is something that is contradictory to our inner nature, our loving, compassionate and nonviolent nature; and is something that is only learnt by the indoctrination of our culture, which has reduced animals to being commodities. Doing this as a regular habit, we disconnect ourselves to the animals, and we lose some of our capacity to understand that it is wrong to take the life of another being - who is consciousness just like us. Just because they have been given another body than us, doesn't mean that there is any essential difference. This is also discussed in the wonderful book World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle . If you visited a slaughterhouse you would see that the animals don’t want to die and that they suffer tremendously when someone is taking their precious life. See more movies about animals, their lives and their treatment at www.vegankit.com
1.http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html; 2. http://www.adelicatebalance.com.au/ ;3. http://www.drmcdougall.com/ ; http://www.forksoverknives.com/
4. www.worldpeacediet.org ; good lecture here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PkQrJZYZN4&NR=1&feature=endscreen
"There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals
in their mental faculties ... The difference in mind between man and the
higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of
"The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man."