Posted from the US
Why be a vegetarian?
There are many reasons, but the ethical reasoning is by far (my view) the strongest.
I'm certain that one day (near or distant future) that eating meat will be seen as a vestige of our older, more primitive days. Eating meat may very well be ingrained in our DNA - it is likely part of our survival mechanism. Perhaps it is part of an older neural structure in our brains. Killing (we like wars) is probably tied into that part of the brain as well.
But we evolve, and evolving away from eating meat is a natural progression towards a societal structure that also views war as primitive, not neccessary, and something that we overcame as our minds and concepts evolved.
Being a vegetarian does not mean that one is enlightened, and it is also possible that many good and enlightened people are not vegetarian (yet). However, I do believe that on the path to becoming enlightened and evolved there comes the time when eating meat simply becomes seen as wrong.
There are many native cultures where killing animals is/was neccessary for survival - and the killing often took on a ritualistic meaning. However, in the modern world there are only weak arguments left for eating meat - our survival does not depend on it.
Some religious people believe that animals were placed here on earth for the sole purpose to provide sustenance and labor for man. That is a fairly egocentric, "the universe revolves around the earth" point of view. Our exploitation of animals is shameful and embaressing on many levels - but many do not see this yet. There was a time when people believed that some people should be slaves and that those people were somehow less than human and here on earth to serve. This idea was shattered, but vestiges of it still persist. Highly educated people believed and practiced complete nonsense.
Being an ethical vegetarian is a move beyond old nonsense - it is an acknowledgement that one is free of the mental bias and baggage that has plagued humanity for thousands of years. It is a view that places humans on a high plane - but not one that gives us the right to exploit others. That arrogant sense of right to use and exploit is something that we must overcome, all of us, one day.
Most (not all) of us are not in situations where our basic survival depends on hunting down food. We don't really care about cows, chickens, fish, and the other animals that we choose to eat. It seems silly and odd to even think about them as anything but living only to produce flesh for our consumption.
But think about it - in your own way and in your own time. It is wrong. You may not understand it now, or ever, or you may have flickers of understanding. When you were young maybe you understood this better - because when you were young you did not yet understand "the way the world works" - you did not yet understand the old, hardened way that has been passed down.
It is a leap - it is hard to understand - it is hard to relate. But to move on, this is one of the things we should try to understand. On this I have no doubt.