On MySpace (please don't laugh) I got a message to check out a Web site. The Web site was dedicated to Jewish Vegetarianism. This site said things such as "There is no doubt that the Torah's ideal is vegetarianism" and "A higher form of being kosher is being vegetarian." I guess what I "feel" that these rabbis might be saying is ... "don't take the chance! it's easier to be vegetarian and kosher!" While also respecting the social action aspect of properly treating all of G-d's creatures and such. The site also quotes a rabbi as saying "The dietary laws are intended to teach us compassion and lead us gently (back) to vegetarianism." Hrm. Intriguing and worth the thought.
And then there's our good man (what a hippie) Isaac Bashevis Singer: "I'm a vegetarian for health reasons -- the health of the animal."