Like other Americans, I've reconciled myself to the idea that an animal's life has been sacrificed to bring me a meal of pork or chicken. However, industrial meat production - which subjects animals to a life of torture - has escalated the karmic costs beyond reconciliation.
Being vegan truly is the secret to my life's joy and peace. I feel physically and spiritually better than I could have ever imagined knowing that I am doing everything I can to reduce animal suffering with simple lifestyle choices like being vegan, never wearing any products made from animals (like wool and leather), and buying only from companies that NEVER test their products or ingredients on animals.
Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.