I like this response.
Beyond that, I don’t have a clear answer. But I would like to offer up some ideas to at least contribute something to the discussion.
Animals that are carnivorous are just part of natural law. What separates us from other animals is we have a spirit. My priest disagrees with me on this, but technically speaking, I think we are animals as well. Warm-blooded vertebrates that produce live young. Biologically, we are designed as omnivores. Vegetarians sometimes have problems with nutritional deficiencies because it can be difficult to get enough protein without eating meat. If there has to be a food chain, I want to be on top! Why does cooked meat and sashimi taste so good?
I could be wrong, but in the Old Testament God was pleased with animal sacrifices. Why? I don’t have a clue.
We have all seen pictures of a peaceful existence where the lion is laying with the lamb. I am not yet well-enough educated in my faith to point to scripture, but I think there may be something in scripture about this, I just don’t know where to look. Maybe someone else knows. I don’t think that depiction of peaceful co-existence would apply to Adam and Eve’s time, as animals are definitely eating other animals now. It would imply that not only Adam and Eve fell, but animals are paying the price for Original Sin too! Maybe all is set straight in Heaven. The lion lays with the lamb and animals are there and exist for our enjoyment, not food!
Also, there is probably some Church writings on the proper way to care for and treat animals, if not in scripture. Again I wouldn’t know where to look.
Hopefully, some other posters can address some of the points I made here, rather than relying on my befuddled brain.
Please don’t leave the Church over this! If you feel that strongly about it, go vegan! You can still be a Catholic!
Yours in Christ