Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex seems to equate Micheal Vick's heinous acts of hanging, drowning, and electrocuting dogs that apparently didn't have the affinity for fighting another dog to the death that Mr. Vick required with eating a hamburger.
On the one hand, the comparison seems specious in that we do not condone cow fighting to the death or cow torture; indeed those would be prosecutable offenses as well. I am pretty sure that bullfighting (at least to the death) is not legal in the USA. The distinction is clear, at least in theory. Perhaps a better analogy to Vick's acts would be with hunting and fishing, where with few exceptions, animals are killed for sport and often suffer grievously. Catch and release fishing is nothing more that fish torture.
However, on the other hand, many legal commercial practices in slaughterhouses are egregiously cruel and inhumane. The production of foie gras and veal in my opinion pass far over the line of what can be allowed to be done to animals for human enjoyment. Even everyday fare is often raised and slaughtered callously. Sections of Temple Grandin's excellent book describing current practices filled me with despair.
I was a vegetarian for over a decade, but have been eating meat occasionally for the past 10 years now. In our family, when we do eat meat, we make every effort to purchase organically grown, free range, grass fed, humanely slaughtered meat, but its hard to be consistent and I often feel like a hypocrite.
Farm Sanctuary is an excellent organization that promotes humane practices and I recommend checking them out if you have interest in this issue. Also The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, is another excellent book on the topic of ethical food.