I must admit I had a good giggle at the PETA comment :P It's not taking a shot at the OP, or any vegans for that matter, it's just a joke ;) I think PETA has the right idea, but they don't take into account other factors such as economy when they run around telling us that eating animals is bad.
Fair call when it's an endangered animal (I thought the seals they kill in Canada were endangered??? THAT I don't agree with, and the photo's plastered all over the net of the poor little buggers being bludgeoned to death makes me sick), but for things like the roo culls here in Australia, well there are millions of the buggers hopping around the place, probably more roos than cows, they're certainly not endangered!! And for the brumby culls. YES they do need to be culled. YES they are a part of our heritage, and it would be a real shame to complete wipe them out, but the numbers need to be kept down to protect the native animals who are dying out as a result of the brumbies being there.
And as for horse slaughter. Well i sure as hell would rather see a sorry looking horse at a slaughterhouse (a respectable slaughter house mind you, there are some real horror houses around which make me feel ill) than standing in a paddock barely standing, skin and bones with no food and water.
And the racehorses. How many thousands of them are bred every year and don't make it to the track?? There's not thousands of homes for them to go to when they don't make it, particularly for the really average ones of real mean ones. It's far better on the horse to get a quick bullet in the head, not know a thing about what's going on it's that quick, than suffer a life time of being shuffled between homes, being underfed, mistreated and confused.
And what of the injured ones? Do we just shoot and bury, shoot and bury... we'll run out of space!
Without humans having uses for certain stock animals, they wouldn't be in existence. Cows would have been gone eons ago! Plus, they're going to get slaughtered anyway. So why waste them? Leather may as well get used, the cow is dead, it's not going to have any other use on the planet why not makes it's death useful rather than letting it die in vain and let it rot away?
Thats my take on it anyway.