I was at a retreat hosted at a Theravada monastery.
I learn that the Venerable Mangala (Theravada Myanmar) and my teacher (a bhikku) when I was there do Not eat meat at all.
On youtube, I have seen animals crying and even begging (with 4 limbs on the ground) when they know they are being slaughtered.
The Buddha spoke of compassion and also quelling arrogance. Simply quelling arrogance or bringing forth great compassion is a most difficult task to do.
When one is a mendicant (which really helps in quelling arrogance), it is most difficult to choose and pick your food.
The Buddha frequently of being kind and compassionate. He also spoke of opposites, sometimes praising isolation (not the best choice of word), sometimes praising friendship (I recall a quote where he says that having a kalamitra is a big part of cultivation).
And the triple jewel is Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and not Buddha, Sangha Dharma. After reading the Dharma, I feel a strong sense to be a plant based consumer.
Ananda, I permit the bhikshus to eat five kinds of pure meat. This meat is actually a transformation brought into being by my spiritual powers. It basically has no life-force. You brahmans live in a climate so hot and humid, and on such sandy and rocky land, that vegetables will not grow; therefore, I have had to assist you with spiritual powers and compassion. Because of the magnitude of this kindness and compassion, what you ea that tastes like meat is merely said to be meat; in fact, however, it is not. After my extinction, how can those who eat the flesh of living beings be called the disciples of Shakya?
Above text comes from a Mahayana Sutra named the Surangama Sutra http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama6/shurangama6_2.asp where the
Buddha elaborates on the 5 kinds of pure meat.
Luang Por Sumedho (Theravada) and Venerable Master Hsuan Hua (Mahayana) are leaders in their Buddhist lineage. They did not elaborate on this issues but they claim to be dharma brothers in past lifes. The above text comes from VM Hsuan Hua's branch website.
I brought in a lot more extraneous info, but I feel a need to clarify. Please forgive me if I said more than I need to.