According to a post under NPR's online Health section, bacon is a gateway to meat for vegetarians. Do I even need to point out the irony in a pro-bacon post in the "health" section?
I get it. The smell of greasy fat on the stove top smells good, but so much so that vegetarians forget about the pigs that suffered and died for said bacon? It seems to me that vegetarians, even "ethical" ones are either uneducated or choosing to ignore the cruelty in their own diets.
There's certainly no way to rank which animals raised for consumption have it worse (without being speciesist) but if you're still consuming cow's milk, that's pretty bad. In fact, I dare say that if a friend came to me and asked, "Should I give up flesh or dairy?" (and both isn't an option- yeah right), I'd have to say dairy, since cows raised for their milk have to be slaves first before becoming hamburger. I think you lose some credibility on ethics when you still consume dairy. It's no surprise to me that people who don't get the whole picture would also allow their compassion to lapse, and before I get a angry comments, I'm not generalizing all vegetarians, and it's definitely better to do something than nothing.
That said, I don't know any vegans in danger of forgetting their values for the taste of dead pig fat.