The NY Times has published some essays on the subject, adjudged by a rather, shall we say, partisan (and mostly intellectually lightweight) panel. (Thanks to David Auerbach for the pointer.) The whole thing is most interesting, to me at least, from a sociological point of view, i.e., that the subject is even thought to be a subject, which should be addressed in a mass media publication, one whose own record of actual ethical lapses is long enough to make factory farming look like charity. That the main audience for the NY Times is the "morally sensitive", but ideologically deluded, New York City bourgeoisie is no doubt part of the explanation. It is, in any case, a clear victory for the Singerite pop utilitarian movement that this question is even deemed worth discussing.
ADDENDUM: Given my e-mail correspondence, this post was clearly a triumph of ambiguity, so let me try to dispel some of it. Many topics are worth discussing by philosophers, but the NY Times discusses almost none of them, let alone calls for essays from readers on the subject. Why, then, would the NY Times single out this particular topic for this kind of special treatment? (That it does so is clearly a victory for the Singerite pop utilitarian movement, a sign of the extent to which it has permeated aspects of mass culture.) And, of course, it singles it out for discussion in a very particular way, i.e., premised on the idea that the eating of meat requires ethical justification (most of the essays are rather half-hearted defenses as well!). Imagine the analogies for other topics the Times might have addressed: e.g., "Given the criminal war of aggression against Iraq, should Bush and Cheney be hung or merely imprisoned for life?" or "Is it ethical to defend American capitalism, given its failure to meet human needs?" That these questions are not, and certainly will not, be discussed in a similar forum is what strikes me as sociologically interesting. I'll have a bit more to say about the philosophical merits later, though that wasn't what really caught my attention about this display.