Our ancestors hunted not only for food, but also for communication: it was a joint activity and a ritual. In some African tribes like Masai and Zulus, hunting is still the part of the initiation of a man. A modern city dweller only needs only a purse and a string bag to get his meat. He is a consumer that is why consumption process (eating) becomes significant and takes on metaphysical, sacral meaning.
I believe that our predatory desire to self-affirmation lies in the basis of this process: we are powerful species capable of enslaving. Perhaps we are eating creatures in the hope of gaining power, intelligence and sexuality. There is even a theory that red meat increases the libido of a person. Usually all these meanings are not realized by us therefore the craving for meat becomes uncontrollable. We become the slaves of our subconscious which requires to absorb a piece of flesh. Dead animals rule the living us; the enslaver is being enslaved.