This may help us to be less inclined to consume out of mere greed.
Few of us are in a position to judge meat eaters or anyone else for "killing by proxy." Being part of the world economy entails "killing by proxy" in every act of consumption.
Vegetarianism could not become a source of serious controversy in the bhikkhu sangha until the rise of fixed-abode monastic communities in which the monks did not practice daily alms-round.
Any meat provided to such a community by lay people would almost certainly have been killed specifically for the monks.
To reject such an offering would be an offense against hospitality and would deprive the householder of an opportunity to gain merit -- and it could not benefit the animal, because it was already dead.
Even the Jains may have had a similar outlook during the same period of history, despite the strict doctrine of ahimsa.