"I say live and let live; whether or not I eat meat is a personal choice"
So, that is a vacuous statement. Stealing is a personal choice. What does that even mean?
It hurts animals, other people, and the environment. So it technically is no more a personal choice than any other type of immoral activity. Is stealing a personal choice? Is murder? That can't be a serious defense of an accusation that you've harmed a victim in literally any other context.