I am sorry, but God clearly demanded sacrifices of animals. Jesus was the final sacrifice, His blood provides the atonement that Israel looked forward to and the animals were symbols of this sacrifice. This is a difficult thing for us to accept, I know, but it is what it is and to pretend that it is not is to be disingenuous.
I believe that comparing the sacrificial system required of Israel to today's factory farming and our culture's gorging on animal flesh purely for pleasure, they are incomparable. I would love a well written article or comment on this to share with my brother who points out that God instituted animal sacrifice and then turns around and equates this with God's blessing on his consumption of animals. Anyone?