Wesley J. Smith is just one example of many people who make the assumption that intent doesn't matter when it comes to killing animals. He wrote:
"Plant agriculture results each year in the mass slaughter of countless animals, including rabbits, gophers, mice, birds, snakes, and other field creatures. These animals are killed during harvesting, and in the various mechanized farming processes that produce wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, and other staples of vegan diets."
To him, and countless others, it's all the same. Killing is killing and intent doesn't matter.
Someone dies. So what if you didn't pull the trigger? You were there. Then you're guilty of murder! So what if you called 911? So what if it was an accident? So what if he had a food allergy neither of you knew about? So what if he died of natural causes? None of it matters. Intent, context, history... none of it matters. Dead is dead.
Obviously, it's ridiculous to act as though it's OK to eat meat simply because most plant farming results in some unintended animal killing. There's a BIG difference between intentionally killing animals for food and unintentionally killing animals for food. There is a big difference between a) breeding, raising, and slaughtering animals in order to eat them and b) accidentally killing wild animals during the process of harvesting plants. Intent matters.
But meat people don't care. They don't like logic, reason, or thinking clearly. They just like meat. So they'll use any excuse in the book to defend their clearly immoral decision to eat animals.