Check out this article for some great links to resources on this topic: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/28/AR2009072800390.html
But the most notable reason is plants, (like vegetables) are roughly 99.5% efficient in terms of capturing the sun’s energy through photosynthesis. 2nd tier consumers can then only capture 10% of this energy from the plants, or 9.5% of the original energy from the sun. Efficiency lost is the main factor here. In addition, animals take huge amounts of cropland for grazing, which requires use of pesticides creating a whole level of problems as well.
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