At-least two views can be developed regarding this:
View 1: Categorical [Paurāṇika verse's] view:
- Sattvika people, and/or, devotees of Vishnu mustn't even kill a being (even in a Vedic sacrifice). So no question of eating meat for those people, either brahmins or otherwise.
As per some verses in Book 2 - Vaiṣṇava-Khaṇḍa (Vāsudeva-Māhātmya) of the Skanda-Purāṇa, not just the Brahmins, but, all the devotees of the god Viṣṇu
(be it any caste/varna/creed/gender/asura/sura) must not even indulge in animal sacrifice or any other kind of violence, let alone eating any meat.
Skanda-Purāṇa maintains that the interpretation of Vedic verse is of three kinds, as per the gunas of the person and the deity being worshipped by them (iṣta) viz. Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika.
Thus, for Visnu, only and only Sattvika form of sacrifice is to be done, which as per Skanda-Purāṇa is the "true" interpretation of Vedas.
This follows from the story of the Uparicara Vasu, who got caught in a brawl between the Indra ( Viśvajit of Svāyaṃbhuva Manvantara), and somme highly exalted sages (Maharṣis), regarding "correct-interpretation" of Vedic verses, and thus he fell down from heaven (the sages cursed him), and entered the bowels of the earth for speaking an untruth out of partiality for the heaven-dwellers.
I'm quoting some relevant verses from Chapter 6 - Fall of Uparicara Vasu: Section 9 - Vāsudeva-Māhātmya in the Book 2 - Vaiṣṇava-khaṇḍa of Skanda-Purāṇa. Full chapter can be read from the link for a complete understanding of the context.
महर्षय ऊचुः ।
रजस्तमोदोषवशात्तथाप्यसुरपा नृपाः ।
मेध्येनाजेन यष्टव्यमित्यादौ मतिजाड्यतः ।
छागादिमर्थं बुबुधुर्व्रीह्यादिं तु न ते विदुः ॥ १६ ॥
The great sages said:
- Kings, rulers of Asuras, however, due to the fault of Rajas and Tamas, and
dullness of intellect, take ‘a he-goat’ etc. as the meaning
of “Aja” in the injunction “sacrifice should be performed with a
sacrificial Aja.” They did not know Vrīhi (rice) etc. (which is its
सात्त्विकानां तु युष्माकं वेदस्यार्थो यथा स्थितः ।
ग्रहीतव्योन्यथा नैव तादृशी च क्रियोचिता ॥ १७ ॥
- In your case, who are created out of Sattvaguṇa, the true meaning of
the Vedas should be accepted. Otherwise, that kind of performance
(involving violence) is not at all proper.
सात्त्विकानां हि वो देवः साक्षाद्विष्णू रमापतिः ।
अहिंसयज्ञेऽस्ति ततोऽधिकारस्तस्य तुष्टये ॥ १९ ॥
- To you who are Sāttvikas the god is directly Viṣṇu, the consort of Ramā.
For his gratification, one is authorized to perform a Yajña which
does not involve any violence.
प्रत्यक्षपशुमालभ्य यज्ञस्याचरणं तु यत् ।
धर्मः स विपरीतो वै युष्माकं सुरसत्तमाः ॥ २० ॥
- The performance of a sacrifice by actually killing a beast, is contrary to
Dharma in your case, O excellent Suras.
रजस्तमोगुणवशादासुरीं संपदं श्रिताः ।
युष्माकं याजका ह्येते सन्त्यवेदविदो यथा ॥ २१ ॥
- These performers of sacrifice on your behalf have resorted to Asura type of
performance due to their being subjected to Rajas and
Tamas Guṇas. They are ignorant of Vedas.
राजसानां तामसानामासुराणां तथा नृणाम् ।
यथागुणं भैरवाद्या उपास्याः सन्ति देवताः ॥ २३ ॥
- For Asuras and human beings, characterised by Rajas and Tamas Guṇas, there
are deities like Bhairava and oṃers, worthy of being
propitiated according to the Guṇas (of the devotees).
स्वगुणानुगुणात्मीयदेवतातुष्टये भुवि ।
हिंस्रयज्ञविधानं यत्तेषामेवोचितं हि तत् ॥ २४ ॥
- In this world, for the gratification of one’s deity of suitable guṇa,
conforming to one’s own (i.e. devotee’s) guṇa, the performance
of sacrifice involving violence is enjoined for them.
तत्रापि विष्णुभक्ता ये दैत्यरक्षोनरादयः ।
तेषामप्युचितो नास्ति हिंस्रयज्ञः कुतस्तु वः ॥ २५ ॥
25. Even out of them, for the Daityas, Rākṣasas and human beings who are devotees of Viṣṇu, Yajña involving violence is not proper. How can it be so, in your case?
सात्त्विकानां देवतानां सुरामांसाशनं क्वचित् ।
अस्माभिस्त्वीक्षितं नैव न श्रुतं च सतां मुखात् ॥ २७ ॥
तस्माद्व्रीहिभिरेवासौ यज्ञः क्षीरेण सर्पिषा ।
मेध्यैरन्नरसैश्चाऽन्यैः कार्यो न पशुहिंसया ॥ २८ ॥
- Consumption of liquor and eating of flesh by Sāttvika deities is neither seen
by us nor heard from the mouths of saintly people
- Hence this sacrifice should be performed with rice, milk, ghee and other
foodstuffs fit for being used in sacrifices, and not with the
killing of beasts.
This story, along with endorsement of ahiṃsa and thus it's pro-vegetarian stance
is also found in:
So, this seems to suggest that the Sattvika type of worship doesn't involve any killing, thus no meat-eating is prescribed for Sattvika people (and devotees of Vishnu), even in the form of a consecrated sacrifice' prasadam.
View 2: Acharya's / (Jagad)Guru's View:
- Sacrificial (non-spicy) meat, which is consecrated, may be consumed as 'prasadam' exclusively, and not for taste-bud gratification.
Here's a selective list of acharyas, from various Sects (& Schools), along with their endorsement of the "Veda sanctioned animal-sacrifice" verse in Brahma Sutras, i.e., one should sacrifice an animal in an Agniṣṭoma-yajña.
Adhyāya III. Pada I. Adhikaraṇa VI, Sūtra: 25.
अशुद्धमिति चेन्न शब्दात् ।।३.१.६, २५।।
||Support Animal Sacrifice?
||Shrouta Shaiva Siddhanta
||Bramha (Madhva)/ Sadh Sampradaya
|Sripati Pandita Aradhya
||Svabhavika Bhedabheda (Dvaitadvaita)
|Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣhana
Now, when the above views of acharyas be read in conjunction with Manusmriti 5.27, then such kind of 'Vedic sacrifice meat', which is non-spicy, might be allowed, but only as prasadam.
Further, in reference to the same verse, Ācharya Medhātithi notes-
The text does not mean that one must eat meat under the circumstances; all that is meant is that if the Brāhmaṇas are very superior persons, then the disobeying of their wish would not be right
and the sanction does not apply to the eating of ‘carnivorous birds’
and the rest, or to the case of a man who has resolved to give up meat
in view of ‘ceasing to eat meat being conducive to highest
results,’—irrespective of the fact of the meat being either
‘consecrated’ or ‘unconsecrated,’ or ‘offered’ or ‘not offered.’
So, for animal killed at a Vedic sacrifice, eating meat:-
View 1: Must be avoided (in fact killing must be avoided), in Sattvika Worship and for deities like Vishnu.
View 2: only consecrated meat may be consumed, but is not obligatory, even if the meat is from a Vedic sacrifice.