ETYM Old Eng. mete, AS. mete; akin to OS. mat, meti, Dutch met hashed meat, German mettwurst sausage, Old High Germ. maz food, Icel. matr, Swed. mat, Dan. mad, Goth. mats. Related to Mast fruit, Mush.
Flesh of animals taken as food, in Western countries chiefly from domesticated herds of cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry. Major exporters include Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, and Denmark (chiefly bacon). The practice of cooking meat is at least 600,000 years old. More than 40% of the world's grain is now fed to animals.
Animals have been hunted for meat since the beginnings of human society. The domestication of animals for meat began during the Neolithic era in the Middle East about 10,000 BC.
Meat is wasteful in production (the same area of grazing land would produce far greater food value in cereal crops). The consumption of meat in 1989 was 111 kg/244 lb per person in the US, 68 kg/150 lb in the UK, 30 kg/66 lb in Japan, 6 kg/13 lb in Nigeria, and 1 kg/2.2 lb in India. Research suggests that, in a healthy diet, consumption of meat (especially with a high fat content) should not exceed the Japanese level.
Meat substitutes are textured vegetable protein (TVP), usually soy-based and extruded in fibers in the same way as plastics.
Grazing lands take up more than 1.4 billion acres/3,000 million hectares and produce about 140 million tons of meat per year.
The flesh of animals (including fishes and birds and snails) used as food.