Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fatand other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs andoffal. In the Anglosphere,meat is generally used by themeat packing industry in a more restrictive sense—theflesh of mammalian species (pigs, cattle, lambs, etc.) raised and prepared for human consumption, to the exclusion of fish, poultry, and other animals. Usage varies worldwide by culture, and some countries such as India have large populations that avoid the consumption of all or most kinds of meat. Game or bush meat is also generally distinguished from that produced by agriculture.
The consumption of meat has various traditions and rituals associated with it in different cultures such as kosher and halal and its production is generally regulated by state authorities as well. This article is mainly focused on that process from primary production to consumption.
The word meat comes from the Old English word mete, which referred to food in general. The term is related to mad in Danish, mat in Swedish and Norwegian, andmatur in Icelandic, which also mean ‘food’. The word “mete” also exists in Old Frisian(and to a lesser extent, modern West Frisian) to denote important food, differentiating it from “swiets” (sweets) and “dierfied” (animal feed).
One definition that refers to meat as not including fish developed over the past few hundred years and has religious influences.