0:06 Improve gut health
1:47 Helps protects against certain cancers
2:34 May help reduce the risk of heart disease
4:25 Cut meat and boost immunity
5:08 Environmental benefits
Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, sheep, rabbits, pigs and cattle. This eventually led to their use in meat production on an industrial scale with the aid of slaughterhouses.
Meat is mainly composed of water, protein, and fat. It is edible raw, but is normally eaten after it has been cooked and seasoned or processed in a variety of ways. Unprocessed meat will spoil or rot within hours or days as a result of infection with and decomposition by bacteria and fungi.
Meat is important to economies and cultures, but the production and consumption of meat pose risks for human health, animal health, and the environment. Vegetarians and vegans do not eat meat for reasons such as the ethics of eating meat, the environmental effects of meat production, the health effects of meat consumption, or religious dietary rules. 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, and matur in Icelandic and Faroese, 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).
Most often, meat refers to skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as offal.: 1 Meat is sometimes also used in a more restrictive sense to mean the flesh of mammalian species (pigs, cattle, lambs, etc.) raised and prepared for human consumption, to the exclusion of fish, other seafood, insects, poultry, or other animals.
In the context of food, meat can also refer to “the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (such as a husk or shell)”, for example, coconut meat.
In English, there are also specialized terms for the meat of particular animals. These terms originated with the Norman conquest of England in 1066: while the animals retained their English names, their meat as brought to the tables of the invaders was referred to them with the Norman French words for the respective animal. In time, these appellations came to be used by the entire population.