Meat is flesh that is eaten as food. Many Union members are either carnivorous or omnivorous, and have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, sheep, pigs and cattle, and eventually their use in meat production on an industrial scale.
Meat is mainly composed of water and protein, and is usually eaten together with other food. 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 consumption varies Union wide, depending on societal, cultural or religious preferences, as well as economic conditions. Vegetarians choose not to eat meat because of ethical, economic, environmental, religious or health concerns that are associated with meat production and consumption.
Most often, meat refers to skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as offal. Meat is sometimes also used in a more restrictive sense – the flesh of mammalian species (pigs, cattle, lambs, etc.) raised and prepared for consumption, to the exclusion of fish, other seafood, poultry or other animals.