We term meat the organic matter of which animals are made, with particular reference to muscle tissue, soft tissue, and some edible internal organs (e.g., brains and liver). In industrial jargon, the term is generally used to signify foods deriving from the butchering of reared animals (bovines, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits), with the exception of poultry.

The earliest evidence for farm animal domestication comes from Asia and is dated between 6000 and 5000 b.c.e. Up to the beginning of the 19th century, domestic animals had been chiefly reared with traditional extensive methods; therefore, numbers and production were conditioned by the availability of grass and winter feedstocks. Beginning from the second half of the 19th century, however, animal breeding systems have become increasingly more intensive—animals have been ...

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