Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans are 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 cooked and seasoned in a variety of ways. Unprocessed, it will spoil within hours or days.
Meat consumption varies worldwide, depending on cultural or religious preferences. Vegetarians choose not to eat meat because of ethical, environmental, religious or health concerns that are associated with meat production and consumption.