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This article is about an older version of DF.

Meat is a collective term for all edible animal butchery products, and a specific term for a particular type of such products. Meat products are a food staple which, along with plants, make up the majority of a fortress's diet. Although the z status screen lists all edible animal-derived products as meat, the game discriminates them into two categories: true "{creature type} meat", which is muscle stripped from the creature when it is butchered, and prepared organs, which are just that, organs prepared for cooking and consumption. The amounts of meat products produced from butchering a creature depend on the creature's absolute size, which is a combination of the species average size and any creature-specific modifiers (height, broadness, etc.).

Dwarves are omnivores; having meat to eat is not compulsory, but does increase variety (munching on the same gruel day after day will eventually cause negative thoughts). Carnivorous creatures (such as tame tigermen) will starve, however, if there is no meat in your larder, and animal trainers will be unable to perform the initial training on any wild carnivores. Prepared meals containing meat apparently also qualify as meat for feeding carnivores. The business side of meat production is handled by the meat industry.