Meat is the unit of currency in Planet Explorers.
Meat can be used to trade for any item with any NPC that has a shop menu. It is possible that meat will be tradable with other PCs once multiplayer is supported. Meat can also be used in some recipes, such as smoked sausage.
Meat is very useful to avoid the neccesity of crafting some object, as they can be purchased directly from NPCs.
The most direct way of obtaining meat is hunting animals. Smaller animals yield less meat, and some species yield more meat than others irrespective of size. It is most efficient to hunt larger animals, but be warned, many of the larger animals are too dangerous to attack without a projectile weapon or defenses. Large animals can yield dozens of units of meat each. Hunting with a projectile gun is a highly efficient way of obtaining meat.
It is possible to obtain meat by selling objects to NPCs. Items may be sold by opening the inventory while the shop menu is on the sell tab, then dragging items into the menu. NPCs generally do not give very good prices on most items, typically only 1/3 of what they will sell the same item for.
It is possible to take meat from an animal that has been killed by another animal. This is not very efficient and exposes you to danger from the predator. This is not a recommended way of obtaining meat.