Meat quality includes technological quality attributes, consumer acceptance, and credence characteristics. In terms of credence characteristics, animal welfare is one of the most interesting topics to both consumers and the livestock industry. Consumers prefer meat produced from livestock that has been raised in low stress and ecofriendly environments. The livestock industry cares about animal welfare to meet the requirements of consumers. Animal welfare is closely associated with the stress and physiological response of livestock to stress. Moreover, stress just before slaughter (i.e., pre-slaughter stress) has negative effects on not only animal welfare but also ultimately on meat quality. It is well-documented that pre-slaughter stress can influence ante- and post-mortem biological changes of the muscles, especially their metabolic properties and metabolites. The metabolic properties and metabolites contents also can modulate the postmortem changes of the muscles. Conversion of muscles to meat during postmortem is a very important process because it determines ultimately the meat quality. Thus, understanding pre-slaughter stress and physiological responses to stress in farm animals is important for animal welfare and meat quality. The purpose of this paper was to examine the concept of stress, physiological responses to stress, measurement of stress, and the relationships between stress indices and meat quality traits.