"She eats meat."
Translation:Elle mange de la viande.
The thing is, I read the sentence as "She eats meat (in general)" and not some meat or some specific meat. Basically that she is not a vegetarian. That would be the most obvious inference in English in the absence of any additional context.
With that in mind, is the "de" still necessary for that translation?
In French, articles are most of the time necessary to introduce a noun.
Here, "she eats meat" means "she eats some meat", like a portion of meat or a piece of meat...
The French translation for such a meaning (called "partitive") is built with preposition "de" + definite article: elle mange DE LA viande.