Both mitosis and meiosis are mechanisms that describe cell division. the difference is particularly noticeable when one looks at the dna in the cells nucleus: after mitosis, each of the daughter cells will have exactly the same dna strands, while after meiosis each daughter cell will only have half of the dna strands. (sometimes the division is not exactly half/half, but that is not important for this answer) because meiosis only has half the information that the parent cell had, the cell is (as far as we know) unable to reproduce by itself. the reason for meiosis is for reproduction of a multi-cellular organism. one daughter cell (from the male of the species) will try to find a compatible daughter cell (from the female of the species) and fertilize it. this then becomes and embryo and the specie has successfully reproduced. and this is how you, the reader, came into existence.