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Is Fish Meat? People Debated This Big Question.

I have a friend who told me a few months ago that he was going vegetarian for a while to see how he liked it.

We were chatting a little while after he started his new diet and I asked him what he was making for dinner that night. His answer: salmon.

I was a bit confused and I asked him why he wasn’t a vegetarian anymore. He replied, “fish isn’t meat.”

Hmmmm…I’m pretty sure that it is…but maybe I’ve been wrong on this one the whole time?

So what do you think? If fish meat?

AskReddit users weighed in with their opinions.

1. I don’t get it…

“I don’t understand why people say that fish is not meat.

Meat is defined as “the flesh of an animal as food.” Why isn’t fish considered a meat then?! Why do religions act like it is not meat? Why is the flesh of a fish not considered meat?

It literally makes no sense to me. I understand it is food from the sea, hence seafood, but seafood is just meat from the “sea.””

2. It stuck.

““Fish is not meat” comes from the Catholic/Christian tradition of fasting (not eating) meat during Friday’s and during Lent. Depriving oneself of a luxury to remind yourself of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Fish was a common and inexpensive food in the area earlier christians lived. Hence it was not a luxury and didn’t need to be avoided while fasting.

That turned into “fish doesn’t count as meat” because it wasn’t part of the fast.

Of course fish is animal flesh, but that wasn’t the point. It’s kind of stuck since.”

3. It’s a mindset.

“In the modern day English speaking world, eg the US because it’s so large, a culture filled with “red meat”, fish is often perceived as less hearty, lighter.

In other words “meat” is often synonymous with “red meat”(primarily beef in an array of cuts and preparations(roast, steak, ribs, hamburger, etc), with most other animal flesh less common, many falling either into delicacies or inedible. Pork, fish, and poultry are more common than, say, shrimp or venison but are still less proliferate than beef for much of the nation.

It may have started with religion, but it continues in the US heavily because that’s what’s readily available and/or what the culture focuses on.”

4. It’s an animal.

“I have to say this to everyone who says, “can you eat fish” when I say I’m a vegetarian.

My mother in law does this all the time. No. Fish is meat. It’s an animal. It’s flesh.

I don’t understand how a fish can be considered not meat.”

5. Blame it on them.

“I think that’s more because over the years so many pescatarians said they were vegetarian.

And because no one knew what a pescatarian was and it was just easier to tell people you were vegetarian, but ate fish.”

6. LOL.

“This reminds me of one of the three jokes that I think of when someone says “tell a joke”.

What do you call a vegetarian who eats fish?

A liar.

It’s not a good joke, and the one time I posted it on Facebook 10 years ago someone pointed out that they’re pescatarian and just don’t know that word.”

7. No doubt about it.

“It’s meat.

It’s an animal that was living and breathing.

Therefore, it’s meat.”

8. It’s clean.

“It’s because we are not supposed to eat blood, and red meats are considered to be a lot closer to that and hence considered less “clean”.

Fish is “white meat” (despite some fish such as the salminidaes being orange and such), along with poultry. I also don’t think fish ISN’T considered meat, it’s just not improper to eat under different circumstances.

Another important thing too is that Fish is considered to be a much lower quality/cheaper item that is “easily replenishable without having to farm them”. On the other hand red meat is more of a luxury item (especially beef and lamb).

Fish IS considered meat by literally everyone. It’s just considered edible and pure to eat while the other meats aren’t across different religions.”

9. Good comparison.

“Same reason alcohol is usually considered separate from other drugs, I assume.

Maybe not in a literal sense, but the constant distinction of “Drugs and alcohol” always annoys me.

Kind of implies alcohol isn’t a drug…Yeah it is.”

10. Where’s the line?

“”I’m a vegetarian, but I eat fish.”

This has always upset me. Like. Fish are animals, why would you consider them differently? Honestly fish are dope. They’re super pretty, have homes where they spawn for generations, they can jump up waterfalls and grow swords out of their faces.

Fish are truly incredible and someone out there is like nah, f*ck them fish. They’re not animals. They’re just an addition to my veggies.

I just don’t understand where the line is drawn.”

11. Here’s another view.

“The reason Catholics are permitted to eat fish on what Catholics call “days of abstinence” is not because fish are not meat, but because fish are cold blooded. (so this means alligator would be fine as well).

This originated from a Jewish tradition where any cold blooded animal was associated with death, ex, snakes, lizards and so on. (hence the devil being referred to as a “serpent”).

On the other hand. Warm blooded animals were associated with life, ex lamb, goats, and cattle. In remembrance of Jesus being crucified as a “sacrificial lamb” Catholics are asked to observe days of abstinence on certain days.

Fish are indeed meat and the Catholic Church doesn’t actually claim that they aren’t.”

What do you think about this?

Is fish meat?

Sound off in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!