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2 Bumps

Why don't Catholics consider FISH to be MEAT?

My daughter's 4th birthday is on Friday and Daddy and I were talking about going out to dinner with my folks. They are practicing Catholics.

"So they have to eat fish on Friday, right?" he asked. "No, they just cannot eat Meat, y'know, beef, pork, chicken, etc." Then he asked why fish wasn't considered to be meat, and after 12 yrs of Catholic School, I couldn't answer him.

So why is that?
Is it a warm blooded vs cold blooded thing?
Did some Pope once upon a time strike up a deal with the fish mongers?
Why don't Catholics consider fish to be meat?

Answer Question

Asked by MamaK88 at 1:17 PM on Mar. 14, 2012 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 33 (62,090 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • As far I understand it.... It wasn't as much the "meat" they were giving up, it was the luxury of meat. It was a sacrifice to prove their willingness to suffer by not having the luxury of meat. Fish was plentiful and cheap. So it was not a luxury.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:21 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • I just googled it and found this...

    "Two major reasons:

    1. Because for most of the history of Christendom, meat was a rather expensive treat, eaten on Sundays, for celebrations and special occasions. In contrast, shellfish and fish were basically free and available to anyone who picked them up off the rocks or baited a hook.

    2. Because Christ sacrificed His flesh on Good Friday, we abstain from eating flesh.

    I think that aquatic mammals may be considered "fish" rather than "meat" for this purpose."


    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:23 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • Because meat is an expensive item and a luxury for most peple when the Pope put this out for Catholics.
    Yes there was politics involved at the time. Lamb was fast becoming available to everyone not just the rich and the the fishmongers were hurting. It is to help remindus of those less fortunate and to make a sacrifice to God. There are really only certain Fridays that this is a law for any more, the rest are by choice. This Friday is still in Lent so yes it is a meatless day.

    In the 13th century anything on land was meat or animal and any thing in the water was fish. Anything with wings was foul.
    Simplistic but that was the accepted belief of the time.

    It is also because Jesus was he "Fisher of Men" and it was to honor that title for Him as well.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:30 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • For the same reasons as stated above.

    And,'s not just Catholics that do not consider fish "meat"

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 1:47 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • And,'s not just Catholics that do not consider fish "meat"

    I did not know that. Who else?

    Comment by MamaK88 (original poster) at 1:52 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • I did not know that. Who else?

    What? Do you want me to give you names of people?

    I'm Catholic, but was not raised Catholic...converted in my early 20's. What was always known in my family was that "meat" was from mammal, "fish" was from non-mammal aquatic life, and "poultry" was from bird. Again, this was a "known thing" to me outside of the Catholic world.

    If you want a list of first names of the people I know of who also feel this way, I guess I can, but not sure what good that will do you.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 2:37 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • Well, you could just as simply say pescatarians. They're vegetarians who don't eat meat, but do eat fish.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 2:43 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • Well, it's also not meat for Jews. I can't mix beef and chicken with dairy, but I can fish.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 3:33 PM on Mar. 14, 2012

  • no answer really...just wanted to say i was a pescetarian for 2 ginger said vegetarians who eat fish.

    Answer by okmanders at 12:58 AM on Mar. 15, 2012

  • I have always wondered this myself ... I just assumed that it had something to do with Jesus feeding the masses with loaves and fishes.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 10:33 AM on Mar. 15, 2012

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