Is Fish Considered Meat?

By Elizabeth Rice

Many different groups of people have different thoughts on the debate if fish is considered meat or not.


Fish is considered meat to most vegetarians according to the Vegetarian Society (a british registered charity which was established on September 30th, 1847 to promote vegetarianism). The group that eats fish but not other animals are called pescetarians.


Lent (Religion: Catholic)

Most Catholics do not eat meat on Fridays during Lent, but they can eat fish. In fact some churches host many fish fries on Fridays during lent. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops considers meat only being land animals such as cows, pigs, chicken, and sheep. This means fishes fall under another category of food. Saint Paul wrote in Corinthians 15:39 “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.”

Kashrut (Religion: Jewish)

Kashrut which is the body of Jewish religious laws concerning the suitability of food. The Kashrut says meat and fish should not be eaten together therefore saying fish and meat are different.

Halal Foods (Religion: Muslim)

Halal means permissible in Arabic. Halal food is the permissible food for the Islam law. Fish and meat are not the same according to the Halal food. However, the permissible fish must have scales and fins.

Ahimsa (Religion: Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism)

The religions of Jains, Hinduists, and Buddhist believe in Ahimsa which is the “ the ethical principle  of not causing harm to other living things” defined from the Encyclopedia Britannica. This is why some Hinduisms follow a lacto vegetarian diet (a person who does not eat meat, fish, or eggs but does drink and eat some food from milk defined from Cambridge Dictionary). However, some Hinduisms do eat fish.

Definitions out of Dictionaries

According to many dictionaries fish is meat. says meat is “the flesh of an animal used for food.”

The went as far as directly stating that fish is included as meat. The definition of meat is “the flesh of an animal (including fishes and birds and snails) used as food.’s Survey

According to the survey conducted by, sixty five percent of people choose “Yes. Fish is meat,” six percent choose that “My religion has taught me to think of fish as something different from meat,” four percent choose “I refuse to think of it that way because I want to eat it, but I don’t eat meat,” nineteen percent choose “Yes and no. Fish is made of meat, but it’s still not the same as beef or pork,” and five percent choose “I still don’t know.”

Classmates survey

I took a survey asking if fish is meat, and five out of eight people (sixty two and half percent) people said that fish is meat.

Anastasia Meadows (who is a vegan):  “I think fish are considered meat because they have been more recent studies of fish feeling pain.” Extra fact informed by Anastasia Meadows: “Also I know that because of microplastics being washed off from clothing (like polyester ect.) and waste entirely has made fish contain microplastics as well, so while eating fish you’re consuming plastic.”

Anonymous (who is Catholic): “I had never honestly thought about fish being meat. I have always grown up being taught by my religion that fish is ok to eat on Fridays during Lent therefore I concluded fish is not meat. However, one day when I was eating at a restaurant with my friends this discussion came up which made me question the whole debate.

Maggie Stickler: “FISH IS NOT MEAT!!!! It’s not land animals therefore it’s not meat.”

Tessa Jones: “Fish is NOT a meat!!! Because fish is a fish, not an animal so therefore, a fish is not a meat.”

Erin Walker:  “I think 100 percent that fish is a meat! A fish is an animal therefore, to me it is a meat. However, I respect the certain religions that don’t necessary classify it as a such and see both sides of the argument.”

Emma Butler: “I’d say that fish is a meat because it’s made of muscle just like cow and pig meat.”

Colleen Peery: “Yes I think that fish is meat because it came from an animal that was once living.”

Meaghan Hix: “I think fish is meat because I looked up the term meat and it said the flesh of an animal”.