MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Catholics and Christians across the world know to give up meat on Fridays during Lent.
Many of them turn to fish for that day.
And that has Terry from Crystal wanting to know: Why isn’t fish considered meat?
“The answer is somewhat obscure,” said David Deavel, visiting assistant professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.
Deavel says Catholic practice on this topic has evolved. It was used to Christian fasting during this time was far more strict as eggs, fish and dairy were included.
Corinthians 15:39 does point out the distinction between the various meats. It says, “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.”
By the 13th century, philosopher Thomas Aquinas wrote that land animals were tastier and more desired.
He wrote foods of the flesh, “afford most pleasure to the palate, and besides are a very great incentive to lust.”
According to Father Joseph Johnson, priest at Holy Family Catholic Church, meat was harder to obtain and eaten during celebrations hundreds of years ago. Giving up meat is considered more a sacrifice than giving up fish.
Deavel says in the past, people would classify foods by where the animal lived. That is why the archdioceses allows eating muskrats on Fridays during Lent, because those animals live in the water part of the time.