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Is Fish Meat? Similarities, Differences And A Clear Answer

Is fish meat or not?

Is fish meat - yes or no? If you're looking for an answer to this question, you've come to the right place! In everyday situations it comes up again and again. For example, when eating together with vegans and vegetarians. Surely you know the saying that something is "neither fish nor meat". It means that something is not clearly assignable. Whether fish is meat, however, can be clearly explained.

In this article, I would like to give you the answer based on the respective definition and briefly discuss why it is important to know them in the first place. Let's go!

  1. Background
  2. Definition
  3. Reply
  4. Closing words

Why is the question "Is fish meat?" important?

First, I'll explain my reasons for writing this post here. The main point is this, Clarity in everyday situations and discussions in which the question of whether fish is meat or not comes up every now and then.

A saying like "It's not meat, it's fish" is something I'm sure many of us have heard before. Also the change to a more climate-friendly, sustainable lifestyle, with a reduced meat consumption, raises the question more often.

In many restaurants there is a separate menu for meat - and another for fish. And then, of course, many people are Vegetarians:insidewho by definition do not eat fish - and Pescetarians:insidewho abstain from meat but eat fish. This causes confusion for some. This article, on the other hand, is intended to disentangle.

But whether fish is meat is also for religious reasons interesting. For strictly devout Christians, eating meat on Good Friday and Fridays in general is taboo. This is to remind us that Jesus Christ gave his life for his disciples on a Friday. Fish, however, may be eaten, which is why it serves both as an image motif in early Christian art and as a substitute for meat.

"The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery."

Charles Darwin (more at Animal welfare quotes)

However, it is of course also about the Appreciation for fish life. They are, just like dogs, cats, chickens or even we humans, sentient beings that feel fears, joy and pain and possess a will to (over)live. It would be unfair to consider their body parts not even as meat, but "something else"..

How are meat and fish defined?

Beef and salmon meat side by side

To answer the initial question once and for all and quite clearly, let us first draw on the general definitions of fish and meat.

What is meat?

By definition, meat is a Muscle tissue of the human or animal body, which consists of fibers surrounded by connective tissue, with fat interposed between them.₁

What is (a) fish?

A fish is called scaly, alternate-warm vertebrate (with laterally flattened body) that lives in water and is equipped with swim bladder, gills and fins for this purpose, defined.₂.

Tip: The Overfishing of the seas is one of the greatest ecological challenges of our time. By the way, you can find out how to counteract it in everyday life in the article "Stop overfishing".

So fish(meat) is meat by definition

Jumping salmon - Is fish meat?

Why should the tissue of a trout not actually be meat? The Food Act does make a distinction between types of meat. But Fish also consist of muscle tissue and connective tissue - and are therefore (in processed form) naturally also meat. The protein structure also leaves no doubt about this.

The only essential difference, is that fish alternately warm and, for example, cows and pigs are warm-blooded animals. The definition for fish sensibly refers primarily to the animal creatures living under water - and not to what we humans prefer to prepare from them.

The distinction between fish and meat ultimately goes back to the Christian faith.than on the tissue structure of the animals. In addition, the pescetarian diet is not an offshoot of vegetarianism, but only a subform of the mixed-food, omnivorous diet.

See fish for what they are

To clarify the initial question unambiguously: so also fish meat is meat. Strictly speaking, it should not be consumed on Fridays and during Lent, even by strictly devout Christians. But that is on another sheet.

Even if fish Scales and gills, instead of fur and hooves possess - and just look a little different - their muscle tissue is of course also meat. In addition, the living Animals emotional creatureswho feel fear, joy and sorrow, like you and me.

For those who do not want to give up the taste of fish, there are now fortunately countless animal-friendly, healthy, vegetarian and vegan alternatives - for example for fish sticks, fish rolls and salmon! If you want to dabble in climate-friendly, plant-based cuisine, I can warmly recommend the cookbook to vegan cliché goodbye recommend. If you like, get it here*.

Do you have any questions, suggestions, or your own experience with distinguishing between fish and meat that you'd like to share? Then feel free to write me a comment.

Be always kind to animals,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: You want to know, why vegans do not eat fish? I explain it to you in the linked article. In addition, you will learn in another article, why Catch and Release, that is, catching and releasing fish, is not an animal-friendly fishing method.

₁ Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities; Digital Dictionary of the German Language: Fleisch, available at [12.03.2023]

₂ Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities; Digital Dictionary of the German Language: Fish, available at [12.03.2023]

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

2 thoughts on “Ist Fisch Fleisch? Gemeinsamkeiten, Unterschiede und eine klare Antwort”

  1. Toward the end of the article this is stated: "The only significant difference is that fish are warm-blooded and, for example, cows and pigs are warm-blooded". This makes absolutely no sense and is incorrect.

    1. Hi Charles, thank you so much for your help. The translation into English is automatic at the moment, that's why you'll find mistakes here and there. Of course, fishes are cold-blooded. Thanks for your support, I immediately changed the part of the text.

      Cheers, Christoph

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