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Old 2009-11-09, 18:25   Link #3285
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Age: 29
The word meat is also used by the meat packing industry in a more restrictive sense—the flesh of mammalian species (pigs, cattle, etc.) raised and prepared for human consumption, to the exclusion of fish and poultry.
Also from
Vegetarians normally don't eat fish, and usually consider that fish is meat, since it is the flesh of an animal.

However, pescetarians eat fish and other seafood, but not mammals and birds. The Merriam-Webster dictionary dates the origin of the term "pescetarian" to 1993 and defines it to mean: "one whose diet includes fish but no meat."[8] Pescetarians may consume fish based solely upon the fact that the fish are not factory farmed as land animals are (i.e., their problem is with the capitalist-industrial production of meat, not with the consumption of animal foods themselves).[9] Some eat fish with the justification that fish have less sophisticated nervous systems than land-dwelling animals. Others may choose to consume only wild fish based upon the lack of confinement, while choosing to not consume fish that have been farmed.
And for a more traditionalist view on why certain opinions might be held, the religious aspect.
Religious rites and rituals regarding food also tend to classify the birds of the air and the fish of the sea separately from land-bound mammals. Sea-bound mammals are often treated as fish under religious laws - as in Jewish dietary law, which forbids the eating of whale, dolphin, porpoise, and orca because they are not "fish with fins and scales"; nor, as mammals, do they "cheweth the cud and divideth the hoof." (Leviticus 11:9-12) Jewish (kosher) practice treat fish differently from other animal foods. The distinction between fish and "meat" is codified by the Jewish dietary law of kashrut, regarding the mixing of milk and meat, which does not forbid the mixing of milk and fish. Modern Jewish legal practice (halakha) on kashrut classifies the flesh of both mammals and birds as "meat"; fish are considered to be parve, neither meat nor a dairy food.

Seasonal religious prohibitions against eating meat do not usually include fish. For example, meat was forbidden during Lent and on all Fridays of the year in pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism, but fish was permitted (as were eggs). (See Fasting in Catholicism.) In Eastern Orthodoxy, fish is permitted on some fast days when meat is forbidden, but stricter fast days also prohibit fish with spines, while permitting invertebrate seafood such as shrimp and oysters, considering them "fish without blood."[citation needed]

Some Buddhists and Hindus (Brahmins of West Bengal and Saraswat Brahmins of the Konkan) abjure meat, but not fish. Muslim (halaal) practice also treats fish differently from other animal foods.
At the end of the day everyone is going to have a different opinion, especially when it comes to such a touchy subject as vegitarianism. I think what people are asking you when they ask you 'Do you eat fish?' is 'Are you a vegetarian or a pescetarian?' because I'm guessing (and I've encountered) pescetarians who will introduce themselves as vegetarians because they don't want to have to explain the difference to people.
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bullshit ~Coach Davids

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