Raw fish on a blue background
The Reason Fish Isn't Considered Meat During Lent
During Lent, the 40 days leading up to the celebration of Easter on the Christian calendar, many abstain from eating meat on Fridays. However, it is acceptable to eat fish.
The likely reason for this is that fish are cold-blooded, which is how meat was classified back in the 9th century. If it didn't traditionally bleed, it was not meat and was fair game.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Catholics began to liberally interpret "fish" as any aquatic-based creature and created local meat exceptions that remain in place today.
Some notable exceptions include aquatic rodents like beavers in Quebec and capybaras in Venezuela. Despite the distinction, many still see the only exception as "fish."