Is Seafood Considered Meat or Fish?

One of the oldest debates in the world of food, the question of if seafood is considered meat or fish is one you must have thought on as a food lover. Is seafood considered meat or fish? Is it in a category all by itself? How is one even supposed to know what to categorize it as? Most people are left puzzled by this question, and let’s not forget the most controversial of all, “is seafood considered vegetarian?”                                                                                                                                           

The answers are not always straightforward, as various factors from scientific classifications to dietary restrictions and even religious doctrines have been used over the years in these categorizations.

You’ll find in this piece the best answers from which to draw conclusions on all your seafood questions. Great right?  Let’s get started!   

Is seafood considered meat or fish?

No, not all seafood are fishes and they can’t all be called meat either. Seafood cuts across various types of animals and their classification as meat or fish is based on their type and a person’s dietary/religious restrictions.

Seafood generally refers to all aquatic life forms that are of animal origin and are considered food by humans, whether good old crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, etc.), fish, oysters, or even an octopus! The types of seafood available typically vary from region to region and even certain reptiles can fall into this category.

It’s clear from this that not all seafood is fish but all fishes are seafood. Also, shellfish, which is seafood is not considered meat by some regulatory bodies (e.g. US FDA, Catholic Churches, and EU, etc.). On the other hand, some vegan lifestyles group seafood under meat.

Are crab legs considered meat?

Depends on if you’re defining meat as the flesh of any animal or a mammal. That aside, crabs are called shellfish just like shrimps are, they also reproduce just like fishes do and you could never call them meat!

So technically, if you’re wondering if crab legs are considered meat? The answer is no, crab legs are not considered meat; they’re just crabs.

Why fish is not considered meat?

Meat is mostly used to exclusively refer to the flesh gotten from warm-blooded animals, usually mammals, although the categorizations tend to include chickens and other birds. Fishes are seafood and asides from seafood not being seen as meat by most, fishes are also cold-blooded and thought by some to not be as advanced a life form as livestock.

This is why fish is not considered meat; an example can be seen in the abstinence from meat by the Catholic Church during Lent although eating fish is allowed. Most vegans/ would still abstain from eating it though, but pescatarians would eat fish.

Is alligator meat considered seafood?

Although amphibious in nature, is alligator meat considered seafood? Definitely! Alligator meat is considered seafood by many. It is however not classified under regular seafood and most places require seafood vendors to obtain a special license to sell it.

Is turtle meat considered seafood?

Turtle meat is a delicacy in those areas where it is found and is considered seafood. If you’re wondering is turtle meat considered seafood and shocked the answer is yes, remember that seafood is classified as any aquatic animal that is edible and turtles fit both!

Is crocodile meat considered seafood?

Just like their cousins the alligators, crocodile meat is considered seafood. Depending on the part of the world you find yourself in, don’t be surprised to find some crocodile meat gracing your seafood palette.

Is fish considered meat to a vegetarian?

Whether fish is considered meat or not, it is animal flesh and vegetarians do not eat animal flesh so fish is not vegetarian. People who are vegetarians but still eat fish are called Pescatarians.

Read also: How Long to Defrost Chicken in Microwave

Can vegetarians eat seafood?

This depends on the type of vegetarian. Some vegetarians can eat seafood while some can’t eat seafood. Typical vegetarians and vegans do not eat seafood as they are still animals.

However, vegetarians like the Pescatarians (fish-eating) and Flexitarians (occasional fish and meat-eating) can eat seafood; they mostly argue that seafood does not feel pain like mammals do but this has not been proven.

Why is seafood considered vegetarian?

Seafood is considered vegetarian by some because there are types of vegetarians who eat them i.e. Pescatarians and Flexitarians. These types of vegetarians can choose to add fish and other seafood to their meals while still abstaining from other forms of animal flesh like meat. For some, it’s their chosen lifestyle, while for others it’s a way of transitioning into basic vegetarianism or veganism without cutting off from animal flesh at once.

There’s really no other reason as to why seafood is considered vegetarian outside of this as a basic vegetarian or vegan who isn’t into pescetarianism or flexitarianism will not be caught eating seafood.

Read also: How Long to Defrost Chicken in Microwave

Do vegans eat lobster?

Unless you’re speaking of a vegan lobster dish that is made using “Heart of Palm” (a vegetable gotten from within specific species of palm trees), the answer is no.

Vegans do not eat lobster. The only people who can claim to be vegetarians or vegan and eat lobster are in fact either pescatarians or flexitarians.

Pescatarians will never eat any form of meat, but will gladly eat fish and other seafood in their meals. Flexitarians on the other hand have a plant-based diet but will eat the occasional meat or fish without any guilt. Remember, veganism is not just a dietary restriction, it’s sometimes also but on moral and ethical convictions.


The answers to ‘is seafood considered meat or fish’ and all other arising questions such as if vegetarians can eat seafood, are subject to biases ranging from religious to ethical and moral dilemmas, etc. Whatever you choose to do, just be sure to be comfortable with it.

By Johny

Meet Johny, our exceptionally talented bartender at Bourbono. With an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an innate ability to mix the perfect drink, Johny is the heart and soul of our establishment’s bar. In addition to his skillful bartending, he also contributes to the Bourbono blog, sharing his love for all things food-related but with a particular passion for beverages and the art of bartending.

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