animal "produce" (some Google results)?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Nov 25 18:05:05 UTC 2008

At 9:20 AM -0800 11/25/08, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>On Nov 24, 2008, at 10:07 AM, Ron Butters wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       RonButters at AOL.COM
>>Subject:      animal "produce" (some Google results)?
>>There is an interesting discussion at <
>>about t=
>>he question "Is fish meat?"
>>As has already been suggested, the question is made more complex for
>>respondents by issues involving vegetarianism (for purposes of which
>>fish is
>>considered meat for most people) and Catholic church practices
>>(where seafood
>>was--and maybe is still--not considered "meat" for purposes of
>>fasting and
>this has things somewhat backwards.  it's not that vegetarians and the
>Catholic church are defining the word "meat".  rather, they each pick
>out a category of foodstuffs that are excluded in certain situations
>(FLESH and BROAD MEAT, respectively)

BROAD MEAT?  Hmmm....

>  and then refer to these
>categories via the word "meat", using senses of "meat" that are
>already available in the language.
>>Most of the respondents, however, seemed to feel that seafood should
>>classified as "meat"--for whatever purpose. But, as Larry Horn
>>suggested, this
>>is clearly a borderline area in which responses are varied and many
>>have contingent and uncertain feelings.
>in some cases, not uncertain at all.  (there are problems in asking
>people directly how they use words.)  if i say to you, "I'm hungry for
>some meat tonight", i will not be satisfied if you suggest a nice
>piece of flounder.  the expressions "meat-and-potatoes man" and "big
>meat-eater" similarly exclude seafood.  and a menu that lists a "meat
>course" will not offer seafood under this heading.  there's more, but
>maybe this will suffice.
>>As for poultry, I found no evidence anywhere I looked that anyone
>>thinks of
>>poultry as not meat. The sources below all do, and they are pretty
>>authoritative. Most of them seem to classify seafood as borderline...
>the wikipedia Meat entry says:
>"In modern English usage, meat most often refers to animal tissue used
>as food ...  [note the problem with "animal tissue"]  The word meat is
>also used by the meat packing and butchering industry in a more
>restrictive sense-the flesh of mammalian species (pigs, cattle, etc.)
>raised and butchered for human consumption, to the exclusion of fish,
>poultry, and eggs."
>and the Butcher entry says:
>"A butcher is someone who prepares various meats and other related
>goods for sale. Many butchers sell their goods in specialized stores,
>although in the Western world today most meat is sold through
>supermarkets." [further discussion and pictures all of instances of
>MEAT PROPER, to the exclusion of poultry]
>and meat  packing / meatpacking deals with instances of MEAT PROPER.
>from wikipedia: "The meat packing industry is an industry that handles
>the slaughtering, processing and distribution of animals such as
>cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock."   ["livestock", alas,
>sometimes includes poultry, but very often does not, as in the case of
>the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.]  the industry association
>is the American Meat Science Association, and it has no truck with
>poultry.  (i used to teach occasionally in the Meat Sciences
>Laboratory at the University of Illinois -- it had storage lockers for
>meat, and huge hooks on pulleys -- and it was all about meat 'MEAT
>PROPER'.  Poultry Science was elsewhere.)
>i would imagine that at a restaurant in central Illinois (or in
>Oklahama, where i've also spent some time) if you asked what kind of
>meat they served, chicken or turkey would not be offered.
>i'm not claiming that "meat" always refers to MEAT PROPER, only
>denying that it always refers to BROAD MEAT or even to FLESH.   there
>are contexts in which each of these is the intended denotation. but
>there is variation from person to person, and there are zones of
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