Is Shrimp Meat? Everything You Need to Know

A typical toss-up is if shrimp is meat or not. The short answer is yes, shrimp is biologically meat; however, modernly, it is known as seafood and not meat. What do you think? 

Do you think that shrimp is meat? If you are religious, you may disagree with the statement that shrimp is meat. However, biologically speaking, shrimp is meat. 

What is Meat?

Meat or protein is an integral part of your diet. Meat, defined by the oxford dictionary, is the flesh of an animal. Usually, you would classify beef, mutton, pork, or chicken as meat. Some religions, such as Catholic and Jewish, will not consume meat in part of their religion on Fridays or all the time. 

A healthy and large brain can be great for your intellect. When our ancestors started eating meat almost 2 million years ago, it gave humans a head start on big and intelligent brains! Consumption of meat could give your brain the essentials to provide your body with considerable energy, helping your brain grow. 

What are Shrimps?

A shrimp, defined by the oxford language dictionary, is a small, free-swimming crustacean with an elongated body. Shrimps, commonly harvested for food, are very similar to a prawn, but they are indeed different from each other. Shrimp typically feast on microscopic animal and plant material. 

Did you know there are over 2,00 different species of shrimp? Shrimp are in almost every marine niche, from the Atlantic Ocean to the tropics of the Caribbean. Shrimp are an essential part of their ecosystem as a crucial food source for fish, crabs, whales, dolphins, sea urchins, and other sea life. 

Is Shrimp Considered a Meat?  

The distinction between seafood and meat is a typical toss-up in everyday use. According to biological principles, shrimp is meat because meat, by definition, is the flesh of an animal. However, according to the modern oxford dictionary, meat is often more narrowly defined as butcher’s meat, like chicken, beef, or pork. 

Some religions, such as Judaism or Catholicism, do not consider fish or shrimp to be fish. Jewish consider fish with scales and fins as pareve that they can eat. The term pareve describes food that has been considered Kosher and doesn’t have meat. Since shrimp lack scales or fins, like most other shellfish and ocean resident mammals, Jewish cannot consume shrimp. 

Catholics, on the other hand, during lent, meat is only forbidden to eat on Lenten Fridays. That said, shrimp can be considered either meat or seafood, depending on your religion, beliefs, or opinion. 


What does deveining shrimp mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, deveining shrimp means removing the dark dorsal vein of a shrimp. You can find the dorsal vein of the shrimp located on the shrimp’s back. The shrimp’s dorsal vein resembles a long line going down the shrimp’s back. 

To devein shrimp step by step, follow the below directions:

  1. First, pull off your shrimp’s head and legs. 
  2. Next, remove the shell of your shrimp by starting at the head of your shrimp. You can keep the shrimp’s tail on for a bit of extra decoration. 
  3. Using a small paring knife or scissors, carefully make a slash or snip on the back of your shrimp about 1/4 inch deep. 
  4. Remove and discard the dorsal vein of your shrimp. If you cannot see the vein in your shrimp, forget about deveining, there’s no worry about keeping it in your shrimp. 
  5. Place your peeled and deveined shrimp in a bowl of ice or ice water until you can use them. 

Are shrimp and prawns the same?

Shrimp and prawns are similar and different at the same time. They both have specific things about them that can determine the difference between the two. 

Here are some similarities between shrimps and prawns: 

  • Both shrimp and prawns have ten legs. 
  • The two species are commonly found in both saltwater and freshwater. 
  • Both are crustaceans. 

A few differences between shrimp and prawns can include the following: 

  • Shrimp have one pair of legs that include pincers at the end; prawns have three teams with pincers at the end.
  • Prawns have legs that are a bit longer concerning the size of the body.
  • Prawns are larger than shrimp. 

Can you eat raw shrimp?

Raw shrimp is unsafe for you to eat due to the risk of botulism or another foodborne pathogen. After consuming raw shrimp, within a short few hours, you can become extremely ill with symptoms like upset stomach, nausea, fever, chills, and more. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, shrimp can be classified as either meat or seafood, depending on your religion, opinion, and more. Regardless, shrimp are the perfect appetizer for any party or gathering.