Does Capybara Meat Break The Lenten Abstinence?

It seems that in Venezuela at least, Capybaras are considered “fish” as far as the Lenten abstinence is concerned. From my perspective, this seems quite erroneous, but perhaps this is something that the Venezuelan bishops have decided as a cultural thing or something?

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How? According to the highest source (W-------a,) a capybara is a rodent.

I have no idea how. All I’m asking is was an exception made at some point? Because apparently Venezuelan Catholics are convinced that there was.

Does “white meat” break the fast ? If not - maybe capybaras are reckoned to be “white meat”…

I think it is because they are semi aquatic (sort of) I believe the same allowance was made for Beavers (or beaver tails anyway) and I’m sure it also counts for frogs.

IIRC (I would have to look it up) sometime back in the 18th century (or 17th) when Lenten fasting and abstinence rules were much, much stricter, the local authorities in South America sent a description to the Vatican and it was classified as “fish” on the grounds of its marine associations. Apparently never revoked, or reclassified, even with time.

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I think the canon law means red meat.
but you might have to ask a canon lawyer. :rolleyes:

The more I hear of Capybara the more I think it might be a penance to eat it. :smiley:

From the Catholic Dictionary:

MEAT. The flesh of animals and birds eaten by human beings, as understood in Church law. Its prohibition on days of abstinence and fast has a spiritual value, going back to the Old Testament and practiced since apostolic times. “The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat” (Pope Paul VI, Paenitemini, Norm III, 1).

That appears to be from Fr. John Hardon’s *Modern Catholic Dictionary. *I think he should have said “mammal” instead of “animal”. Birds ARE animals, along with insects, reptiles, amphibians, and even aquatic animals like fish. And we KNOW that we’re allowed to eat fish on days that we must abstain from “meat”!

I’ve always been told that the abstinence from meat refers to the meat of birds and mammals. I think this is a case where we have to recognize that Fr. Hardon doesn’t have the authority to definitively settle this question.

As for the mention of beaver meat or beaver tail earlier, are you sure you don’t mean muskrat?

Nobody calls a fish an animal and nobody calls a bird an animal even though that might be correct.
Its pretty clear that the Church use of animal means warmed blooded.

My recollection is that the exceptions for capybara and for badger (muskrat?) in Michigan have to do with how native peoples classified land vs. water creatures when they were first brought into the Church.

same deal as Muskrat in areas under French domination on this contintent in the early days, since they lived mostly in water, and niceties of botanical classification were not even in place at that time, and were a good cheap food source, they were not considered meat locally by the priests and bishops who governed those people. The underlying fact is that the local ordinary (bishop) still makes and applies the rules on fast and abstinence, as well as other matters of particular canon law, in his diocese.

It appears to me that meat means warm blooded creatures. Incidentall,m I think this includes whales and dolphins. I

yes and now we understand that scientific distinction, which has not always been the case in the past. so did anybody try this dish on Friday in Lent? how was it? recipes?

I thought whales and dolphins counted as “fish” for Lenten purposes even though they are mammals.

This is confusing.

As I said, it is my thought, I am not sure and have no reference for it.

Who eats dolphins?

Well, I wonder who eats capybaras but I guess some people do.

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