Every Meat Is Not Beef! See All Their Names

It is very common in this part of the world to refer to every meat from almost every animal source as beef or just meat. This is not only common amongst the not-too-educated but also among the well-educated. The exceptions are just meats that are totally different; of course, nobody would refer to chicken, turkey, snail and pork as beef.

The only distinction we seem to have gotten between meats that look alike in structure and appearance is that between beef and pork. These are the meats from cattle and pig respectively. They are the two we actually call their real names. It is hard to come across a person – even a stark illiterate, who would refer to pork as beef but when it comes to meats from goat, sheep and some other related animals, it is beef.

Photo Credit: gab.giggle.com

Why am I writing article on names of Meat?

I was on a queue at a restaurant waiting to make my order when the man standing in front of me started raising his voice. I listened and found out that he was arguing with the waitress over names of meats.

The man already bought rice and plantain when this poor waitress asked what else the man wanted. “Put one meat”, the man replied. The waitress then asked him what kind of meat the man wanted to which the man replied, “What do you mean? Just put one meat”.

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I could see the frustration on the face of the waitress but she calmly replied, “…but sir, we have different types of meat, like beef, pork…”. The man interrupted by asking one hilarious question: “why would you put pork? Is pork meat? Pork is pork and there is cow meat and goat meat!” I had to add my voice to save the helpless waitress. This was when I thought I should write about this because others joined the argument and I found out that people only knew what the meats from cattle and pig are called – beef and pork.

Special Names for the Meat of some Common Animals

Here are the special names for the meat of some animals that we may know and not know.

Animals Meat Name
Cattle (cow or bull) Beef
Calf (young cow) Veal
Pig Pork
Deer Venison
Sheep (Ram or Ewe) Mutton
Pigeon Squab
Water Buffalo Carabeef
Goat Chevon
Chicken Chicken
Turkey Turkey

Now that you know better, you should try calling these animal meats by their real names and you will definitely get used to it. This list is not exhaustive and we welcome contribution in form of comments.

If you think there is an animal meat we have missed here, you can share it with us using the comment section below.

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Ahmed Ogundimu
Ahmed is a Food Scientist/Technologist first of all. A Seasoned Blogger, Astute Marketer, Food Enthusiast and Manchester United Lover. I read anything and everything available so I know so many useful and useless things.


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  1. Waoh. I used 2 think Goat meat is muton too. Never knew its chevon. So pls what of snake meat? Duck meat? snail meat? and the rest

    1. I know it is called Dog meat. Many of these things being asked don’t have special names because people speaking the languages we borrow don’t even eat them.

    1. I am as curious as you are too but what I think is that we should call all these games with their meat – snake meat, monkey meat. You can tell us if you find the answers too.

  2. I just knew it! I thought every animal meat is just meat,thanks for giving a nice info. but i think arguing this thing emotionaly is not nessesary, isn’t it?

  3. Dog = 404,406.
    Snake = anu agwo.
    Snail = crusta.
    Bat = Vampire…. Wait make i ask my grand pa, i’ll get bact to u’s…..
    After all meat na meat…….!

  4. Yes @solo it is also called INDIA CHICKEN or GUDUMEAT in EKITI. Try roasted dog meat in Ekiti and you will want more, Ire o.

  5. There’s no such animal like chicken, they are called fowl. That’s their general name, the female in her and the male cook, the young is chick. The meat is called chicken.

    1. The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the red junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003 – Wikipedia, the Free online Encyclopedia.

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