I have posted on this in the past, but repetita iuvant as we say in Latin.
Someone sent me a copy of a letter written by the Archbishop of New Orleans to a member of his flock about eating alligator during Lent. The answer is “yes”. You may eat alligator during Lent.
This is old news to readers of this blog, of course. Last year I posted this, which ought to have settled the whole thing:
QUAERITUR: Abstinentia de carne lacertina aut crocodrillina
Reverendo patro Ioanni Zuhlsdorf discipulus C. salutem et commemorationem in precibus suis. Gratias meas, sivis, ob opum tuam tibi agere volo. [Acceptae.] Mihi, catholico iuveni et discipulo in collegio liberalum artis et liberalum (aut impudicarum) mentum, scripturae tuae magnam auxilium fuerunt. Mox Ludovicianam meabo. Quaeritur: Sineturne corpus alligatoris feria VI in Quadregesima sine violando abstinentiam Quadragesimae edere?
Ossificatus manualista impoenitens respondeo de paginis Compendii Theologiae Moralis (Sabetti-Barrett) n. 331, :
Nomine carnis veniunt omnia animalia in terra viventia ac respirantia, ut communiter admittunt theologi ex regula tradita a S. Thoma vel, ut S. Alphonsus innuit, n. 1011, animalia quae sanguinem habent calidum; vel illud quod consuetudo regionis ut carnem habet; vel, si nec consuetudo praesto sit, dubium solvi potest considerando mentem Ecclesiae in sanciendo delectu ciborum, ut comprimendae ac minuendae carnis concupiscentiae per salutarem abstinetiam consuleret; examinetur, an huiusmodi animal simile sit aut dissimile iis quorum esus interdictus est et an illius carnes humano corpori validius nutriendo et roborando idoneae dignoscantur; et si ita appareat, ista caro inter vetitas est ponenda. Benedict XIV., De syn. dioec., lib.11, c. 5, n. 12. Haec quatuor multum deservient omni dubitationi solvendae.
Ergo, crocodrilli et lacertae inter reptilia sunt et amphibia.
Edi ergo possunt feriis sextis et tempore Quadragesimae
Omnibus tamen diebus ab eis edimur!
So, there you have it.
You can eat alligator and crocodile on Fridays of Lent.
Speaking of fasting and abstinence, during Lent I get all sorts of questions about what can be eaten and how much of the what. Old manuals of moral theology help me out with most of the things people throw at me.
By the way, the justification for the eating of alligator was that they are cold-blooded. I think Benedict XIV was unaware of the existence of the endothermic (warm-blooded) Moonfish. But I digress…
Yes, you may fry your fish and chips in liquefied beef fat. We can also eat gelatin from meat but not peptonized beef. (I had to look that up.) I believe, according to local custom, in some parts of South America capybara is allowed.
NB: Muskrat can be eaten on Fridays in some parts of Michigan. I’m told it tastes of dirty dishrag and has the consistency of very old, thick asparagus.