Ask Difference

Poultry vs. Meat — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 29, 2023
Poultry refers specifically to birds like chickens, turkeys, and ducks, while Meat is a broader term encompassing the flesh of animals, including poultry, beef, pork, and more.
Poultry vs. Meat — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Poultry and Meat


Key Differences

Poultry and Meat are both sources of animal-based protein consumed globally. Poultry specifically denotes domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. They're known for their lighter, white meat, although they can also have dark meat, especially in areas like thighs and legs.
In contrast, Meat is a more encompassing term. While it includes the flesh of poultry, it also extends to the flesh of mammals like cows (beef), pigs (pork), sheep (lamb/mutton), and even wild game. Meat can be a mix of white and red, with red meats often being richer in certain nutrients and fats.
Nutritionally, both Poultry and Meat offer essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals. However, there's a general perception that poultry, especially chicken breast, is leaner and healthier than some red meats. This belief often stems from the lower saturated fat content in poultry compared to certain cuts of red meat.
Culinary practices vary widely when it comes to preparing Poultry and Meat. While both can be grilled, roasted, fried, or stewed, specific preparations might be traditional for one and not the other. For instance, Thanksgiving in the U.S. is often associated with roasted turkey, a type of poultry, while barbecues might feature a range of meats including beef steaks and pork ribs.
It's worth noting that while Poultry and Meat are staple sources of protein in many diets, their consumption can be influenced by cultural, religious, or personal preferences. Some might abstain from certain meats or poultry due to religious beliefs, while others might choose plant-based alternatives for health or ethical reasons.

Comparison Chart


Refers specifically to domesticated birds.
Encompasses the flesh of animals, including poultry.


Chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese.
Beef, pork, lamb, poultry, game.

Nutritional Perception

Often seen as leaner, especially chicken breast.
Varies, with red meats often seen as richer in fats.

Traditional Preparations

Roasting (e.g., Thanksgiving turkey).
Grilling, stewing (e.g., beef steaks, pork ribs).

Influences on Consumption

Might be avoided for personal or religious reasons.
Broader avoidance reasons, including vegetarianism/veganism.

Compare with Definitions


Chickens, ducks, and turkeys are prime examples of poultry.
There's a variety of poultry available at the farmers' market.


Meat can be derived from mammals or birds.
I'm in the mood for some meat, maybe beef or chicken.


Poultry encompasses domesticated birds consumed as food.
For dinner, we had poultry in the form of roasted chicken.


Commonly categorized as red or white.
Pork, often dubbed the 'other white meat', is a popular choice.


Often raised on farms for their meat and eggs.
Local poultry farms ensure fresh and organic produce.


Meat refers to the flesh of animals used for food.
The butcher had an array of fresh meat on display.


Poultry is often a source of lean, white meat.
I prefer poultry because of its lighter taste and texture.


Source of essential nutrients like protein and iron.
Meat is a primary source of protein for many individuals.


Domesticated fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, or geese, raised for meat or eggs.


Preparation methods include grilling, roasting, and stewing.
Barbecued meat is a favorite during summer picnics.


Domestic fowl (e.g. chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese) raised for food (either meat or eggs).
A poultry farmer


The edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals as opposed to that of fish or poultry.


The meat from a domestic fowl.
The poultry counter


The edible part, as of a piece of fruit or a nut.


Domestic fowls reared for the table, or for their eggs or feathers, such as cocks and hens, capons, turkeys, ducks, and geese.


The essence, substance, or gist
The meat of the editorial.


A domesticated gallinaceous bird though to be descended from the red jungle fowl


(Slang) Something that one enjoys or excels in; a forte
Tennis is his meat.


Flesh of chickens or turkeys or ducks or geese raised for food


Nourishment; food
"Love is not all.


Poultry dishes are staples in many global cuisines.
Poultry-based recipes like chicken curry are loved worldwide.


The genitals.


(uncountable) The flesh (muscle tissue) of an animal used as food.
A large portion of domestic meat production comes from animals raised on factory farms.
The homesteading teenager shot a deer to supply his family with wild meat for the winter.


(countable) A type of meat, by anatomic position and provenance.
The butchery's profit rate on various meats varies greatly.


Food, for animals or humans, especially solid food. See also meat and drink.


A type of food, a dish.


(archaic) A meal.


(obsolete) Meal; flour.


(uncountable) Any relatively thick, solid part of a fruit, nut etc.
The apple looked fine on the outside, but the meat was not very firm.


(slang) A penis.


(colloquial) The best or most substantial part of something.
We recruited him right from the meat of our competitor.


(sports) The sweet spot of a bat or club (in cricket, golf, baseball etc.).
He hit it right on the meat of the bat.


(slang) A meathead.
Throw it in here, meat.


(Australian Aboriginal) A totem, or (by metonymy) a clan or clansman which uses it.


Food, in general; anything eaten for nourishment, either by man or beast. Hence, the edible part of anything; as, the meat of a lobster, a nut, or an egg.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, . . . to you it shall be for meat.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you.


The flesh of animals used as food; esp., animal muscle; as, a breakfast of bread and fruit without meat.


Dinner; the chief meal.


To supply with food.
His shield well lined, his horses meated well.


The flesh of animals (including fishes and birds and snails) used as food


The inner and usually edible part of a seed or grain or nut or fruit stone;
Black walnut kernels are difficult to get out of the shell


The choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience;
The gist of the prosecutor's argument
The heart and soul of the Republican Party
The nub of the story

Common Curiosities

Does the term Meat include Poultry?

Yes, Meat is a broader term that encompasses the flesh of animals, including poultry.

What animals are considered Poultry?

Poultry typically includes domesticated birds like chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese.

Which is leaner, Poultry or red Meat?

Poultry, especially chicken breast, is often perceived as leaner than many red meats.

What's the difference between white and red Meat?

White meat, often found in poultry, is lighter in color while red meat, like beef, has a darker hue.

Can the term Meat refer to fish?

While fish is distinct from red and white meats, it is sometimes colloquially referred to as meat in dietary contexts.

Is poultry always white meat?

While poultry is often associated with white meat, parts like thighs can have dark meat.

Are there cultural practices that differentiate Poultry from other Meats?

Yes, certain cultures or religions might abstain from certain meats but allow poultry, or vice versa.

Are there health concerns associated with consuming Meat or Poultry?

Both can be part of a balanced diet, but concerns arise with overconsumption, processing methods, or sourcing.

Why might someone choose Poultry over other Meats?

Reasons can be varied: nutritional preferences, taste, dietary restrictions, or ethical beliefs.

How does the nutritional profile of Poultry compare to red Meat?

Both offer essential nutrients, but poultry often has less saturated fat compared to certain cuts of red meat.

How are Meat and Poultry usually cooked?

Both can be grilled, roasted, fried, or stewed, among other methods.

Can both Poultry and Meat be organic?

Yes, both can be raised under organic conditions without synthetic hormones or antibiotics.

Do Meat and Poultry have similar shelf lives?

Shelf lives vary based on factors like processing and storage, but both need to be properly stored and consumed in a timely manner.

Are there people who eat Meat but avoid Poultry?

Yes, dietary choices can be influenced by taste, cultural, or health reasons, leading some to avoid poultry.

How do Meat and Poultry industries impact the environment?

Both have environmental footprints, with concerns related to land use, water consumption, and emissions.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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