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I was wondering why it is that some meat is called by the name of the animal and some meat is not. We have fried chicken, but not ground cow. We have pork chops, not pig chops, yet we eat fish fillet.

I'm not sure if this is a general principle, but after pondering this question recently, I noticed that when an animal is small enough that a family might eat the whole animal at a meal, then the meat is typically called by the name of the animal. If the animal is carved up into portions, and only a portion of the animal is typically eaten at a meal, then the name of the flesh is usually different from the name of the animal. Some medium sized animals seem to go either way, like lamb -> lamb or mutton, or goat -> goat or chevon.

Big animals:

cow -> beef
pig -> pork
deer -> venison
lamb -> mutton (also "lamb")
goat -> chevon (also "goat")

Small animals:

fish -> fish
chicken -> chicken
turkey -> turkey
duck -> duck
goose -> goose
cuy -> cuy (guinea pig eaten in South America)

Exceptions:

buffalo -> buffalo
pigeon -> squab
horse -> horsemeat (but not usually consumed by humans in anglo culture)

How do any of your conlangs name meat vs animal?

--gary