Nathan and I aren't exactly the religious type but for reasons that we cannot fully explain (Catholic guilt? Some weird manifestation of Stockholm syndrome?), we have both carried on the 'no meat' tradition on Good Friday.
Here's an interesting 'no meat' story...I remember a few years ago, one of the grad students in my department gave a talk about these fascinating creatures called capybara, which are basically large water-loving guinea pigs (see below). Anyhow, the student was talking about her previous research back in Venezuela where she had been studying the population biology of these giant rodents, which are also harvested for their meat. Funnily enough, the only thing I remember about the student's talk was that the Pope had, as some stage, made a decree that capybara was a fish so that it could be consumed during periods of the Catholic calendar when no meat was allowed. Hmmm.
Memories of a more personal story of Good Friday takes me back to my childhood. We were at the South Coast of NSW for a family holiday. Maternal grandma, who is a non-Catholic, made buns filled with 'vegetables' for lunch. Halfway into my first bun, I swore I could taste minced meat and could see tiny flecks of pork mixed in with the veggies. Sneaky grandma. Of course, she denied it and became strangely over the top angry at my accusations. Dad (who is a chef, a catholic and a whole lot wiser than I), gave me a look that basically said 'just eat the bun and shut up'.