Okay, I get it now:
Abstinence = Obedience
Not eating meat is simply an act of obedience. I knew from Hubby's RCIA class and sponsoring a couple of ladies the next year about the tradition of giving up meat. The rich ate meat, the poor ate fish and had meat for celebrations. It is possible that the poor might not have had food to eat at all if they had not eaten fish or other sea creatures. Lent is a time of sacrifice, so it would make sense not to eat meat, but it is still my opinion that eating very expensive fish, etc... for a Friday Lenten meal is disingenuous.