Kosher Species

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August 20, 2011

1 min read

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Has anyone ever published an exhaustive list of all the kosher species?

The Aish Rabbi Replies

The Torah (Leviticus 11:3) lists the characteristics of permitted animals as those with fully split hooves, who also chew their cud (ruminants). Kosher animals are always mammals and herbivores. The kosher animals commonly eaten today are the cow, goat and sheep. Buffalo meat, which has higher protein and lower fat content than cows, is becoming increasingly popular. Deer meat (venison) is a delicacy, but is rare to find due to the difficulty in properly containing the deer in order to shecht it (kosher slaughter).

As for birds, the Torah enumerates 24 forbidden species, and the Talmud explains that, among other signs, all birds of prey (vulture, hawk, eagle) are forbidden. In practice today, we eat only those birds for which there is an established tradition that the bird is kosher – e.g. chicken, turkey, duck and goose.

As for "kosher eggs," they must come from a species of kosher bird (e.g. chicken).

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