Put the Serpent Down: The Laws on Paws, Birds, and Creepy Crawlies

I realized I never finished blogging about the ineligible entrees God spelled out for His people. Please check out the other posts under “Healthy Eating” if you’re wondering, Why, on God’s green earth, should I avoid shrimp and sausage? Short answer: Because not every creature that roams God’s green earth and swims His blue sea is good for you, and God – who is Love – cared enough to tell us which ones are cool for consumption!

Okay, so far I’ve grossed you out on pigs and steered you clear of crustaceans. Now it’s time to explain why flamingos and cockatoos aren’t and shouldn’t be in any deli cases (and it isn’t because they’re cute or make good conversationalists, as the case may be).

In Leviticus 11:12-30, God listed owls, Volturi- I mean vultures, and eagles among the dirty birds we’re to avoid like a diabolical vampire coven ;-). All three species of birds above are predators, meaning they feast of the flesh of dead animals and are therefore likely to carry harmful diseases and toxins (yum, right!?). Clean birds, on the other talon, if you will, have all of the following characteristics:

  • Not a bird of prey
  • Catch food in the air, but bring it to the ground to divide it with their bills, if possible, before eating
  • Must spread their toes so that three front toes are on one side of a perch and the hind toe on the other side
  • Must have craws or crops (stomach-like pouches used for digestion)
  • They must have an elongated middle front toe and a hind toe
  • Must have a gizzard with a double lining which can easily be separated

We can deduce from this list that most wading and aquatic birds are “unclean.” It’s just as well in my opinion – they’re just too darn pretty!

As for the endearing world of insects, Leviticus 11:20 makes it clear that all “winged creeping things” that can also walk on all fours “are to be detestable to you.” I don’t know about you, but that’s not a concern for me! I have eaten crickets before, and in my defense, they’re honestly not bad… nor are they off limits! Crickets and grasshoppers are rich protein sources and also contain iron, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins. An added bonus for those like me who are domestically challenged, they don’t require cooking! Hey, if locusts are good enough for Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist, they’re sure as Sheol good enough for me 😉 (John 1:23).

If any of you are accustomed to slicing up salamander for your salads, I’m about to break your slimy-lovin’ heart: Reptiles and amphibians are on the “Do Not Eat” list as well.

 Leviticus 11:31 says that animals that move along the ground are unfit to eat. Not having cloven hooves and not being cud-chewers doubly disqualifies the croaking and slithering from being dietary staples. But unless you plan on following in the footsteps of Andrew Zimmern, I’d say we’re all in the clear in the reptile department.

Don't Know and Don't Care to Learn!


Considering the fact I always weep miserably when animals die in movies, I’m elated that dogs and cats are for fetching and lap-laying only! Leviticus 11:27 says that animals that walk on paws are not to be eaten. Other “unclean” critters include skunks, raccoons, squirrels, as well as lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

Raccoons, squirrels, pigs, bears, and other off-limits animals are known carriers of diseases such as trichinosis which is caused by parasites that can infect and damage many body tissues.

Au revoir, mes amis! Pet your dogs for me and tell them Jesus loves them ;-)!

Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di


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