Kosher Animal List

Is it or isn’t it? Here’s a Kosher Animal List to guide you from restaurant to supermarket to shuk!

How many times have you, your friends or family had stop and ask the question “Is this or isn’t this kosher?” For those who eat meat, a handy “cheat sheet” Kosher Animal List can be quite handy. If you’re looking for a list of Kosher Fish, then click here for our Kosher Fish List.

TIP: If you are using a desktop computer, press CTRL + F to search and enter the name of the animal you are looking for.

A quick word on masoret (tradition): There is a practice in Judaism of only eating animals where there has been a tradition passed down through the generations. This has made modern discoveries of certain fish and animals a bit complicated if they fall under the laws of Kashrut. The American Bison is a good example of this, and it has been certified Kosher from the Orthodox Union. An Asian version of this is the Zebu of Southern Asia.

Kosher Animal List

Deer at Staglands in New Zealand (Photo: IsraeliAbroad)

For an animal to be Kosher, it must be slaughtered according to Kashrut guidelines and have split hooves and chew its cud (Lev: 11:3-8 and Deut: 14:4-8). Because of this, four animals are explicitly mentioned as being non-Kosher: Camels, Hyrax, the Hare (Rabbits) and Pigs. There are four types of locusts that are mentioned as being Kosher, but because of interpretation issues as to which ones they are exactly, all insects are considered forbidden. Reptiles and amphibians are also forbidden.

Kosher Animal List

  • Addax
  • Antelope
  • Bison
  • Cow
  • Deer
  • Gazelle
  • Goat
  • Ibex
  • Sheep

Animals such as Bison, Canadian Geese, Elk, Moose, and Oxen all fall under Kosher standards. We won’t get into the scientific classifications here but you can read the resources below for more information. The Yahmur (roe deer/oryx), The’o (wild goat/ox), Camelopardalis (giraffe/zemer/mouflon) and Pygarg are more complicated and the modern delineation of exactly which animals these refer to are ambiguous.

Kosher Animal List

Ducks are Kosher! (Photo: IsraeliAbroad)

Kosher Birds

Birds are a bit complicated as there are no general Kashrut rules. Lev: 11:13-19 and Deut: 14:11-18 explicitly list the prohibited birds. In the authoritative Jewish law text Shulchan Aruch, there are three signs given to Kosher birds: crop, an extra finger, and a gizzard that can be peeled. Also it must not be a bird of prey. Birds considered Kosher are:

  • Chicken
  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Partridge
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Sparrow
  • Rock and Turtle Doves
  • Pigeons

Turkey is widely considered to be Kosher, although there isn’t a masoret for this bird. You can easily find Kosher-certified turkeys for Thanksgiving.

Important Note: This page is meant as a general guide to Kashrut and not a religious authority. While we try to provide the best and most agreed upon guidelines sourced from all over the web (more resources can be found at the bottom!) care ought to be taken in regards to eating certain items. Consensus on most types of food is agreed upon but there are ongoing debates so always be sure to check with a Rabbi or knowledgeable figure on difficult questions.

Kosher Animal List

Deer is Kosher, however Antler Velvet, found in medicinal products, is NOT Kosher (Photo: IsraeliAbroad)

The Israeli Recipe Kosher Animal List was put together using sources such as Chabad, Orthodox Union, Judaism101, MyJewishLearning and several others. Please send any questions or concerns to IsraeliRecipe@gmail.com if you have any.

If you’re looking for our Kosher Fish List, Click Here

Resources

Chabad Kosher

MyJewishLearning

 

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