Religious diets
Religious Diets - Map

I have always wondered how it is possible that three great religions all come from the same part of the world and the oldest and newest both have fairly strict dietary rules but Christianity seems to have none.

Well, it turns out that they are all very similar but Christianity has a bit of a get out.


Animals allowed are those with cloven hooves that chew a cud. In addition, animals must be slaughtered and prepared according to kosher law.

Animal Products from non-kosher animals, including eggs, milk, etc. are forbidden.

Animal Parts Some parts of kosher animals are forbidden including organ fats and certain nerves and blood vessels. Blood and products made with blood are forbidden.Religious Diets - Kosher

Birds are specifically listed but turkeys were unknown so there is controversy there. Specifically birds of prey and scavengers are forbidden but chickens, domestic ducks and geese are permitted.

Cheese must be manufactured by Jews.

Fish must have fins and scales that can be scraped off without breaking the skin. Fish must be purchased whole so it can be positively identified or from a reliable kosher fish market.

Fruits and Vegetables can be eaten, but must be inspected to assure they contain no bugs.

Insects Certain “winged swarming insects” are permitted but the formal identification has been lost over the years so generally all insects are forbidden.

Meat / Dairy  Meat and dairy can’t be eaten together. Utensils used to prepare meat and dairy must be kept separate. There must be a period stated as either three or six hours between eating meat and eating dairy or vice versa.

Milk must be witnessed by a Jew, from animal to bottle to make sure it is not mixed non-kosher milk.

Pareve are foods that are neither meat nor dairy. Grains, fruits and vegetables. These foods may be served with either meats or dairy.

Pigs may not be eaten nor any foods derived from pigs. Unlike Islamic law Jews are not forbidden to farm or sell pigs nor to use leather derived from pigs.

Reptiles and Amphibians are forbidden.

Rodents are forbidden including rabbit.

Shellfish are forbidden including crabs, lobsters, clams, etc.. They come from the sea but don’t have fins and removable scales.

Whey and products containing it are forbidden. Whey is a byproduct of cheese making and non-kosher rennet may have been used.

Wine made by non-Jews are forbidden, kosher wine is allowed.

Utensils A kosher home must have two sets of pans, utensils etc. – one for meat and one for dairy.  All utensils must be washed in a bowl reserved for their type.


Birds everything is allowed except owls, birds of prey, ostrich, seagulls and ravens.

Clean meat The definition of clean meat is fairly detailed. It goes back to the time of Noah, who was tasked to take a pair of every clean and unclean animal. Noah offered every seventh clean animal for sacrifice.

Clean meat is defined as the meat of every animal that has the hoof cloven in two, and chews the cud.

Examples of clean meat are cows, buffalo, sheep, goat, deer, gazelle, antelope and mountain sheep.

Unclean meats are the pig, the camel, the hare and the rock badger. Rock badgers are also known as Hyrax, ground hog type things. How they get a mention I have no idea but apparently they are ‘wise’.

Clearly a lot of people ignore the ‘pig’ part! Also, meat cannot have been sacrificed to idols.

All winged insects are forbidden.Religious Diets - Christian

All plants, fruit and vegetables are permitted

Seafood, everything with fins and scales are allowed. Strictly speaking this means that shellfish is not allowed.

Many Christians don’t eat meat on Good Friday and eat fish on Fridays.

In the New Testament Peter went to rooftop to pray. He became hungry and fell into a trance whereupon hundreds of animals appeared before him. He protested that he had never eaten unclean animals before and protested three times. Each time God told him to kill and eat. Therefore, many Christians believe they have been let off all previous rulings. I’ll leave you to make up your own minds on that one!


Alcohol is banned, as are any foods prepared with alcohol.

Animals that are vegetarian are allowed, including cattle, sheep, goats, deer, bison, camel, wild ass and rabbit. Donkey is forbidden and horse is controversial (Mashbooh). In addition, approved animals must be slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law (Zabihah).

Animal Products from non halal animals are forbidden.Religious Diets - Halal

Blood and products made from blood are forbidden, but liver and spleen (which contain blood) are permitted.

Specifically Forbidden are pigs, donkeys, mules, dogs, cats, monkeys, elephant, mouse, rat, wild animals and all predators. Any animal that has died except by Zabihah slaughter is forbidden except fish that have died by removal from water or a blow with an instrument.

Birds of prey are forbidden.

Birds that eat seeds and vegetables are permitted.

Cheese Some reject all rennet made cheese because the Zabihah status of the animal is unknown. Others say rennet is not life because blood does not flow thorough it.

Fish  Some schools follow the same rules as Jews. Others permit fish but not shellfish. Some classify shellfish and prawns as fish. Some allow all seafoods. Fish killed by removal from water or by a blow with an instrument are allowed.

Fruits and Vegetables can be eaten, providing they contain no bugs.

Grains are all permitted.

Insects Locusts are permitted, everything else is forbidden.

Pigs may not be eaten nor any foods derived from pigs, in addition Islam forbids having anything to do with pigs. A Muslim is only allowed to sell pork if in an infidel land and if grave hardship would be caused by not doing so. Even then the money must be kept separate from other money and all profit must be given to Muslim charities. Pig leather and other non-food products are also banned.

Rodents and vermin are forbidden, including mouse, hedgehog and rat. Rabbit is allowed.

Reptiles and Amphibians are forbidden.

Whey is a by-product of cheese making and products containing it are subject to the same controversy as with cheese.

Vinegar is permitted even though it can only be made from alcohol.

For Islamic fasting during month of Ramadan please read.


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