Meat - clean and unclean

Becoming a flexitarian, vegetarian, and/or vegan.

The Bible does not say you HAVE to be a vegetarian, but we are to make the BEST choices we have available to us!

Original diet did not include meat. We've already mentioned (on the Daniel Diet page) that God's original plan was for nothing to ever die. Death is part of sin. As Christians we should concern ourselves with more than just 'rules'. We are allowed to eat meat. Yes, of course. The Bible does not say we MUST be a vegetarian. However the Bible also doesn't say we shouldn't smoke cigarettes or use harmful illegal drugs either so is it ok to do cocaine? Common sense and reason are part of our walk with God. "Come now and let us reason" Isaiah 1:18, KJV. Let us combine the Bible, science, and common sense.

As we see in the news, NBC News and several others including National Geographic and Harvard University, a vegetarian diet is not only the healthiest choice but it is also the best choice for the environment, animal welfare, and economics. More people can live off a piece of land if they are vegetarian than if they feed cows and eat the meat. With water shortages, economic crisis, and world events the way they are we should concern ourselves will the whole picture. If you want to learn more about why becoming a vegan or vegetarian is so important to health and life itself please take our course on Udemy "Becoming a Vegan, Vegetarian, or Flexitarian". You don't have to go cold turkey and even eating less meat per week will contribute to an improvement in your health and the health of our world. But, let's get back to the Bible.

It wasn't until after the flood that God expanded the diet of man to include flesh food: "All wild animals and birds and fish will be afraid of you, God told him; 'for I have placed them in your power, and they are yours to use for food, in addition to grain and vegetables. But never eat animals unless their life-blood has been drained off." Genesis 9:2-4, TLB. Notice that even when God gave permission to eat meat there were limitations on it. No blood! Common methods of slaughter do not always concern themselves with removing the blood and if you've eaten Kosher meat, properly prepared you'll notice the difference. The more you drain and cook out the blood the less flavor the meat has.

We are to be careful about food because there is a distinction between what is good and what wasn't. "You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten." (See Leviticus 11* at the end of this article, for further details). Leviticus 11:47, NIV. The distinction between the clean and unclean was not a Jewish prohibition, it was in effect when there were only 8 people left on the earth (the same 8 we are ALL related to): "The Lord then said to Noah, 'Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a mate and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a mate and its mate'" Genesis 7:1,2, NIV.  This distinction between the clean and unclean will continue to the end of time we are told in Isaiah: "See, the Lord is coming with fire, and His chariots are like a whirlwind; He will bring down His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire... Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow," declares the LORD." Isaiah 66:15,17 NIV.  It is true, clean and unclean were also part of the ceremonial issues, but we can see God also was concerned about health. And science is confirming some animals are often more toxic than others.  For more on this topic download and READ THIS PDF (if nothing happens check your downloads folder, it likely when directly into there) AND download this article.

The Bible uses the word "meat" and "food" interchangeably (the same is partly true for the word 'bread' but it referred to bread or grain more specifically in the Hebrew language.).  The word "meat" in scripture does not only mean animal flesh and will say "flesh" when referring to animal meat.  Otherwise "meat" simply means "food" and can mean animal or vegetable.  Here is an example: "I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God." Exodus 16:12, KJV. Here God calls the manna bread and the quail flesh. (FYI: God sent quail one evening because of their complaining. "And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?" Numbers 11:4, KJV. And by the way, they all got very sick from this craving of meat and glutteny that followed. Numbers 11:33.)  And speaking of the Passover lamb: "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." Exodus 12:8, KJV.  Various translations try to retaining the appropriate meanings but it is important to pray before study so you can interpret God's word for yourself.

Never eat the fat or blood: "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." Genesis 9:4, ASV. Repeated in the New Testament: "Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood." Acts 15:20, NLT.  THUS we should only eat meat we have prepared or labeled Kosher or halal.  Without going into great, gory details (my family has slaughtered their own animals in the past) animals need to be slaughtered properly or the blood remains in the meat which is condemned by the Bible in both the old and new testaments.  Keep in mind it is impossible to get all the blood out of the meat so it is unlikely God is asking for that.  There are all kinds of theories that you should boil the meat, but the Passover lamb was roasted so there is no Biblical evidence this is mandatory.  In fact, boiling meat cooks the blood immediately and thus it stays in the meat.  Roasting (grilling) allows for fat and blood to escape.  Also, cooking meat until well done would also be inferred in the scripture as no 'blood' is left in terms of liquid.  IE: chicken breast goes white when cooked as the blood actually turns white.  God has promised wisdom in James "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." James 1:5, NLT.

Paul warns us that food should not be more important to us than the welfare of others: "But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." 1 Corinthians 8:13 KJV.  Here Paul has proclaimed to NEVER eat meat so as not to offend his brethren.  Are you surrendered to give up ANYTHING for God?

The Bible prophesied the world will increase in disease in both man and beast.  We are seeing prophecy fulfilled.  Do you want to be eating animals this close to the end of time when disease is so prevalent?


What about the Bible verses saying we can eat everything like Peter's vision and so on, learn more here.


Clean Meat - Leviticus 11

This is NOT exhaustive since we promote a vegetarian lifestyle due to the health benefits and moral issues. IE: if you are not killing and eating God's creatures you don't have to know which is clean and unclean. (The lists below are taken from Jewish and other websites so if in doubt do more research on your own. We are not experts in animal identification.)


Mammals - Antelope, Bison (buffalo), Caribou, Cattle (beef, veal, oxen of all species), Deer (venison), Elk, Gazelle, Giraffe, Goat, Moose, Reindeer, Sheep (lamb, mutton).
 "Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it." Genesis 27:9, NIV.

Birds – Chicken, Dove, Duck, Goose, Grouse, Guinea fowl, Partridge, Peafowl, Pheasant, Pigeon, Prairie chicken, Ptarmigan, Quail, Sparrow (and other songbirds), Ostrich*, Swan**, Turkey.  *Some Jewish/Arab experts list ostrich as unclean it has been debated for centuries.  It is a 'red meat' and thus some class it in principle as a mammal which would make it unclean. It also eats small animals, which would class it similar to ravens, eagles, vultures, etc.  **In the King James Version, Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:16 list "swan" among unclean birds. However, this seems to be a mistranslation. The original word apparently refers to a kind of owl and is so translated in most modern Bible versions. Swans are closely related to geese which are considered clean. Hebrew and Arabian experts say the following list is 'clean' so you can be sure these birds are clean as a minimum: Chicken, Dove, Grouse, Goose, Pheasant, Quail, Turkey. Distinctions for birds is grey because, instead of a description, God gave a list of the 'unclean' birds.  Please research for yourself.  Jewish authorities, Muslims, and other Christians who observe these dietary principles have created the following idea to distinguish clean birds from unclean: Possess elongated middle toe and hind toe, crops and gizzards; not a raptor.  Although this is not specifically listed in scripture, we often fine principles are given by God and He is interested in your heart not a legalistic following. So don't strain the gnat but swallow the camel.

Fish – Anchovy, Barracuda, Bass, Black pomfret (or monchong), Bluefish, Bluegill, Carp, Cod, Crappie, Drum, Flounder, Grouper, Grunt, Haddock, Hake, Halibut, Hardhead, Herring (or alewife), Kingfish, Mackerel (or corbia), Mahimahi (or dorado, dolphinfish [not to be confused with the mammal dolphin]), Minnow, Mullet, Perch (or bream), Pike (or pickerel or jack), Pollack (or pollock or Boston bluefish), Rockfish, Salmon, Sardine (or pilchard), Shad, Silver hake (or whiting), Smelt (or frost fish or ice fish), Snapper, Sole, Steelhead, Sucker, Sunfish, Tarpon, Trout (or weakfish), Tuna, Turbot (except European turbot), Whitefish

Insects – Types of locusts that may include crickets and grasshoppers


Unclean Meat

Mammals – Swine (Boar, Peccary, Pig, hog, bacon, ham, lard, pork, most sausage and pepperoni), canines (dogs), felines (cats), equines (horses, donkey, etc.), rodents (squirrels, rats, etc.), rabbits, moneys, camel, llamas, and many, many others.

Birds –vultures (buzzards), kites, falcons of all kinds, ravens of all kinds, owls, seagulls, hawks of all kinds (eagles, osprey, etc.), the stork, herons of all kinds, the hoopoe, and the bat. Distinctions for birds is far more grey since no features are listed only names of birds.  Please research for yourself.

Fish -  Bullhead, Catfish, Eel, European Turbot, Marlin, Paddlefish, Shark, Stickleback, Squid, Sturgeon (includes most caviar), Swordfish, ALL Shellfish (Abalone, Clam, Conch, Crab, Crayfish (crawfish, crawdad), Lobster, Mussel, Oyster, Scallop, Shrimp (prawn)), All soft bodied fish (Cuttlefish, Jellyfish, Limpet, Octopus, Squid (calamari)), all sea mammals (Dolphin, Otter, Porpoise, Seal, Walrus, Whale), all reptiles (Alligator, Cayman, Crocodile, Lizard, Snake, Turtle).

Insects – Most: insects that don't fly AND hop.


OK, we've covered diet now lets talk about lifestyle because there is more to health than just food! Click here to learn more...