Saturday, August 25, 2012

Giraffes are KOSHER but are we allowed to eat them ?


In Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy), G - d gives us a list with all kinds of kosher animals including the conditions on how to determine a kosher animal. A week ago, we read Parashat RE’EH and it is there where we find the exact list: Sefer Devarim 14:5 lists a kosher animal called ZAMER which Rabbi Sa'adia Gaon as well as the RADAK identify as a GIRAFFE. So, a giraffe is a kosher animal but, the question is, whether we are allowed to eat it's meat. 

Giraffes are considered kosher because they have split hooves and chew their cud. As we all know, a pig, for instance, cannot be kosher, as it only has split hooves but does not chew its cud. In order to be regarded as a kosher animal, both conditions have to be fulfilled and not only one of them. 

There is an opinion that we still cannot eat the meat of a giraffe because a Shochet wouldn't know where exactly to schaecht the animal due to its long neck. This, however, seems to be a false rumour because the neck may be cut anywhere. 

The reason why Jews still do not eat the meat of a giraffe is a lack of tradition. It is simply not part of Jewish tradition to go into a store and buy some giraffe meat or does anyone of you know a Jew having put giraffe meat onto a grill ? 

Those of you who would like to have a deeper look into the subject should go to the  Site of Dr. Ari Zivotofsky. It actually is very interesting to learn more about the animals mentioned in the Torah and the Talmud. A topic we usually treat as a minor issue.


- Sefer Devarim, 14:5 

- Natan Slifkin: "Sacred Monsters", page 76


  1. B'H

    Is there really someone to feel a desire for a giraffe? I'm quite happy with my chickens :-)

  2. B"H

    Unless I am not somewhere in Africa starving I don't feel any desire eating such animals. In order to save myself from death of starvation I would eat the meat of a giraffe but otherwise ... arghhh. Ichza !!!