I am better educated now on clean and unclean meats, now…I was told that only portions of a cow could be eaten. What parts are clean and does that apply to other animals?
Shalom. It is good that you have chosen to study and learn concerning the Biblical dietary laws; which are a key part of becoming Holy, even as He is Holy (Lv. 11:44-47).
However, I believe you may be confusing what is called the Orthodox Rabbinical Laws of Kashrut (Kosher), with the simple Biblical Laws of Clean and Unclean. Not that there is anything wrong with applying some of the requirements of kosher living to your diet, if for no other reason than your personal health.
Just remember that in Orthodox Rabbinical Judaism, the laws of Kashrut are man-made additions too, and outside those of the written Torah. Being ‘Kosher’ according to Rabbinical Law is a complete lifestyle that goes far beyond the requirements of ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ foods as listed there.
In the interest of not wanting to ‘through the baby out with the bathwater,’ we believe that there are certain requirements of eating Kosher that should be applied to the diet of the individual believer, simply for the reasons of eating as healthy as possible to maintain ‘the body temple’. Yes, you can go vegetarian or vegan. There is Biblical evidence to suggest Daniel and his companions were vegetarians, but there is still no evidence of a requirement by Elohim for His children to do so.
Eating Kosher can be a relatively simple thing. We do so in our home by ensuring that all processed foods have received the ‘stamp’ or ‘seal’ of one of the many Koshering Authorities existing today, such as the ‘Orthodox Union’. They are one of the largest and oldest of these organizations, and their seal is identified simply by the letter ‘O’ with the letter ‘U’ contained inside. But as I say, there are many such authorities, and Believers would be well served by ensuring that your processed foods have received the seal of any one of them.
As a matter of fact, you might be surprised at the amount and types of foods you already have in your home that are approved as being ‘Kosher’! Finding fresh meat considered Kosher can be a bit more challenging, all depending on where you live. Making sure that your food is Kosher, will add another, stricter set of guidelines applied to those already issued by the USDA.
Considering the level of genetic engineering being applied to livestock and most all foods today (thus increasing production and profitability), adding another, stricter level of inspection and acceptance beyond meeting the minimal Biblical standards of ‘Clean/Unclean’, becomes a necessity for the city-dwelling health conscious believer, unable to produce their own food.
‘Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire, its head with its legs and its inward parts‘ Ex 12:9 TS2009
As to what parts of a ‘clean’ animal are acceptable to eat; consider the first Pesach meal in which ALL of the animal was to be consumed. Surely that Mitzvah (Commandment) would not have been given to Moshe for all Yisra’el to follow if it had not been acceptable to Elohim. Our modern social mores and the Western/Greco/Romanish culture we live in today dictate certain sensibilities to us that would cause us concern, if not outright disgust, at eating certain parts of any living thing, even though the animal may be called ‘clean.’ However, that of itself does not make any particular part of the animal ‘unclean’.
There are many good books out there that will explain the process and benefits of a Kosher diet, even going into the types of packaging allowed to keep Kosher foods, well, Kosher. Many different types of packaging are in use today, with some using the enzymes of unclean animals in their manufacturing. This fact alone would cause what would be considered a Biblically clean food, through contact with it, to be ‘unclean.’ One such book simply titled “Is It Kosher?”, can be found at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Kosher-Encyclopedia-Food-Facts-Fallacies/dp/1583306161/ref=dp_ob_title_bk, as well as at other booksellers.
The thing for us as Natsarene to remember is that the laws of Clean and Unclean foods as stated by Torah, are the standard by which we are to follow. Going a step further and ensuring that these foods have been processed, prepared, and packaged under the guidelines of Orthodox Rabbinical Authorities, gives us the added assurance that our clean foods remain as free from contamination by man as possible.
P.S. The picture at the top of this article is of my sister, and her bottle fed ‘bummer’ lamb on our ranch in Western Oregon (circa 1966).