In Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics, we have coined the term “Adventist non-vegetarian” to refer to those who eat meat, poultry, and/or fish which are defined as “clean” according to Scripture and according to Adventist culture. This is the key topic, above all others, that distinguishes Adventist non-vegetarians from other non-vegetarians! Except, perhaps, for orthodox Jews.

If you grew up Adventist (or became Adventist as an adult), you were thoroughly indoctrinated as to what meat/poultry/fish were “clean” (that is, permitted for food) and which were “unclean” (not permitted for food). In its most simplistic explanation, the criteria are as follows:

Mammals – divided or split hoof and chews cud (Lev. 11:3-8; see also Deut. 14:6-8)
Common examples of clean mammals: cow, bison, sheep, goat, deer
Common examples of unclean mammals: pig, camel, rabbit, horse, possum, squirrel

Fish/seafood – fins and scales (Lev. 11: 9-11; see also Deut. 14:910)
Common examples of clean fish: perch, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna
Common examples of unclean seafood: catfish, clam, crab, lobster, octopus, oyster, shrimp, squid

Fowls (birds, poultry) – Scripture tells what birds are unclean, but does not list those which are clean (Lev. 11:13-19)
Common examples of unclean fowls: eagle, owl, pelican, swan
Common examples of presumed clean fowls: chicken, quail, turkey
Some traditions also include duck and goose as clean, but some do not

Creeping things – Unclean defined as flying creatures that walk (Lev. 11:23)
Common examples of clean: cricket, grasshopper, locust
Common examples of unclean: ant, cockroach
Also unclean: snake, tortoise, bat, frog

A more complete list of clean and unclean foods is found here:

Hebrew Roots/Unclean foods/Unclean Animal Food List
Biblically Clean Foods from Leviticus 11
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Unclean_foods/Unclean_Animal_Food_List

Below are more articles on this topic for your perusal:

Bible Passages on Clean and Unclean Food
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+11
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+14&version=NIV

Clean and Unclean, Inside and Out
17 April 2014 | LOREN SEIBOLD
https://spectrummagazine.org/article/column/2014/04/17/clean-and-unclean-inside-and-out

Clean and Unclean Meats
William H. Shea, Former Associate Director
Biblical Research Institute December 1988
https://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/sites/default/files/pdf/CleanandUnclean%20Meats_0.pdf

Is Duck “Clean” Meat According to the Bible?
https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/biblical-laws/clean-and-unclean-animals/is-duck-clean-meat/

The Development of Adventist Thinking on Clean and Unclean Meats
by Ron Graybill
https://whiteestate.org/legacy/issues-clean-uncl-html/

The Distinction between Clean and Unclean Animals
Robert L. Odom
https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1968/03/the-distinction-between-clean-and-unclean-animals-(concluded

Which Animals Does the Bible Designate as “Clean” and “Unclean”?
Posted on Aug 20, 2013 by United Church of God
https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/what-does-the-bible-teach-about-clean-and-unclean-meats/infographic-which

Will I Get Trichinosis from Eating Undercooked Pork?
https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/53540/will-i-get-trichinosis-from-eating-undercooked-pork/


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