the Little Red Reviewer

Are Tauntauns Kosher?

Posted on: February 3, 2011

I was minding my own business this morning, when this question popped into my head:

When humans meet creatures from other planets, how will Rabbis decide what other worldly creatures are kosher? As I have no idea what creatures we will meet, greet, or eat, it got me thinking about science fictional creatures that might end up at Shabbat dinner.

* * *
First, some super basic rules for Kosher meat:

Land dwelling animals: must chew their cud, have fully cloven hooves, and be herbivores. Cows, goat, sheep, buffalo, etc.

Birds: Chicken, turkey, goose & duck are fine. Birds of Prey are not Kosher.

Sea creatures: the only Kosher sea food is fish with scales, that aren’t bottom feeders. Ocean dwelling mammals? Not kosher. Crustaceans? Not kosher. Seaweed? I’m not sure.

Insects: supposedly there are a few species of grasshopper and locust that are kosher. All other insects, not Kosher.

Reptiles? for the most part, Nope.

A few other generalities: animals that are cannabalistic, not Kosher. Animals that are intelligent (think dolphins, whales, and monkeys) not kosher.

* * *

Tauntauns -omnivore snow lizard, eats mostly fungus but will eat meat as well. Hmmm. So I guess not.

Ewoks they are so cute I just want to eat them up!
furry bipeds, omnivorous diet. Damnit, are any of these Star Wars creatures herbivores?

Sandworms – not that I’d want to ritually kill one of these suckers, but can I have a sandworm fillet for Passover? They don’t really fall into any of the categories above, do they? And I have no idea if they chew their cud, or if they in fact chew at all. And they eat anything. So probably no Sandworm fillet for me.

Moties, from The Mote in God’s Eye – the higher castes probably not, but the lower castes? Watchmakers and rats? Just maybe. . . .

Jeff Vandermeer’s grey-caps – these are the mushroom like beings that inhabited Ambergris before humans came along. If I had never read Finch I probably could be convinced they could be Kosher, because aren’t they just, umm, big mushrooms? Then I read Finch, and the answer is decidedly NO.

THE Alien. You know the one I’m talking about. She’s lean, mean, and doesn’t really go for that ritual killing by slicing the jugular. And she’s got acid blood, and likes laying her eggs in humans. So, maybe not.

Godzilla – As long as he’s an herbivore, I think he might be fair game. Same goes for dinosaurs maybe?

And I haven’t even gotten into kosher laws for Passover.

I sure could use a Kosher Guide to Science Fictional Animals.  *cough cough* Jeff and Ann Vandermeer *cough cough*


7 Responses to "Are Tauntauns Kosher?"

These are hefty questions indeed! Also: I like your unsubtle linkage to the Vandermeers. 😀


that was pretty unsubtle, wasn’t it? 😉 their Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals animals was so useful, I need a sequel.


The only person or animal I can picture trying to eat an Alien is a Honey Badger. And that would just be epically awesome.


Hmm, planning on some space travel soon or are we going to be invaded?


The decisions as to what is Kosher also depends largely on tradition so it’s pretty safe to say that any new discoveries will be deemed unkosher by the rabbis. You know, even turkeys were considered unkosher for a long time because they were unfamiliar to the ruling rabbis. Though I’m not a very adventurous eater so I’m not too disappointed.


I’m an adventurous eater (and I don’t keep Kosher), but If you’re stuck on a colony on another planet, do you eat the local flora/fauna, or not? What are my orthodox friends whose kids dream of being space captains to do?

just kind of a fun/weird thought experiment.


LMAO this is awesome. I’m glad you found my site and posted a comment. I can’t wait to read your other posts.


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