15 Underappreciated Kosher Animals

I am aware that with all the anti-Semitism, terrorism, berserk politics, major media hacks, global warming, invasive plant species, cop killings, judicial erratum, fracking, and let’s just say the fact that Mashiach hasn’t come, that there are some pretty tough topics out there to tackle. YET: I’ll let you in on a secret. When the weight of the world gets me down, cute animals always make me happy.

Why you should look at cute animals right now:

  • Animals were created by G-d, and why not enjoy creation?
  • Animals are funny.
  • Animals are adorable.
  • Looking at animals can change your mood in an instant.
  • Animals do not have free will, so they always behave exactly how they were created to behave, which in this world is one of the few reliable constants, and at least for me is emotionally reassuring.

Maybe you, like me, love animals and you feel a little bit bad about watching sooooo many videos of fruit bats, chimpanzees, giant pythons, and puppies on YouTube. I mean, I’m not going to tell you not to watch a heart-meltingly cute video of an orphan baby fruit bat being nursed back to health, and I am definitely not going to tell you not to watch a mind-bendingly cuddly video of mastiff puppies playing hide-and-seek.

Clearly sinat chinam and loshon hara and corruption and apathy are much bigger problems in Jewish life than Chassidim who look at videos of non-kosher animals, but then every little thing matters, and the neshama does suffer from non-kosher imagery. But lucky for us, these fifteen animals are as dreamy as panda bears nurturing their baby bears in the wild.

Moose!

US Fish & Wildlife Service/Flickr
US Fish & Wildlife Service/Flickr

What has split hooves, chews its cud, and can total a Volvo? Moose! Look at their knobby faces! Look at their adorable noses! I want my very own moose.

Elk!

Linda Tanner/Flickr
Linda Tanner/Flickr

When I lived in Colorado, elk sometimes crossed the property where I lived. They were quiet and regal. How an animal that size can be so graceful is one of the wonders of creation.

Bighorn Sheep!

Mike Lawson/Flickr
Mike Lawson/Flickr

Did you know that in addition to having fuzzy ears that stick out and soft white muzzles and the ability to scale cliffs in their bare feet, G-d created bighorn sheep with heavy protective bone in their heads to absorb the shock of when they charge at each other at speeds of up to 20 mph?

Boer Goats!

Mike Kemberling/Flickr
Mike Kemberling/Flickr

How can you resist that face? I want to hug this goat.

Jewfish!

Kevin Bryant/Flickr
Kevin Bryant/Flickr

It’s not clear how this variety of giant grouper got its name.

Monkeyfaced Eel!

Jerry Kirkhart/Flickr
Jerry Kirkhart/Flickr

It’s not really an eel. It’s just called an eel, but it’s actually a fish with fins and scales. It’s so ugly that it’s cute.

Wild Turkeys!

drburtoni/Flickr
drburtoni/Flickr

Turkey for me and turkey for you. This wild turkey met a Jew…and became cholent.

Canada Geese!

~Sage~/Flickr
~Sage~/Flickr

If you’ve ever watched a flock of Canada geese take off and land on water, you probably were awed by Hashem’s grasp on aerodynamics. Yet, it’s their beady black eyes and weird way of preening themselves that makes me love them.

Addax!

Israel_photo_gallery/Flickr
Israel_photo_gallery/Flickr

Also known as the screw horn antelope…

Gazelle!

Shankar S./Flickr
Shankar S./Flickr

Look at these babies! Look how petite and delicate they are!

Scup!

Eric Heupel/Flickr
Eric Heupel/Flickr

The scup is an inscrutable and classic little kosher fish. What a peaceful little munchkin this scup is.

Devon Longwool Sheep!

Peter M/Flickr
Peter M/Flickr

Google “longwool sheep” if you want to melt into a puddle on the floor.

Angelfish!

Lazlo Ilyes/Flickr
Lazlo Ilyes/Flickr

The angelfish takes the prize for most stylish kosher animal.

Pigeons!

ZeroOne/Flickr
ZeroOne/Flickr

I bet you didn’t know that pigeons are kosher. I best you thought they were the rats of the sky. Nope. Little pidgies might be common, but they are cutie pies.

Longhorn Steer Mama and Baby!


Watching an animal with long pointy horns gently nuzzle her calf is a miracle of life.

Thanks for taking a break from worrying about the state of the world. Beautiful animals are here for you to look at whenever you need to lighten the burden on your heart.