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

Below are more articles on this topic for your perusal:

Bible Passages on Clean and Unclean Food

Clean and Unclean, Inside and Out
17 April 2014 | LOREN SEIBOLD

Clean and Unclean Meats
William H. Shea, Former Associate Director
Biblical Research Institute December 1988

Is Duck “Clean” Meat According to the Bible?

The Development of Adventist Thinking on Clean and Unclean Meats
by Ron Graybill

The Distinction between Clean and Unclean Animals
Robert L. Odom

Which Animals Does the Bible Designate as “Clean” and “Unclean”?
Posted on Aug 20, 2013 by United Church of God

Will I Get Trichinosis from Eating Undercooked Pork?

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