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Chicken is meat. Why are chicken's eggs pareve?

Chicken is meat. Why are chicken's eggs pareve?


The prohibition mentioned in the Torah is to mix meat (beef) with milk. This injunction was extended by the Sages to include fowl as its meat can be confused with beef. Eggs do not fall into this category as they cannot be mistaken for meat. Furthermore, eggs are considered a separate entity once they have been laid and are considered to be pareve, or neutral, so that they can be eaten with either milk or meat.

Interestingly, the Code of Jewish Law (Yoreh Deah 87:5) mentions that if fully formed eggs are found inside a chicken these may be consumed with milk products, however, if the eggs are not fully formed, they may not be consumed together with milk although one would be able to eat dairy products after eating one of them.

Chani Benjaminson,

Chani Benjaminson is co-director of Chabad of the South Coast, coordinator of Chabad’s Ask the Rabbi and Feedback departments, and is a member of the editorial staff of
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Buddy van Zutphen Nijmegen, the Netherlands July 24, 2017

Thanks for the explanation. May I ask a question? If chicken eggs are pareve, then why are lapwing eggs not? (They are considered a delicatesse in the Netherlands). I know a lapwing is not kosher but so are bees but their honey is kosher and this honey is made inside the bee. The bee mixes the nectar inside his extra stomach (crop) with an enzym and regurgitate it into another bee until it is left in the honeycomb. So why is this different? I don't want to be a "smart guy", but I really was wondering. I hope for an answer, thanks! Reply

EK August 7, 2017
in response to Buddy van Zutphen:

With regards to honey, besides the famous explanation detailed here:
The Talmud Bechorot 7b cites a verse and notes that the only exception to the rule is honey. Reply

Buddy van Zutphen Nijmegen, the Netherlands August 9, 2017
in response to EK:

Many thanks for the comprehensible explanation and the inspiring lesson about honey that came with it! Reply

Jonathan Hawes mco June 6, 2017

Excuse my ignorance, but what is all the discussion about confusing others by appearance. Is it more important to appease the judgement of others, who may see someone eat a veggie burger topped with cheese, or appease G-d in faithfully following the rule of Torah. Reply

Anonymous March 21, 2017

I have no problem with kosher rulings about chicken. How ever I do believe that God telling the ancients not to cook a kid in its mother's milk, is because the mixing of proteins or amino acids, has the same effect that feeding a cow the meat of another cow, causing mad cow disease, or the same as the canables created by eating the protein of other humans, causing the same disease of the brain as did the cows.

And I believe it may be the cause of most of the neurological diseases, it just takes longer mixing milk and meat than it does by feeding cows the meat of other cows, or people consuming the DNA of other humans. I believe every law G-d gave us. That is every thing called sin, was to save us from the destructive behavior people do that caused disease and death. Reply

mendy rachman nyc October 28, 2015

I've always resented the fact that I can't mix chicken and dairy due to some ridiculous overzealous Rabbinical interpretation rather than prohibitions found in the Tanakh.

But then I think about it, and realize, gross, who wants to eat chicken and dairy. Like when Italian Americans cover their schnitzel in cheese, grossssssss. Reply

Yochanan Laredo, TX July 31, 2015

can you mix chicken and beef together? Reply

Anonymous April 17, 2015

Very interesting, I did not know this! Thanks for posting this! Reply

Anonymous Texas May 16, 2013

G_d told Moses, and Moses told the Israelites (who were complaining about starving) in the desert that, G_d would provide them with meat, and then, quail covered the land. This has nothing to do with interpretation by a rabbi. Reply

Sam Westchester, Ny February 22, 2012

Irony of modern day kashrut I had always learned that the reason chicken was considered meat was not as much due to the fact that the person eating it would think he or she was mixing milk and meat, but rather because someone else might think that that person is eating milk and meat. And if that is the case, then why is it ok to produce all of these imitation products? Isn't there the possibility that soy cheeseburgers and fake crab, or imitation bacon, etc. temsmight be perceived to a third party as being non kosher items? And therefore isn't this the same issue that was derived from chicken? Reply

Mark Bebernig NYC, NY November 24, 2011

The Chicken Dance I like humour ! Well, tuna steaks may look like meat, but the smell is clearly fishy.
Why fish is not fleishig, and poultry is ?
I dont know ....
Why to be kasher, the birds must be killed by a shochet, and fish not ?
I dont know...
Why ruling poultry as fleishig ages ago ?
Complicated ... But it happened, and as many Nations have their laws, so does the Jewish People.
Many laws are not convenient, like speed limits, tax income, and taxes in general, and so on. So, as long as nobody gets hurt: laws were made to be broken.
On the Jewish part, there is the chumra principle of making the Law more strict then needed to avoid trangressions. So the birds were dragged into the meat category.
Now, in 21st Century, what does one do?
Either keep it as tradition, or don't keep it because we are all "modern".
Judaism goes from very strict observance to totally liberal, and yet we all can remain Jews. Just keep it (Judaism) ! Reply

JBW Westfield, NJ July 29, 2011

I love this makhloket I have been questioning why chicken is considered meat for several years now. I appreciate the link in the 07/15/2009 post to "Why isn't chicken pareve?" and I'm glad to see others actively grappling with the question instead of defeatedly accepting the Rabbinic decree.

To the "Rabbis distorting the Torah" post, I say that rather than distorting, we are all constantly fertilizing, watering, and pruning Torah, as a careful gardener does when she cares for a tree. If Torah is truly a "tree of life," then it will always be changing and growing... but of course it will always need its roots and its trunk to survive.

Today, with our wider-spread literacy and access to information, we are more capable of trusting our own inner Rabbi. At the same time, I also value the traditional Rabbinical opinions.

For now, I eat chicken and dairy together. Not because I have decided that this is the right way, but because I struggle with the question, like Ya'akov with the angel. Reply

Shekhinah camp, ar October 4, 2010

Why are chickens even Kosher? Why are chickens Kosher, does the Torah not say to not eat of animals that eat dead other dead animals? Reply

shlomo zalman b''klyn, usa January 3, 2010

shouldnt chicken be parev? i see the point that the anonymous from tel aviv is making. i wouldnt put it in such way (rabbis distorting the torah) but i do wonder if moses and king david had a nice glass of warm milk with their chicken soup? Reply

Anonymous Tel Aviv, Israel January 3, 2010

Rabbis distorting the Torah To suggest that God does not know how to express Himself by saying he meant all living animals in lieu of just the "kid" in the milk and meat law is to belittle God and a continuing ongoing display of massive disrespect. Surely God means what He says and doesn't need help to express Himself- despite what the highly self opinionated Rabbinate believes.

Secondly, if King David, Moshe and Joshua were not treating chicken as "meat" but as pareve, then who are we, to change the Torah?

Thirdly, regarding the theory of chicken resembling meat, does not Tuna steaks look like red meat? I t certainly does, and much more so than chicken or poultry. Why is no-one posseking tuna to be fleishik?

We need to wake up, respect God, abide by His dictums and protect the law that we are not to add or subtract from His laws Reply

Chani Benjaminson, July 15, 2009

Law While it is true that chickens do not produce milk, the rabbis of the time decreed that chicken and other fowl are included in the meat category (which, by the way, is the same category used in the secular world). Please see Why isn't chicken pareve? for more on this subject. Reply

Jordan St. Paul July 15, 2009

milk and poultry I agree with Efron on this issue I think that the rule should not apply to non-mamalian kosher meat. I would also like to add that I think the meat of poultry is easy to differentiate from that of beef while raw pork and other nonkosher meat is more easily confused with beef and other kosher meats. I think a better rule from the sages would be if you don't know what type of meat it is don't eat WITH ANYTHING. Reply

Mrs. Efron USA May 27, 2009

chickens not being pareve The rule is to "not seethe an animal in its mother's milk". A chicken is not a mammal and therefore has no milk in which to boil the offspring. This rule should not apply. It's time to change the rule. It is irrelevant whether or not the chicken is not vegetarian. Of course it isn't, neither is fish. There's quite a difference between the definitions of pareve and vegetarian. Reply

Anonymous September 26, 2008

RE: Idol worship with regards to kashrut the only reason chicken is considered meat is because it could be confused for beef or veal. with regards to human definition ALL animal muscles/organs are meat (i.e. not vegetarian) Reply

Anonymous September 26, 2008

So, why should we consider chicken to be meat? A person made it this way, not G-d. By listening to this person isn't it borderline idol worship? Reply

Anonymous August 12, 2008

eggs You said, "Furthermore, eggs are considered a separate entity once they have been HATCHED and are considered to be pareve, or neutral, so that they can be eaten with either milk or meat."

I think you meant LAID; once eggs have been HATCHED, they are chickens!!!! Reply

shlomo zalman BKLYN, golus August 7, 2008

eggs, hatched and un- thanx, i've followed the link posted above.
it explains everything nicely. thanks! Reply

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