Swan Vs. Giraffe
Here's two "wildlife" kashrut questions: Is the swan a kosher bird (if properly slaughtered)? And what about the giraffe? A chef whom I know, and who was born in Morocco but raised in Israel, has told me that the giraffe is a kosher animal but could never be eaten because the shochet (ritual slaughterer) would not know where to make the cut. Does this make any sense at all?
Dear Harvey Margolin,
The swan is kosher, provided it is kosher-slaughtered. The giraffe is also kosher, in theory. The reason we don't eat it is not because we don't know where on its neck to slaughter it; rather, we don't eat giraffe because there is no continuous tradition that giraffes have been eaten by Jews throughout the generations.
- Mazon Kasher Min Hachai, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Levinger pp.19,22