Kosher is the Jewish term for all the laws that have to do with food. Kosher deals with the types of animals you can eat, the types you can’t eat, the correct way to slaughter animals, the foods you cannot mix together, and so much more.
For example, you are not allowed to eat bugs (not that you want to). You can’t eat predatory birds or animals either. You can’t cook meat and milk together. And you have to be very careful when you kill an animal – you can’t shoot it in the head or stun it with an electric shock – you have to slaughter it in the most humane way possible.
But you don’t have to starve. You can eat many different foods, including kosher animals. Kosher animals have split hooves and chew their cud. They don’t have claws – they can’t hunt – and they have special stomachs that only work with a vegetarian diet. The scientific term for these types of animals is “non-predatory herbivores” (sounds tasty). Kosher animals are docile and calm like cows. They are not aggressive like lions or crazy like monkeys.
Why so many rules and laws? The Torah cares about food because you are what you eat. Literally. Whatever you eat is digested in your stomach and turned into you. If you eat something aggressive like a hunter or something gross like a bug, that energy becomes you.
And the Torah doesn’t want you to be like that.
The Torah wants you to eat to live. It wants you to have the energy to do great things. And it doesn’t want you to turn into an animal. Kosher food is limited to the most spiritual foods around.
The purpose of eating is to have energy for life. The purpose of keeping kosher is to have energy for the best possible life. Why settle for less?