It’s Life, Jim... But Is It Kosher..?
One of the odd questions to come out of interplanetary travel is the religious status of alien foods. Many faiths have dietary codes, and edible species must be tested to see if they conform. Europa is an extreme case because it has so many edible species, but the question has vexed clerics and scholars since the first landing on Mars. In the case of Europa, for example, the Liberal Jewish interpretation is as follows:
Orthodox Jews and Buddhists refuse to eat any Martian or Europan species since they are neither animal nor vegetable.
- Bladder-Birds are not predators and do not have cloven hooves or chew cud. They are Kosher if prepared correctly; they must be drained of blood and the heart, lungs, and air bladder must be removed as soon as they are killed.1
- Nutsies are Treyf (non-Kosher) since they resemble shellfish and their diet includes decaying material.
- The Liver-leaf and Truffles are both considered to be plants, and Kosher if washed to remove insects etc.
These debates are common to many religions; for instance, the Vatican took several years to rule that Venusian fish can be eaten on Fridays!
1 A variant opinion compares bladder-birds to bats, which are treyf, and refuses to eat them.
The text describing these species is here if anyone has forgotten.
Does this seem to work, or is it a bit too terse?