Kosher Insecta

fried beetles

Kosher Insecta

“…all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.”

– Leviticus, chapter 11, verse 23

Chow down on the damselflies,
Munch upon their crop –
Bite into their compound eyes
Until you feel them pop.
Scoff on moths and feast on ’wigs,
Or ’skaters, ’skeeters, whirligigs –
And aphids served up by the dish
With ladybirds and silverfish.

Count the legs to know the score.
If six apiece, our bugs are pure.

Chomp upon the wasp when ripe
And pluck each silky wing,
Chew upon its barley-stripe
And suck its juicy sting.
Scarabs sate the palate well,
Just don’t forget to crack the shell –
While maggots taste so sweet and young,
When slowly melting on the tongue.

Count each foot and thigh and shin –
When legs are six, we never sin.

But locusts and crickets
All look like they’ve rickets
With bandy gert hindlegs for springing around.
And mantids, you’re saying
Have forelimbs for praying.
But all use all six when they creep on the ground.
And fleas, if you please, walk the hexa-gait too –
(At least, in the circus they do.)

So count each leg, each gnat and bee –
For six is fit anatomy !


But feast not on the mutants,
The foul four-leggèd mutants !
Such creeping fowls thou shalt not eat,
With legs above their feet.

Beware the peacock butterfly !
With four leg-legs and foreleg combs.
Beware the mantidfly, they cry !
And drive these devils from our homes.

Then feast not on the mutants,
These foul four-leggèd mutants !
Count the limbs in which they’re clad –
Six legs good, four legs bad.

And I heard of some bats in New Zealand
Who go on all-fours on the floor
Their wings get tucked up, and each free hand
Is def’nit’ly walked on, for sure !

So shout it out to congregations –
None shall taste abominations !
Heresies thou shalt not eat
With legs above their feet

So gather, gather for the feast
Of insects, great and small.
They’re pure and kosher, ev’ry beast –
Six-leggèd, one and all !

I have seen footage of a mantidfly use it’s forelimbs to help pull itself up a wall, but on the flat at least they seem to keep them folded up. The unrelated praying mantis does similar, but I think may use it’s forelimbs for locomotion a bit more often. But the real champions are the brush-footed butterlies (peacocks, monarchs, tortoiseshells, red admirals) whose front ‘legs’ are far too short for standing on. Probably best not to eat them, just in case…

Oh, and the narrator seems to have forgotten that bats are specifically forbidden in Leviticus 11:19, so avoiding New Zealand bats in favour of flying foxes is no help. Although…did ‘bat’ really mean bat ? I’ve pondered on that over here.

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