Is it forbidden to boil a living animal and then take its meat for consumption? Does the Torah or another source address the concept of boiling living animals?

  • @YehoshuaLevy Where do the sources forbidding the boiling of animals come from? Are they from the Torah, and do they apply to non-Jews?
    – The Editor
    Apr 21, 2022 at 22:15
  • The only way an animal is kosher is by shechita. Boiled animals would not be edible.
    – N.T.
    Apr 21, 2022 at 22:32
  • If you mean lobsters, they're not kosher at all.
    – N.T.
    Apr 21, 2022 at 22:33
  • @N.T. But lobsters, clams, etc. are acceptable to gentiles, right? Should I edit the question to ask specifically for the source of the boiling prohibition? There could be a difference between whether it was commanded to Noah, taught by Moses, or instructed by a later source.
    – The Editor
    Apr 22, 2022 at 2:53
  • Gentiles are forbidden to eat from a live animal, but I'm not aware of a prohibition on killing by boiling.
    – N.T.
    Apr 24, 2022 at 4:52

1 Answer 1


Ignoring the kosher-aspect of boiling instead of slaughtering:

Boiling an animal alive could be against the prohibition of causing unnecessary pain to animals - what is colloquially called צער בעלי חיים - Tza'ar Ba'alei Chaim.

It's a long-standing dispute whether this is a Torah prohibition or a Rabbinical prohibition, but every agrees it's prohibited to cause unnecessary pain to animals.

Only where the pain is beneficial and useful to people, may one cause pain - like killing them to eat them or use their hides for some purpose, or stomping on them if they bother us - so now you have to decide if the added benefit of boiling them is sufficient to warrant the extra pain.

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