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How do We Know that an Animal is really Dead?

The Obligation to have mercy on a animal

The prohibition of eating any part of a live animal

The prohibition against eating meat from a live animal is an important one.

Eating a small piece of meat is an offence. How do we know for sure that an animal is dead?

The time of an animal's death is defined as the moment when the heart stops beating permanently. As long as the heart is still beating, the animal is considered alive because its soul is still present in the animal and it is forbidden to cut off the animal's flesh or cut off its limbs.

Leviticus 17:11,14.: “But flesh with its soul, its blood, you shall not eat” and “The blood is the soul”.

Can we tell that an animal has died? If it lies lifeless and motionless and not breathing then we can assume that it has died. And if his jugular vein or other large blood vessel is severed with an open cut and the blood no longer flows out vigorously, but only seeps out of the cut vessel.

Noahides must be vigilant in purchasing their meat from slaughterhouses and examining whether the animals are killed and slaughtered appropriately. Be careful with the meat you eat.

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



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