12. Animals, Agriculture, and the Environment
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25In the Bible's first creation story, God created the animals on the sixth day of creation, "and God saw that it was good." Yet in the commandments, God declares many (perhaps most) of his "good" creations to be "unclean animals" and "abominations." His list of hated creations includes camels, tortoises, lizards, eagles, owls, swans, pelicans, and bats. But he seems to especially dislike marine and aquatic invertebrates, beasts that go upon all four paws, four-legged creeping fowls, and creeping things that either fly or creep upon the earth.
The agriculture commandments require you to give all your firstborn animals to God, along with your first fruits and liquors. Every seventh year you may not plant any crops. You may not crossbreed your animals or plant crops with mixed seed. And don't plow with an ox and an ass together.
For their first three years, fruit trees are uncircumcised and their fruit may not be eaten. When they are four years old, they are holy and must be offered to God. Fruit may only be eaten when the tree is five years old.