Some Hebrew Roots dude recently told me we can't have cats or dogs as pets because they are "unclean". That can’t be true, can it?
Of course, it’s not true – and I can’t tell you how often we’ve seen that silly allegation! Some people are just downright dangerous with their skewed ideas and desire to twist Scripture to support their own understanding.
These “armchair scholars” (who aren’t doctors or scientists) espouse all kinds of “proof” (stemming solely from personal opinions and ideas they found somewhere on the Internet) to scare you into believing you’ll end up with cancer and other diseases if you own a cat or dog … and they don’t hesitate to use scriptural “proof” that God hates cats and dogs!
For instance, someone wrote to us a few years ago, insisting that Leviticus 11:24-31 says cats and dogs are unclean and you shouldn’t even touch them. Well, those passages, read in context, reveal we are not to touch their DEAD CARCASSES. If you've touched a carcass, you are considered "unclean" for a prescribed time.
And, oh, by the way - these commands were given while Israel was wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, and didn’t always have access to soap and water!
The animals we are not allowed to EAT are "tamei", they are impure. These are listed in Torah. Eating them is forbidden, but TOUCHING their carcasses makes YOU "tamei", impure, unclean – in part, because of the risk of contracting some disease. There are generally 4 "categories" of "tamei":
1. The internal flesh of "tamei" creatures. See Leviticus 11:25
2. Dead bodies and animal carcasses. See Leviticus 5:2, 11:27-28, 31, 39; Numbers 19:11.
3. Human beings who have touched either of these things, or whose bodies have an issue of blood or other bodily fluids; Leviticus 7:21, 11:25, Leviticus 11:27-28, 31, 39; 12:2; 15:2-4, 7-8, 16-33; Numbers 19:11
4. Inanimate objects [esp. furnishings and vessels] touched by 1, 2, or 3. This is from Leviticus 11:32-38; 15:20, 26
Bottom line: There is nothing wrong in having "unclean" animals for pets! A simple reading of Leviticus 11:24-31 IN CONTEXT shows this. Nothing is even implied that you must not "touch" them or own them.
The same even holds true even for pigs. There’s nothing wrong with having a barnyard full of pigs if you happen to love pigs and want them as pets. You're fine ... as long as you don’t EAT them…