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Should We Eat Pork?Health and Longevity
In Exodus 15:26 and Deuteronomy 28:58-61, God promised Israel that if they failed to obey him, he would inflict them with diseases, but he also made it known that he is master healer. In Proverbs 3:1-2, we see that obedience to God's word yields long life, and in Proverbs 4:20-22, we see that obedience of God's commands will yield good health. What is meant by this long life and health, and what commandments is he referencing? Is this just a superficial promise that we should do the best we can to please God, and He will in turn supernaturally provide us health and longevity?
The Dietary Laws
In fact, these God is speaking here of some specific commandments and some specific responsibilities. The laws to be obeyed are the dietary laws in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14:3-21, and the health and longevity are the physical results of the conscious decisions of the people to obey these dietary laws.
Christians today are also to have good health and longevity (3 John 2), and, of course, we are to take care of our bodies. However, are Christians subject to the dietary laws as were the Jews? We are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14). Can we then safely ignore God's dietary laws?
Well, these laws were not given for ceremonial reasons like the Levitical sacrifices. They still apply to us today to the same degree that they applied to Israel, in that if we obey them, we will have healthier bodies. The Book of Hebrews explains that we do not need to offer sacrifices anymore, because Christ was the only sacrifice we need. However, the dietary laws were not rescinded with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. They still apply to us in principle as God's guidelines for good nutrition. The cross did not change the nature of the animals addressed in the dietary laws, nor the nutrition or digestive systems of man. There is no repeal of the dietary laws in the New Testament, and thus they transcend the dispensations.
Some have argued that the account in Acts 10:9-17 of Peter being told by God to eat the unclean animals, tells us that the dietary laws are canceled for us. However, this passage is dealing with God's offer of salvation to Gentiles. He is declaring the people clean, not the pig!
We will examine the credibility of these dietary laws in light of what we have learned scientifically and socially. Although these laws prohibit the eating of many animals such as camels and fish without scales, we will confine our discussion to the pig, which is also forbidden as food. Many of the following observations were taken from a book by Rev. Elmer A. Josephson, entitled God's Key to Health and Happiness, which Rev. Josephson wrote after becoming interested in proper nutrition following a close call with cancer.
The pig falls into the category of animals forbidden as food because it does not chew its cud. This is related to the inferior digestion system of the pig. For example, a cow has an extensive digestion system including an alimentary canal and a secondary cud receptacle. The cow essentially has three stomachs, each helping to refine the process of digestion by serving as cleansing laboratories for the purpose of purifying the food. Through this process, the cow's system is kept clean. The cow's digestive cycle takes 24 hours, so the cow's food is not converted into meat cells until its digestion has had 24 hours to rid it of any contaminates. Since a cow eats mostly vegetable food, grass, and hay, anyway, all of which are relatively clean, the digestion system of the cow is more than adequate for cleaning its system, and providing meat which is clean and healthy for human consumption. Likewise, the chicken and the turkey have gizzards which purify their systems and their meat.
A pig, on the other hand, will eat anything, including slop, garbage, anything rotten or decayed, manure, and even the cancer of other pigs. Furthermore, they have but one poorly constructed stomach, and very limited excretory organs. As a result, the digestive cycle of the pig is only four hours, so the slop eaten by a pig four hours ago has already been converted in meat cells, before adequate cleansing processes could occur. Thus, the meat of a pig is still filthy, perhaps more closely resembling four-hour old slop than anything fit for human consumption. As an example of the filthiness of a pig's system is that cattle become deathly ill upon coming in contact with the saliva of a pig.
Why did God even create an animal with such an inferior digestive system? The answer is quite simple. Not every animal was created for the purpose of being consumed by man. The pig was created as a scavenger, along with many of the other forbidden animals such as catfish, shrimp, vultures, dogs, and rats. Its purpose is to clean up the filth of the earth in order to prevent the spread of diseases. Its meat was never intended to be used for human consumption. It does not need an elaborate digestive system like the cow because it doesn't need to keep its system and its meat clean. By the very nature of what it eats, its meat is poisonous, diseased, and deadly. Science has shown that pork contributes to various blood diseases, tumors, liver troubles, stomach disorders, and certain cancers. This should come as no surprise once we consider the vulgar things that we are consuming when we eat pork.
Pigs often have running soars under their hooves through which greenish poison matter will ooze when pressure is applied. The inferior digestive system of the pig often causes its excretory channels to clog, and the poison of the pig literally backs up, saturating all parts of the pig with poison.
There was a mink farm where the minks were routinely given cow livers to eat. When the cow livers were replaced with pig livers and unknowingly fed to the mink, the mink died.
A pig is the only animal of which a snake is afraid. The snake cannot kill the pig by injecting venom into its system, because the pig is so full of poison anyway. Instead, pigs routinely kill and eat snakes.
In 1962, it was found that the nation of Israel had the lowest death rate of any nation on earth. We must attribute much of this to the fact that neither Jews nor Muslims eat pork.
Unlike beef which spoils from the outside/in, pork spoils from the inside/out. This allows for a much greater chance of unknowingly eating spoiled pig meat.
Among the health hazards of the pig are included the various parasites that live in the pig's system. Pigs provide a home for more than a dozen types of worms, some of which are microscopic, and others which can grow to 18 inches in length. Among the worms found in the pig is the deadly trichonosis worm, one mouthful of which can be fatal. Studies show that even when pork meat was exposed to temperatures up to 600 degrees, some trichonosis worms still survived.
Why does our society not realize the dangers we have shown here concerning pork? The answer is in dollars and cents. (1 Timothy 6:10). First, people enjoy the taste of pig meat, thus creating a demand. Secondly, the multiple births of mother pigs makes for an attractive investment. Pigs often bear eight or more offspring at a time, as opposed to a cow which usually bears only one calf at a time. Thus, pigs can be multiplied and brought to market more quickly. Thirdly, since a pig will eat anything, it can be fattened on refuse, without the extensive cost of feed as with cattle.
Science has proven that the dietary laws of Moses are scientific. These laws apply to Christians today as they did to the Hebrews. In light of all we have learned scientifically, when 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells Christians to avoid unclean things, pork must be excluded as a proper meat for consumption. If you have to choose between eating pork and eating horse meat, science seems to be telling us to choose the horse meat. By the very nature of its diet of grass and hay, its meat is cleaner and probably more free of disease.
Owen Weber 2009