Of all the animals domesticated by man, few rate as poorly as the all-purpose pig. And what could be more ego-deflating than being called a pig? Considered the worst possible insult, it is synonymous with all that is bad, smelly, and dirty
Yet despite all the bad publicity, pigs are useful animals, well designed to help the environment look and smell better. Pigs will eat whatever they can root up, bite off, chew up, and swallow. Decaying meat, spoiled vegetables, rotting fruit, rancid grain—if it can be eaten, pigs will eat it. They are the ultimate in garbage men.
Yet what makes pigs such good garbage men—the food they eat—is what makes pigs such garbage as food! Of course, the poor pigs can’t help it. They are doing just what comes naturally. Yet, like all organisms, pigs are composed of what they eat. And what they eat is often full of viruses and other germs, large and small and sometimes noxious, if not deadly. For example, when there are no rotting meats or rancid vegetables around (which are bad enough), pigs will root around in the dirt and eat worms, which often have nasty viruses floating around inside, such as influenza. Pigs have been incriminated as a link in the chain between epidemics, a clue to where the famous Swine flu originated.
Pigs also get cancer. Swine cancer is very similar to human cancer. In fact, you can find the same cancers in pigs that you find in humans.
The book Diseases of Food Animals, put out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, explains that swine are slaughtered as soon as possible after their weight is up, before cancer is manifest. This means that before a pig lives long enough to develop the most obvious tumors, cancers, or other diseases, they are butchered, packaged, and sold at the comer market. In this way, the cancer problem is felt to be solved.
Pigs used to roam through the woods and over fields. Not now. Thousands are now born, bred, and slaughtered in technological jails spelled “pig factories.” Many never see the sun, which is still quite good at killing viruses. They may never breathe an untainted breath in their short, mechanized lives. In the modem pig factories, pig wastes may collect excessively right under their cramped cells. Computers are sometimes used to juggle the menus in order to discover the cheapest sources of food that will produce the most pork from the pig in the least time. This junk food is so bad that the immune system of the animals is weakened. Then, in order to keep the unfortunate beasts alive until slaughter, their keepers mix antibiotics and other drugs in their gruel. After their short, unhappy lives are sacrificed, the establishment has the gall to put big stamp marks on their flesh: “USDA No. 1” or “PRIME.” Off go the carcasses in handsome refrigerated trucks, speeding on their way to sparkling supermarkets. Then all neatly packaged, these pork products go home with unsuspecting consumers who eat them.
Modern science has provided more information about pork. New high-powered microscopes reveal that salmonella and other germs and parasites of every description turn, twist, and crawl inside swine flesh. Also, newly discovered trigger molecules found in pork promote the formation of blood clots, inflammation, spasms, and other problems inside the unsuspecting pork eater. Pork fat is so different that a biochemist can tell whether or not a person has been eating pork, because pork fat molecules remain inside the human body.
Clearly, we are what we eat! No wonder Daniel, the famous Hebrew captive made statesman in Babylon, refused to eat the king’s dainties, which no doubt included pork. Daniel 1:3–21. While Daniel wouldn’t have known about the parasites and viruses found in pork (microscopes weren’t invented for another 2,000 years), he followed the writings of God’s Word: “And the swine…he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.” Leviticus l:7, 8. And the gospel prophet and seer of the Holy Scriptures, Isaiah, decried those “rebellious people…which eat swine‘s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels.” Isaiah 65:2–4.
“But aren’t pigs only unclean for Jews?” you may be wondering.
While God’s original dietary plan for man and beast was a vegetarian diet. Genesis 1:29–31, after the devastation of the flood and lack of plant life, He allowed man to eat animal flesh. Genesis 7–9. Yet God foresaw this situation and designated clean and unclean animals as they filed into the ark. Before there was ever a Jew, God gave dietary instructions. Not only did He identify clean and unclean animals, He also specified that the blood should be drained from the flesh before eating it. Genesis 9:24. Nearly 1,000 years later, the Jews were merely reminded of God’s special dietary requirements for His true followers.
But New Testament Christians can eat anything they want, can’t they? Wasn’t Peter’s dream of the sheet full of animals given to do away with the clean and unclean distinction? If you read the complete chapter of Acts 10, you will find that Peter’s problem was not whether he should eat unclean meats, but whether he should associate with Gentiles. Notice his interpretation of the vision: “God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Acts l0:28. Pork is a poor choice of food for anyone, Jew, Italian, African, or Chinese. Pigs are scavengers, subsisting on the garbage of our environment. God wisely prohibited the use of pork in the days when pigs were allowed to live in a natural environment with fresh air and sunshine. The modern pork industry has put the pig in an environment that has made the pig even more dangerous for food.
In His wisdom, God knew that pork, and any unclean meats for that matter, would not furnish us with healthy bodies or minds. For thousands of years the Bible has warned about swine flesh, even before the modern pig factory. Pig and pig products such as ham, pork chops, spareribs, bacon, lard, sausage, and salami are not safe for human consumption.
Adapted with permission from the Journal of Health and Healing.