Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On Pork, the Other White Meat


E  ating pork is strictly forbidden in Islam, but were you aware that the Bible also advises against eating "the other white meat?" The Jewish faith's dietary laws also ban the consumption of pork. Heck, even Confucius recommended avoiding pork. Muslims adhere stringently to this command, however, many Christians do not. What's amazing when you stop to think about it is that these religious commands came centuries ago, long before science could actually substantiate the logical reasons behind such a command.


There are two Biblical passages that basically say the same thing about not consuming pork...


Leviticus 11:7-8
"And the swine, though he divided the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
"Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you."



Deuteronomy 14:8
"And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass."



Joel Osteen, the famous inspirational Christian preacher with a very large flock of followers, explains the scientific logic for why people should abstain from eating pork in a simple way that is very easy to understand in this interesting video:




If pork is this unhealthy for humans, then why hasn't the US government taken steps to ban it from the marketplace, like it has with many other products which were proven to cause cancer or other health problems? The answer is simple: Because the pork industry is a BIG business and the US government very often sides with big business over the welfare of the people, especially when the BIG bucks are involved.

Certainly the writers of the Bible, the Torah, and the Quran had no idea what science could prove thousands of years later about why it is so unhealthy for people to consume pork. Do YOU eat pork? After watching this video, will you STILL eat pork?

UPDATE: 5SEP09 - I know that people, including myself, have eaten pork for centuries. I personally think it's the best tasting meat of all as far as flavor goes. Eating pork is so strictly adhered to here in KSA that many people actually believe they will die if they eat it. When I saw the video, I thought it would make an interesting post. I am not a fan of Joel Osteen, but I know he is quite famous and has a large following. I am not trying to spread misinformation about how bad eating pork is for you and I do not have an agenda. I thought this would provoke an interesting discussion, and indeed it did. I really like what a couple of commenters said about how it's not really that important what we put INTO our mouths - it's more important what comes OUT of it.

73 comments:

  1. I don't eat pork,and I'm not Muslim or Jewish but I never did really because I didn't like it. Pork is just one in a list of many animals forbidden by that rule in the Torah - the list includes camels (which arabs DO eat) and rabbits too because though they both are grass eaters they don't have the right kind of hoof and the pig is outlawed because though it has the right kind of hoof it eats all sorts of things.

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  2. Joel Osteen is hardly an expert on food safety.

    I eat pork and I have never had a problem with it (nor heard of anyone who had a problem with it). In the last few years we have had many problems in the US with food safety and much of it has been with vegetables (spinach, tomatoes) and safe meats like beef. I doubt that pork in the US is any less safe then all the other dirty food they sell us.

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  3. I didn't watch the vid, 'cause I love pork and I want to still eat it! I know it isnt the greatest for you, but I chose lean portions and only indulge rarely. I do however cook up bacon for my husband when he returns from Jeddah :) (He is not a fan of the Beef Bacon!)I have always found it hilarious that Christians here in the States usually celebrate Christ's birth with a ham dinner!!!!! Seems like alot of folks need to read the Bible if they claim to follow it! lol

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  4. In the States, you can get alternatives to pork (as this guy mentions) like turkey bacon or pepperoni made out of beef instead of pork; there are a whole range of alternatives out there if you're willing to try them.

    That said, though, in the US, they take so little care with large industry and placement of farms and such that any other animal can graze on grass contaminated with toxic run-off or can be incessantly fed antibiotics or other drugs...in the end, it may make little difference.

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  5. But according to him and the Bible, we should not eat any shellfish either because it is just as bad for you as pork!! No bacon, no shrimp, no lobster, no crab..I may as well kill myself right now! :)

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  6. I really enjoy reding your blog! It's nice to have a first hand glimpse of living in Saudi Arabia.

    It's funny though, just before I came to visit your blog today, I was looking up recipes for a new side dish to serve with our grilled pork chops tonight! ....and in my opinion, bacon was sent to us by the gods themselves! Mmmmm....bacon.

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  7. Thanks to all commenters so far - I'm really enjoying hearing what you have to say on this subject!

    Hi DesertMonsoon - Thanks for bringing up about the hooves. I didn't know that about rabbits.

    Hi Jerry - I realize that Osteen is no expert on food safety, however everything that he states in the video is supported by research. In fact, some of the information I read was even scarier than what Osteen pointed out. People can certainly make their own decisions what to put into their bodies, but they should be armed with the facts. Thanks for your input, as always.

    Hi DesertBloom - Ha ha! A big ham for Xmas dinner - I remember it well!

    Hi Lena - Good point - thanks.

    Hi Anon - I meant to mention shellfish in my post and forgot - thanks for reminding me!

    Hi CuzIFeltLikeIt - LOL - I can just hear the discussion at dinner tonight as your husband is taking a bite of his grilled chops!

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  8. No, no pork or shellfish for me. (Even if I could find it, hehe.)

    Are you allowed to call Swine flu by that "unclean" name?

    Part of my volunteer duties at Heifer Ranch, Arkansas, was to take care of some dozen pigs. They really are disgusting in their eating habits.
    Thanks for this interesting post.
    Look at the size of that preacher's audience!

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  9. hilarious video...

    There are different breeds of Porks, in spain the Cerdo Ibérico (Iberic pork), is a black specimen) graze in fantastic grasslands with oaks and eats what we call bellotas (acorn?), and the quality of their ham...depends on how many they have eaten in their life. It's the only thing they eat. You can pay 700 € for a good pork leg. So that's an excellent meat!!

    For the other pigs, pinks, I've visited in my life 3 different pork farms, and pigs have their own space, separated from other porks, one for room, only mother and kids toegether and only when small, and they eat what we human give them.

    About that they eat their child... some fishes do too among other animals.

    Pork is one of the animals you can eat almost all of it. It's one of the bests in taste terms.

    In my country pork is part of the culture, we make iberic ham, york, chorizo, fuet, espetec, we eat the ears, the legs...everything.. (I don't like ears...).

    It's not good for people with colesterol ..but turkey, cheese or eggs are not good either

    The reason to forbide it on ancient times could be understood by how they lived then. But today? The speaker was comparing it with animals raised free. Raised free pigs are lazy animals not as a deer or others that will travel for food or herbivorous ones.

    But we're not eating wild pigs anymore. It all depends where it's raised. If in a place where like any other animal for human consumption is treated as that. Or raised in a country in which no control is established.

    Pork may have diseases as the chicken, the cows... no animal is free...

    Porks have not a good PR or marketing department... any animal is sensitive to be raised in a farm with contaminated grass with toxic run-off or fed with antibiotics.

    In the video HOME, which reflects some of the problem's of today's world, there's a part in which you can see the trees cutt off in brazil, done to gain land to plant what used to feed cows..and there's a moment where you see those cows that have no space between each other and was deplorable..I bet those caws are not raised with the same care some porks are.

    Uffff sorry for the long post. Pork is one of my favourite!!

    By the way, congrats Susie, i love the new look!!

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  10. It is my understanding in Islam we are merely forbidden to eat them- they are not good for us. No where does it say they are unhealthy.

    There are some stories about God being angry and turning people into pigs. And pigs are very beneficial to man in medical research because of genetic similarities. So maybe we are not allowed to eat pigs out of respect for the pig?

    Many Muslims are positively supersticious about pigs, including blacking out their pictures in children's storybooks. It can be ridiculous.

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  11. For Christians, those laws were done away with when Jesus was born. He said he was the fulfillment of the Mosaic laws. The only laws required by Christian are love your neighbor as yourself and abstaining from idols, things that are strangled, fornication and blood.

    And as far as the government banning it, LOL, they can't even ban the cigarette, and lots more people have died of lung cancer than from eating pork. And yes, I eat pork. It's no worse for me than beef (although mine is better since we raise it ourselves) or chicken (now if you want to see unclean, look at a factory raised chicken).

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  12. I don't eat a lot of pork, but I do enjoy it from time to time. Like anything else, it is important to know where and how it was raised. I used to get some excellent pork from my neighbour who raised a couple of pigs for personal consumption - it was pretty easy to see the pigs' living conditions and what they ate. Likewise, my family raises a few chickens and a heifer or two for our own consumption (and to share with the neighbours). I feel very confident in eating the meat from these animals, as I know what they ate (fresh grass, garden extras, etc.) and that they had plenty of room to roam around. I've never had any issues with hunted game as well (elk, moose, deer, caribou) - if it is cooked properly, and you eat it in moderation, there shouldn't be a problem :)

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  13. I don't eat pork and have not for many years. I don't feel good when I eat it plain and simple. Yes, whoever said the Bible did away with that requirement in the New test may be correct. That's my mom's excuse for still chowing down on it.

    In the U.S- virtually all factory raised animals (cattle, chicken. etc) are treated poorly. It is a pitifull shame. I am of the belief 'free range' is best.
    anthrogeek10

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  14. This video is full of misinformation, I am sorry. It is true that in the past pork was not a safe meat to eat especially in hot climates because of trichonosis. Today this disease is almost eradicated in the US.
    The US, in general, has one of the safest food supply systems in the world. Of course, sometimes there is an outbreak of this or that but it happens everywhere and the bad product can always be tracked down. try that in many of the world's countries.
    Pork is lean (especially in the US) because in recent years it was bred this way. In other parts of the world it is much fatter. It is a source of protein and it is as good and clean as beef or chicken.
    Religious views are a separate thing: I know plenty of Jewish people who eat pork but see the biblical adminition as an outmoded commandment to protect the desert people from meat affected by heat. They are no less Jewish because they eat pork than the orthodox Jews which take biblical prohibitions more literally. Of course what makes one a Jew is a separate and complicated story. It is certainly not eating or eating pork. If I stopped eating pork, I would not become Jewish, would I?

    Regards.
    Anna

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  15. Joel Osteen, really? The pay-to-pray Mega-church Televangelist? His wife beats up/berates flight attendants, he believes in a "rewards-based" Christianity -- the more Christian you are, the more G*d will give you cold, hard cash?

    I actually don't disagree with some of the health issues with pork, but I think you sapped your argument of much of its' credibility by using Joel Osteen as your poster child, of all people I'm sorry. Love the blog.

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  16. Believe it or not, I quit eating pork when I was 15....nearly 20 years before I became a Muslimah.
    We had ham every week at my grandparents house and I always felt sick after dinner. So I just stopped eating it and filled up on potato salad or vegetables. Fortunately, being a southerner, there was ALWAYS a huge spread on the table!
    When I was 10, we went to the factory where they make lunch meats. Specifically we watched them make bologna from beginning to end! BARF. I never touched the stuff again. Pork is poison.

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  17. Haven't read through the comments, so sorry if someone's already mentioned this...

    But technically you can't really give the Bible as a reason not to eat it as a Christian. Yes its in the verses you mentioned... However, there is a major verse in the NT that says we dont have to go by those laws. I don't remember the specific verse, but its not hard to find. If it weren't for that we'd have a lot more dietary laws to go by than just not eating pork.

    However... I agree that pork is really really really bad for you lol. I stopped eating it about 8 years ago for that reason. It took me actually getting sick on the stuff (no listening to proof that its that bad wasn't enough) for me to stop. Yes, I'm stubborn lol.

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  18. I don't think I need the government to tell me what I can and can't eat. They would like to tax junk food too, but this is not Saudi Arabia and we can make out own decisions. I'll talk to my pastor at church about this issue and get back to you with what he says!

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  19. Jesus said he did NOT come to change the law...Matthew 5:17-20 (New International Version)

    The Fulfillment of the Law:


    17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

    18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

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  20. Christians generally do not avoid pork as the New Testament clearly says that the coming and sacrifice of Jesus the Saviour washed away the old laws and instituted a new set of priorities and requirements for the faithful. Pork and seafood are clean because of the New Testament. The old testament is just the history of the bible, we follow the "new testament". The old testament also says that women are unclean when they are menstruating and should live apart from their family for a week, but again this is in the old testament, the coming and sacrifice of Jesus the Saviour washed away the old laws and instituted a new set of priorities and requirements for the faithful. If we stop eating pork shouldn't we follow ALL of the other laws in the old testament, or do we pick and choose what we follow! The only thing you need to go to heaven is to accept "Jesus Christ" as your savior! Jesus is the basis of Chritianity! Islam and Christianity are drastically different religions!

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  21. I might also point out that cows and ecloli and mad cow disease

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  22. the laws of the old testament are the laws of Jews and in the Christian faith the old testament serves as a history of God's people. When Christ came he made the laws of Moses obsolete by making a new covenant between God and man.

    "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becomign obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." Hebrews 8:13

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  23. Susie,
    I love your blog for the cultural awareness it spreads but today's post is full of false information. I believe your blog is great at cutting through stereotypes and false information. That being said, I would like to share what I know on the subject of the Pork Industry so everyone who reads your blog can make an informed decision on whether or not to eat pork. The majority of pork raised in the US for food is owned by large companies who contract with independent farmers to raise the pigs. I work in the US Pork Industry for one of these large companies and have firsthand knowledge of what pigs do and do not eat. Mr. Osteen's comments are untrue when it comes to what is feed to pigs in the US Pork Industry. I do not have knowledge of pigs raise outside the US and would think that pigs raised in some underdeveloped countries would unfortunately have poor diets. Just as many of the other animals and even people of those countries would have as well. Pigs, like cows, turkeys, and chickens, raises for food here in the US are feed following strict nutritional guideline. The feed for all of these animals is made out of the basic components of corn, soy beans, rice, wheat, distillers grains, fats, and amino acids. The type of fat used will depend on the animal and the feeding program. The turkey in which Mr. Osteen's turkey bacon came from, eats basically the same think as the pig that became the pork bacon in the next package over. The pork producer I am affiliated with has pigs that are raised on a 100% vegetarian diet and pigs raise 100% antibiotic free, or both. This is a growing trend in the industry and many of you can find pork in your grocery store that was raise 100% vegetarian and/or antibiotic free. Pigs raised for food DO NOT eat trash, as Mr. Osteen says. That is a flat out lie. There are pigs, just like cows, chickens, and turkeys, that are raised "free range" but the majority of the animals raise for food in the US are not raised like this. Raising large herds or flocks of animals "free range" is not economically viable right now, the higher costs would be passed on to the consumer. Many people would not be able to afford the amount of protein needed for a healthy diet if all animals were raised "free range". As for pigs eating their own babies, I have never witnessed or heard of this. The sows (mother pigs) I have observed are very good mothers, caring for their babies just like your dog or cat would. As for the treatment of pigs raised for food, the company I am affiliated with has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to mistreatment of animals. Any mistreatment is taken very seriously and the offenders quickly dealt with. I would say that is the industry rule rather than the exception. The majority of farmers raising the pigs take great pride in what they do, they want the pigs they are raising to be healthy and well cared for. And this is what the pork industry wants as well. Farmers that raise unhealthy, poorly treated pigs soon find themselves out of the industry because no one wants to do business with them. I hope my comments help everyone to have all the needed facts to combine with their religious beliefs when deciding to eat pork or not.

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  24. Pigs are cannibals and very greedy. even when being slaughtered they will eat the flesh and blood of the already killed pigs around them. I wouldnt eat a animal that eats its own feces and brothers. but i think piglet is soo cute and wouldnt dare to even think about eating him. also pigs have a similar chemical composition to humans. doctors and scientist have used pig hearts as for heart transplant patients. the guy who got it died very quickly tho.

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  25. To San Antonio Cicily...can you give me the exact verse in the NT you are quoting that says "the New Testament clearly says that the coming and sacrifice of Jesus the Saviour washed away the old laws and instituted a new set of priorities and requirements for the faithful."? Because my quote above is from the NT and it is obviously 100% in opposition to what you claim.

    So if BOTH quotes are to be found in the NT, then I suppose it's one good reason not to practice Christianity, let alone eat (or not) pork.

    As Muslims we are sure God is not the author of confusion. And God is the TRUTH. I cant even imagine believing in a book that is the source of such contradiction.

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  26. Richard Dawkins wrote: "If there were good supporting evidence, then faith would be unnecessary, for the evidence would compel us to believe it anyway."

    Adhering to religious laws is a demonstration of faith and piety, not a health retreat. If one believes, science shouldn't be necessary to validate belief. I find the religious search for scientific proof that certain maxims are correct incredibly narcissistic. Science and religion can be complementary ways of searching out truth, but not when both are reduced to rather arbitrary laws and cherry-picked supporting evidence.

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  27. Your post was very interesting and I have to really think about eating pork now but the comments you got were just as interesting. Wow!

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  28. i have to admit pork does freak me out. most of my family wont touch it. but every so often i crave a BLT or some honey baked ham....
    we got in a bog fight last christmas over honeybaked ham. so...i took to the pot luck at work :)

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  29. Aside from the basic laws that guide all humanity (10 commandments) or things God forbids and refers to as being "an abomination in his sight", the rules that are laid out in great detail and length in the OT were given to "the Children of Israel" for "The Children of Israel"

    Once Jesus came, the aspect of the Law designed to keep Jews separate from everyone else, were no longer the point.

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  30. Hi Susie - The new look of your blog is good, but your old banner was fab. It was my favourite banner and the most expressive of all the blogs I've seen.
    :) Eman

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  31. Leaving pork behind when I became Muslim has been one of the hardest things to do! I grew up in a family that consumed pork on a regular basis. My father's farm family raised their own pigs for slaughter. Dad said that they ate everything about the pig except for the oink, and knowing my late grandmother, she would have used that if she could have figured out a way to do so. When I think of all the foods we ate in my family that have pork in it--beans and ham hocks, pork sausage, both link and burger style, bacon, Canadian bacon, pork chops, pork roast, ham, ham steak, spare ribs, pork barbeque of all types and many more types of pork that I'm sure I've forgotten--my mouth starts to water. *Waves sorrowfully to the flying pig* No more of you!

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  32. Vegetarian.. the way to go !!!! I'm born vegetarian ( Hindu ) ,lean,fit and healthy.. 3cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day + milk and lentils for proteins..nary a problem in my 50+ yrs on this earth..living close by my 80+ yrs old healthy vegetarian parents and in-laws.. what else proof do i need :-) fantastic blog BTW.

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  33. Everything in moderation. I eat pork on occasion, and will continue to do so. There is also the story that the Buddha died after a meal of pork.

    You say the pork industry is big business. So is the beef industry ("It's what's for dinner.") and the poultry industry. By this logic, we should all become vegetarians. Vegetarianism, while healthy for some, is not a human biological norm. Our biological make-up is that of an omnivore.

    I will continue to consume meat, and fish for that matter, irrespective of what anyone, religious or otherwise, claims.

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  34. Also in the Bible, in Acts chapter 11, there is a passage in which Peter is criticised by Jewish believers for eating with Gentiles (uncircumcised men). The Lord gives Peter a vision in which he instructs Peter that it is OK to eat everythng, Peter protests that no unclean thing has ever entered his mouth. The Lord says, "Do not call anything impure that God has made pure."

    In Romans chapter 14 it says "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables."

    Jesus removed the differences that people were using to stay apart from each other. Faith in Christ was the most important thing, not whether a man was circumcised or not or rather he ate pork or not. It's what comes out of a persons mouth which is important not what goes into it because what comes out reflects a persons true heart.

    As far as the US banning pork, Americans don't depend on the gov't to tell us what to do and not do. We are free to make our own choices, both good and bad. It's not a question of the US siding with big business against the people. If the majority of Americans decided eating pork was bad they'd stop doing it and the pork industry would go out of business. That's how our system works.

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  35. I don't eat pork, since I'm a muslim. Yes I agree Susie this is a big money market for North America.

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  36. I don't cook pork anymore because my husband is Muslim. I certainly eat it when I have a chance. I understand the reasonings as to why pork (and shellfish in Judaism) was banned. Ditto not mixing dairy and meat in Judaism. It was not for religious reasons but for health. Pork is NOT a problem in Canada and the US and many other countries. Some countries live mainly on pork. It has to be cooked properly but then so does chicken.

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  37. Mmmm! Bacon!!!

    Linda

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  38. Pigs are cannibals? So are chicken and many, many fish. Chickens eat everything including eggshells from their own offsprings and they have no problem eating chicken, raw or cooked. Moreover, hens will eat the meat of their babies, why not?
    Fish often eat their young alive. This is pretty common in the lower animal world. Snakes do the same. My god, this is crazy talk about pigs, really. And definitely not knowledge-based.
    Anna

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  39. I think they did know many years ago!Putting the words into religious writings just helped keep people healthy.

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  40. I am not Muslim but Seventh Day Adventist and we also do not believe in eating pork. Seventh-Day Adventists keep the dietary laws given in Leviticus 11, which were given to the Israelites by Moses. These dietary laws prohibit the consumption of pork, lobster, shrimp, and several other "unclean" foods. Adventist's usually teach that this is done as a Biblical command which is still binding, however, more recently, some have related that it is more of a health choice. We also do our best to present a health message that recommends vegetarianism.

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  41. If we could see how any "domesticated" animals for food are raised we'd become vegetarians. Then we could worry about the chemicals. I like pork, and will continue to eat it. Something is going to kill me anyway.

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  42. I eat it on occasion, but then I drink a beer now than as well(actually I am enjoying a beer right now). Two things I will miss in Kuwait : ) Love you blog~

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  43. I have never eaten pork because I believe in the Bible. I'm a Christian, but not a mainstream one. I believe the Bible was inspired by God who knew what was good and not good long before research came about. And Abraham, who was the father of Ishmael and Isaac, from where Islam and Judaism came, didn't eat pork, either.

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  44. Hi there,

    He makes some valid points with a huge caveat that invalidates his logic - cows would eat "fresh green vegetation" if we gave it to them, however all industrial beef in the US is fed corn and silage, a diet that kills them in a few short years from acidosis and gives us cancer.

    Pigs who are raised on fresh garden scraps, fresh whey, and other wholesome things are much healthier for humans to eat. Of course, much like cows, industrially raised pigs in US aren't very healthy either.

    I eat beef and pork that I purchase from farmers that I know take good care of their animals. I think the fact that the religious books all agree on this point is more a sign of the history of food safety than something we should understand as truth today.

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  45. I worked with pigs before I became Muslim...they are stinky animals. Susie of Arabia...could you write a post on Arab women?

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  46. there are so many laws regarding what is clean and unclean in the old testament, are we picking and choosing what we follow! If you don't eat pork than shouldn't women be separated from others when they are menstruating. Maybe we should all have special houses in are backyard for the women to go to when they are menstruating. Pork has nothing to do with whether you go to heaven, accepting Jesus Christ as your savior is what you need to do to go to heaven. Everyone sins and god knows this Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. Are you seriously saying that if we eat pork we won't go to heaven. God knows we will sin and he forgives us. In mathew chapter 15 the subject of clean and unclean is talked about.Nothing that goes into your mouth that goes in your stomache will make you unclean its what comes out of your mouth that makes you unclean. Also in mark chapter 7 they discuss this. your salvation is dependant on whether you accept Jesus Christ as your savior! Food has nothing to do with this.Its what comes out of your mouth as this is what comes from you heart!

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  47. Also Jeol Osteen interpretation of the bible is really twisted! My pastor agrees!

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  48. Also I wonder if Joel Osteen takes a shower everytime he has a seminal emission? It says in the old testiment that he should. Again are we picking and choosing what we decide to follow. Some examples of the old testiment laws-purification after child birth,do not wear cloting of two kinds of material! Throw out all you polyester cotton blend clothes they are unclean! Do not cut the hair on the edges of your head. Seriously do you think God is going to require all this stuff to go to heaven. All you need to do is accept Jesus Christ as your savior!

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  49. You know I know a guy who drank whiskey every day smoked like a chimny and ate a pound of bacon every morning and live to be like 90!

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  50. The only way to really understand and not be led astray by false teachers and wrong interpretations is to read the Bible yourself. I googled Joel Osteen, and what I read on his site didn't match my understanding of scriptures. I think ppl have a responsibility for their own soul, and shouldn't just blindly follow the teachings of others. Otherwise, how do you avoid false teachings and cults?

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  51. As someone already commented, the laws forbidding the eating of pork were given to keep the people from getting sick from meat that wasn't perserved or cooked correctly. We all know that when pork isn't cooked correctly it can cause problems. Also, the references you used are in the Old Testament. I believe that all of the laws given in the Old Testament were given to a people who were "children". After all, they were often referred to as the Children of Israel. They needed everything spelled out to them because they had proven many times that they couldn't follow simple instructions from Jehovah. I believe that when Christ came, he fulfilled many of the laws that were given to the Children of Israel. For example, instead of "an eye for an eye", He taught that now they needed to "turn the other cheek". I think that Christ didn't give any dietary laws because the people had grown in wisdom and knowledge and knew when to avoid eating pork. I'm a Christian and I know when to avoid eating pork. Most of the time, I love it, but if it isn't cook right or hasn't been perserved correctly, forget it.

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  52. I don't believe that the US government should have that kind of control over the lives of it's citizens. The founding fathers believed in checks and balances to avoid a government that is intrusive and harmful to its people.

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  53. Susie: I eat pork and since my heart problems the doctors say beef should be avoided. The Bible teaching were for a day gone by when there could have been bad health problems from eating pork. Since the pork is raised better now it is just a safe as other meats.

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  54. Interesting post and equally interesting comments. Great dialogue! I don't eat pork as I'm a vegetarian. ;-)

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  55. Matthew 15:10
    Jesus called the crowd to him and said,"Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'"

    My husband's grandmother ate pork every day of her life and she lived to be 102 years old.

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  56. You know pigs are used for a lot of medical stuff. My grandfather has a pig valve in his heart other wise he would have died. He got this 15 years ago and has had no promlems since! Also some muslims believe that if you eat pork you take on the characteristics of a pig! Wow where is the medical evidence to back this up? My grandfather certainly doesn't seem to have any pig characteristics and he eats pork and has pig body parts! I don't think that bacon is all that healthy simply because it is a fatty meat, however there are many other food issues as well. Larger fish seem to have high concectrations of mercury and other bad stuff simply because they eat smaller fish and the smaller fish eat other smaller things and the longer the larger fish stays alive the more concentrated all these bad things get in his body! I think the best thing to do is to become educated and research these things for yourself so that you can make healthy decisions. Too much beef is not good either. A little meat with a lot of vegetables is probably much more healthy for a person anyway. This is just common sense. you have to be careful now adays about anything you eat. Tuna in the can has to be ate in moderation now because of the mercury problem in fish. (I think its mercury anyway research it) my doctor advised me when I was pregnant about fish and also advised me about my children eating canned tuna. Again I won't go into detail here as you can look up mercury in fish yourself, my point is that you need to be informed so that you can make educated decision. You can't blindly follow what a pastor preacher or anyone else tells you. In todays world you REALLY HAVE TO BE EDUCATED to make informed decisions, even when it comes to religion. You need to use some common sense and ask yourself do you really think that anyone on earth can go without sinning of course not and god knows this! Everyone has a conscience and knows right from wrong! Killing is wrong, judging people is wrong, talking about people behind their backs is wrong, stealing is wrong, I think you get my point. People will of course sin, as hard as we try we will. God simply wants us to do our best and stop and think before we do the things we do and try to live a good life and a moral life, and remember that Jesus dies on the cross to save us from our sins, and we need to accept him as our savior and god will forgive our sins because he knows that it is impossible to live your life without sinning. However this does not give you the right to go out sinning and living your life in a sinful way it just means that if you do sin he will forgive you if you ask him. The acceptance of Jesus christ in your lives is the only way for your salvation!

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  57. What I wonder ... is it haram to have pig valves put in the heart to save one's life? Pig tissue can be used for burns - all sorts of things that benefit man. Goats are garbage eaters and Muslims certainly eat lots of goat!!

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  58. I agree with Anonymous. How silly would you feel, if having read the Bible yourself, you found out that you'd be mislead for years. Your own soul after all. I could quote you chapter and verse (more than one), but I'm not going to. Read it.

    Or, think about it. Look at Christ, who though He shared in the very nature of Godhead, did not see that Glory as something to be grasped; but, instead, He emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant, submitting Himself in obedience - even to death on a cross.

    He became Sin itself for us, and now the wrath of the Father pours out on the Son, God taking the punishment back into Himself that we rightly deserve.

    Why are we talking about dietary laws? If you think that eating or not eating, observing sacraments or not, observing Holy days or not, performing Good Deeds or not has anything to do with it - then the Son would never have had to come at all. We could simply earn our way into heaven. Go ahead and do that if that is your religion; but it is certainly not Christianity.

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  59. I am becoming so very tired of the fear. . .really it only generates more fear. No shellfish? What about all the people who live near the ocean and use it's abundance to survive? They are "sinful", really? I don't eat shellfish and have a slow thyroid because of lack of iodine??? Hello??? Do you really believe the Supreme Being, however you name it, will judge you by what you eat, or what's in you heart and how you treat your fellow man? I can think of so many more objections to this arguing with each other over food that I am getting a headache, just kidding :) BUT not so much about the fear thing though, REALLY.
    Linda

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  60. Aren't pigs suppose to be very smart?

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  61. Porcine valves, insulin, anything (including gelatin) that are necessary for medical reasons are permissible in Islam as Muslim scholars including medical ethicists have determined. IF and when alternatives are available they are preferable but not necessary, eg. no need to mess with a fully functioning porcine valve; or porcine insulin that is well tolerated especially if other types are not, etc.

    Otherwise I agree that certain dietary injunctions had a lot to do with desert, and hot country living, and hygiene limitations early on, and were meant to promote health.

    Also Osteen's version of Christianity is "special", and his views on and knowledge about pigs suspect.

    Good topic!

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  62. Thanks to All the Commenters - I really enjoy reading your input. I know that people, including myself, have eaten pork for centuries. I personally think it's the best tasting meat of all as far as flavor goes. Eating pork is so strictly adhered to here in KSA that many people actually believe they will die if they eat it. When I saw the video, I thought it would make an interesting post - I am not a fan of Joel Osteen, but I know he is quite famous and has a large following. I am not trying to spread misinformation about how bad eating pork is for you and I do not have an agenda. I thought this would rile people up, and I guess it did. I really like what a couple of commenters said about how it's not really that important what we put INTO our mouths - it's more important what comes OUT of it.

    Hi Dina - I've heard people here call it the Swine Flu but mostly it's referred to as the H1N1 Virus.

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  63. Thanks to All the Commenters - I really enjoy reading your input. I know that people, including myself, have eaten pork for centuries. I personally think it's the best tasting meat of all as far as flavor goes. Eating pork is so strictly adhered to here in KSA that many people actually believe they will die if they eat it. When I saw the video, I thought it would make an interesting post - I am not a fan of Joel Osteen, but I know he is quite famous and has a large following. I am not trying to spread misinformation about how bad eating pork is for you and I do not have an agenda. I thought this would rile people up, and I guess it did. I really like what a couple of commenters said about how it's not really that important what we put INTO our mouths - it's more important what comes OUT of it.

    Hi Dina - I've heard people here call it the Swine Flu but mostly it's referred to as the H1N1 Virus.

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  64. I never eat meat, beef, pork, chicken ...it is not for me.

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  65. I would like to point out that the Quran has not been written by anyone, but inspired by Allah taala. He prohibited pork to muslims, and He (Allah) DID KNOW that science will prove thousands of years later that eat pork is unhealthy for the human being.
    Anyway, for us, muslims, the fact of not to eat pork is a question of Faith, no matter what science says; but if finally science says we are right, so better...

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  66. Does Islam forbid prawns/shrimp like Judaism?

    I know many Jews who eat prawns/shrimp but not pork, even though they are both not kosher. It seems to be a stronger cultural taboo even if it's on the same religious level.

    Pork is so ubiquitous in China that the Chinese language actually has the same word for "pork" and "meat". You can get lamb/mutton in western China because of the Muslim population but otherwise pork is hard to avoid.

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  67. Caitlin--no Islam does not forbid shellfish like Judaism does, nor does it forbid mixing meat and dairy. Kosher and Halal are distinct, although there are areas of overlap, eg forbidding pork, and slaughter by dissecting of the major vessels in the neck,with a ritual blessing accompanying the slaughter.

    Chinese food often is cooked with pork renderings even where it is not identifiable as pork meat based, this adds to the difficulty in eating halal in China or even a Chinese restaurant in North America. Chinese pastries in Hong Kong and China are also often made with pork fat. A challenge indeed! Must eat Macao egg custard tarts instead! LOL :)

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  68. Nabila Pena. Science does NOT say Muslims are right about not eating pork. It merely says don't eat it.

    I think it's forbidden to eat because we are to respect the pig because of it's unique similarities to humans and uses in medicine.

    That is just my opinion, but a much nicer one than villifying one of Allah's creations that helps us so much.

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  69. Matthew 15:10
    Jesus called the crowd to him and said,"Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'"

    Link: http://pointsoftruth.com/foodlaw.html

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  70. It is no coincidence that all the major religious scripts advised people not to eat pork and shellfish because at the time of writing those religious scripts, these foods were very dangerous to eat since they contained bacteria and parasites that could be harmful to humans. Nowadays however, we all have wonderful things in our kitchens called "refrigerators" which has effectively made it safe to eat pork and shellfish. However, since religious texts are never updated, their food safety advice has also never been updated to reflect new technology.

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  71. Mian, Germany
    Well,
    1 Will you like to eat such an animal who eats his own excreta.
    2. Pig is forbidden because its meat contains tiny nematodes or insects which are not killed even if you cook it at your best (when the thing itself is bad, how can heating make it clean)
    3. Pig is quite closer to Human Anatomy. Therefore, the viruses and other bacteria that attack porks can easily be mutated and cause diseases in Humans as well. For example, Swine flu.
    4. When you are unhappy with a person, you say to him, PIG. Why? Because its nasty or considered very bad thing? If the above statement is true, why you eat such thing.? If it is not true, then why you call the person with whom you are unhappy, A PIG?
    5. We all talk about religion, discuss it, kill for it, get killed for it, fight for it but never act on it. Why? Action Speak wiser than words. No matter how strong christian, Jew or Muslim we are, if our actions do not speak of it, its useless to claim to be a Christian or Jew or Muslim.
    6. I am still unable to solve the issue about old and new versions. God revealed only one Torat, one Bible and One Quran. We only find in history one Quran, which in fact justifies the revealations of Torat and Bible. But we can never find in history one single Torat revealed on prophet Moses A.S or Bible revealed on prophet Jesus A.S. Why?
    7. One last point, science keeps on changing. Things that were correct hundred years ago are false today. and things that are correct today might turn incorrect in the light of future research. But religion remains the same no matter what happens. Better, we keep the religion as such and focus on science.
    I am waiting for the answers.
    Thank and best regards

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  72. There are scriptures in the bible that also say that all meat is clean and therefor can be eaten by men. I think you are talking about the old testament.

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  73. In Acts 10:1-48 The Lord declared eerything clean and he commands us not to call it unclean. This was after Peter had a vision and the Lord explained it to us. I believe that everything has been made by god. To believe otherwise is to be legalistic and that is not what I believe Christ died for. He came to save the lost.

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