Disclaimer: This post is not intended to target religious groups or other beliefs.
A video of Joel Osteen, one of the most popular American preacher, televangelist, author, and Senior Pastor of the largest Protestant church in the United States, garnered a lot of attention from across the world and every religious community.
The sermon admonishes about NOT eating unclean meat including pork, ham, bacon, pepperoni, or anything that comes from a pig, hog, or swine. He later on mentioned words in the bible to support his teaching. According to him, back in the Bible days, the pig is considered unclean. It was never considered a source of food. Because this animal will eat anything-waste, garbage, other sick and infected animals, even its own dead child! (gross!) Added to that is its poor digestive system causing the toxins to get stored in its fat.
I believe this is the bible verse he was referring to:
“The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.” – Deuteronomy 14:8, New International Version
This preaching gained different opinions and responses – both good and bad – from the public:
“The guy doesn’t even know Scripture well enough to distinguish between the Old Covenant and the New. And he doesn’t know the facts about hogs.”
“As long as you prepare it correctly, there is absolutely no chance of contracting a disease or sickness from eating pork. I’ve been eating and cooking pork all my life and never become ill.”
“I didn’t watch the clip all the way through. All that talk about pork was just making me salivate”
Okay, enough of the sermon. Let’s try to go deeper and see what every spiritual group has to say about not eating pork.
- Judaism/Jewish – The Jewish dietary law, or Kashrut allows their food to be divided into 2 parts: The Kosher which is pure for consumption, or it should not be eaten at all. Their supporting bible verse can be found in Leviticus 11:7-8, “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcase you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.”
- Islam – Their dietary law is also separated into Halal, clean and good for consumption or haram which is forbidden. According to Quran, 2:173, “He has made unlawful for you that which dies of itself, and blood and the flesh of swine, and that on which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked. But he who is driven by necessity, being neither disobedient nor exceeding the limit, then surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.”
- Rastafarian – Many followers of this tradition refuse meat consumption completely, but pork is considered particularly vile
- Seventh-day Adventists – [to quote] “It is true we refrain from eating certain animals, as indicated in the query, but not because the law of Moses has any binding claims upon us. Far from it. We stand fast in the liberty with which God has set us free. It must be remembered that God recognized “clean” and “unclean” animals at the time of the Flood, long before there was a law of Moses. We reason that if God saw fit at that time to counsel His people against certain articles of diet, these things were not best for human consumption; and since we are physically constituted in the same way as are the Jews and all other peoples, we believe such things are not the best for us to use today.” (emphasis added)
Now, let’s go and find out the reasons of the other percentage of the crowd why they do not eat pig’s meat.
Health / Medical Cause
- Pork cholesterol increases your waistline and thigh
- Eating bacons, hams, sausages boosts your chances of developing deadly diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and impotence
- You might get trichinosis – a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or under-cooked pork
- Some people just have that special part in their hearts for animals.
- Huge slaughterhouses does not give humane, painless death to pigs in row. According to PETA, the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. recorded 14 humane slaughter violations at one processing plant. The inspectors found hogs who “were walking and squealing after being stunned [with a stun gun] as many as four times.” The inappropriate stunning methods and extremely fast line speeds makes it impossible to target many pigs, thus most of it are still alive when they are unloaded into blistering-hot hair-removal tanks. It breaks my heart to say that they die because of drowning–and drowning in a burning hot water!
All done! Still awake? Now tell me, will you still eat pork after this?
- Deuteronomy 14:8, New International Version; http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/14-8.htm
- Holly Spangler “What Joel Osteen Needs to Learn About Scripture and Pork”; http://farmprogress.com/blogs-what-joel-osteen-needs-to-learn-about-scripture-and-pork-1000
- Joel Osteen, “Why Muslims Do Not Eat Pork”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2mtLy3OFfg
- Why christians eat Pork, if the Bible prohibits the consumption of pork;https://ph.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060903040748AAwoaRg
- Religious Beliefs of Eating Pork;http://people.opposingviews.com/religious-beliefs-eating-pork-6568.html
- Religious restrictions on the consumption of pork;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_restrictions_on_the_consumption_of_pork
- Peter’s vision of a sheet with animals;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter%27s_vision_of_a_sheet_with_animals
- Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Pigs;http://www.peta.org/living/food/top-10-reasons-eat-pigs/
- Seventh Day Adventists Questions on Doctrine;http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/index.htm