Don't Eat the Pig

Eating pork has become part of the American culture.

We devour our barbecue pork roasts, gobble up our pigs in the blanket and guzzle our hams. Yet to some, eating of the pig is strictly forbidden. To the Jewish, Christian and Moslem religions eating pork is taboo. The pig is considered a non-kosher animal because it chews its own cud and also has split hooves. In the Bible, God deemed swine as an unclean food and not to be eaten. In the Qur’an, Muslims are forbidden by God to eat the meat of the pig. Folklore says the eating the meat of the pig contributes to greed of wealth, laziness, dirtiness and gluttony.

How did the pig get such a bad reputation anyway?

Pigs are noted as being very intelligent animals that make great pets. In fact many people consider them much like a dog in mannerism. Pigs are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animals both. They will eat most anything, including garbage and other pigs. In the wild they would forage for food, often eating leaves, grasses and dead bugs. Pigs don’t have sweat glands, so they roll around in the mud to cool off their skin. The pig’s biology and immune system are similar to that of humans. Pigs have been used for dissection in biology labs for this reason. Even today, parts of their anatomy are being used and transplanted into the human body because of their similarity. Many people with diabetes inject themselves everyday with pig insulin.

Pigs and humans both share the disease influenza.

A scientist at the University of Giessen’s Institute for Virology in Germany showed in a study that pigs are the one animal that can serve as a mixing vessel for new influenza viruses. When exposing a pig to a human’s DNA virus and then to a bird’s virus, the pig mixes the two together, developing a new DNA virus that has the capacity of being extremely lethal for humans.

The pig’s body contains many toxins, worms and diseases.

The pig is known to carry up to 200 diseases and 18 different types of parasites and worms. Veterinarians say that pigs are far more predisposed to toxins and worms than other animals. One reason sited is that pigs are good incubators of these types of diseases. Even when infected the animal doesn’t appear to be ill. In the United States, three of the six most common food-borne parasite diseases of humans are associated with eating pork. It has been estimated that 10%-20% of the adult population of the US suffers from Trikinosis. Trikinosis is the parasitic disease caused by roundworm, found in raw or inadequately cooked pork.

The pig is the main cause of the taenia solium worm, which is found on the pig’s skin. These worms are not noticeable during inspection of their meat. Salting and smoking pork meat does not kill them either. It is also said that thorough or slow cooking pork does not remove the danger of worms found in all pork. Even the additional cooking of pork purchased in the summer or processed pork products will not make worm infested pork safe to eat. Remember that just because pork was inspected or has a government seal, it does not remove the risk of worms in the meat. The next time you think about eating pork, stop to consider who or what your pork is hosting.

Worm In Pork

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