- Religion and Philosophy
Biblical Junk Foods!
Why are Certain Animals Considered as Unclean in the Bible?
In the old testament, eating unclean animals is considered a sin and those who eat them are treated as unclean. But through Christ, all food was made clean as stated in the Bible;
“As one who is in the Lord Jesus,’ I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.”
Romans 14:14 NIV
I believe that what is meant by no food is unclean and all food made clean is not literal. It only means that because Lord Jesus made this food clean, therefore any person who eats them does not sin and will not be treated as unclean. But although we will not sin even if we eat unclean animals, this doesn’t change the fact that unclean animals are unhealthy to be taken as foods. Actually, what is written in the Food Laws in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are backed up by scientific knowledge and supported by health principles!
Which Plants Are Unclean?
One of the plants that are considered unclean is the mushroom. Technically, it is not a plant so we can say that it is not included in the book of Genesis 1:29-30. A mushroom is a kind of fungus. It has no leaves, nor it bears seeds and fruits.
They get their nourishment from other organic matter like manure, dead trees and plants, and carcasses. In one of the articles of Mr. Bruce N. Ames entitled "Dietary Carcinogens and Anti-carcinogens"
"Most hydrazines that have been tested are carcinogens and mutagens, and large amounts of carcinogenic hydrazines are present in edible mushrooms."
Mushrooms and other kinds of Fungi have been proven as Carcinogenic or can cause cancer!
Why unclean animals are unhealthy?
They do not have protection on their feet thus it can be easily wounded from abrasion, sharp objects, etc. The Bacteria and Parasites can easily pass through these open wounds and infect the animal making them unclean. According to the World Book Encyclopedia;
"The flesh of hooved animals is freer from diseases and parasites because it is protected by a non-living, keratin sheath that encases the toe or foot -- the point of the animal's anatomy most likely to come in contact with parasites!"
(World Book Encyc., vol.9, 1985)
So animals that have paws are automatically considered as unclean. But why are those animals with hooves but are not cloven are still unclean?
Well, it is because the hooves that are cloven has more stable footing compared to those hooves that are not cloven. According to the Pulpit Commentary;
"By the division of the hoof ... the animal is able so to order its steps as not to throw up the mud upon itself, as the horse does whose hoof is not cloven"
(The Pulpit Commentary, 2:176)
That is why when a horse run in a muddy area, a lot of mud is being thrown up in his upper body. This makes their bodies more susceptible to infection because these bacteria and parasites live in dirty and moist places.
Most of the unclean animals are predators or carnivores like those animals who have paws instead of hooves, for example, dogs, cats, etc. These Carnivores consume more fats and possibly more parasites and bacteria coming from the animals they eat. Some of the unclean animals even consume garbages, the meat of diseased animals and even worse, the decayed flesh of dead animals! Some of the examples written in the Bible are the rats and the monitor lizard. One thing I can say about this unclean animals is…. ewwwww! Gross!
Additional unhealthy and dirty facts
From the book “Diseases”, page 426 we can find specific causes for TRICHINOSIS* infections:
"Transmission is through ingestion of uncooked or undercooked meat that contains T. Spiralis cysts. Such cysts are found primarily in SWINE, less often in DOGS, CATS, BEARS, FOXES, WOLVES, and MARINE ANIMALS."
It also found in Rats. The "marine animals" mentioned in the book refer to Walruses which have been known as infected by this parasite.
Trichinosis is fatal and currently, there are still no treatment and cure for this. To diagnose this disease will be difficult because the symptoms can be mistaken for at least forty other diseases.
And also, the parasites are still alive even when cooked!
"There is no 'safe' temperature at which pork can be cooked to ensure that parasitic organisms are killed"
(p.125, Leviticus, Tyndale O.T. Comm., R.K. Harrison).
Very persistent, aren’t they?
Another reason why unclean animals are unhealthy is that they have a poorly constructed digestive system.
"it takes their clean vegetable food over twenty-four hours to be turned into flesh ... the SWINE'S anatomy ... has but one poorly constructed stomach arrangement, and very limited excretory organs generally. Consequently, in about four hours after the pig has eaten his polluted swill ... a man may eat the same second-handed off the ribs of the pig"
(p.46, God's Key To Health And Happiness by Elmer A. Josephson).
They can’t digest their food properly and therefore leaving some of the waste products in their bodies, GROSS!
There are also countless diseases and parasite included in the pork as freebies! These are about 42 diseases and parasites that a person can get from eating pork. Examples of these diseases are Erysipeloid Infection, Taeniasis, Toxoplasmosis, Sparganosis, Pork Tapeworm Cysticercosis, and Salmonellosis.(For more Information, See U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture Yearbook.)
The consumption of rabbit, squirrel along with the other vermins causes diseases such as Tularemia Infection, Rat Bite Fever, etc. Even touching a dead squirrel is deadly because you can get various diseases like Lassa Fever, Louping Ill, Lyme Disease Or Melioidosis. They are also known carriers of mosquito that spreads California Encephalitis and also, fleas carrying Bubonic Plague (Also known as Black Death).
Sea foods without scales and fins, why are they unclean?
Gars, Sharks, and Sturgeon do not have real scales, rather, they have the spines and plates which still leave some of their skin exposed in between the plates or spine. This makes it easier for parasites and bacteria to gain entry inside their bodies.
Unclean fish like the Rays, Skates, Catfish, and Eels have no scales, therefore, they have no protection against parasites and bacteria that can bore through the skin.
Involving those finless sea creatures like Water Snakes and Turtles, and some eel-like creatures, they lake the ability to create water-friction to blast Hooking Worms, and other parasites and also fail to provide maneuvering ability that serves as an escape mechanism to avoid these parasites more effectively.
In Chondrichthyes ( the scientific term for scaleless and finless sea creatures), they do not have gill covers thus, the gill is open to the outside environment. Their Gills could be easily infected by various parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
Another characteristic of unclean fish is that they are scavengers, meat eater, and bottom feeders. Some of the examples are shellfish which get their food from dead plants, animals, and also different wastes.
Clams, Mussels, and Oysters when eaten whole, there is a possibility that a person will eat the raw clam or oyster waste that may contain Hepatitis Virus and also Human Fecal Bacteria and can cause Typhoid Fever and other intestinal infections (Diarrhea, etc.) and Paralytic Shellfish/Mussel Poisoning due to ingestion by clams of Dinoflagellates and cooking will not destroy the poison.
According to the book of “Preventive Medicine and Hygiene”;
"the only safe oyster is one which has been protected from contamination with fecal pathogens for at least SOME MONTHS prior to harvesting"
(p.822, Preventive Medicine, and Hygiene by M. Rosenau)
Another kind of seafood, the mollusk causes of Urticaria and other neurotic skin affections according to “The Royal Table by Jacob Cohn (p.20)”
Some snails and starfish consume mussels and clams which are unclean thus, the poison in the mussels and clams can be passed down in their bodies. Crabs and shrimps on the other hand, when eaten uncooked or undercooked might cause Vibriosis Disease.
Other diseases that we can get for eating shellfish are Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning.
Another point worth mentioning is that sea life that is unclean biblically are mostly poisonous varieties of sea creatures. Some of the examples are Piked Dogfish, Weaver Fish, and Stonefish some Catfish and Stingrays that have sharp poisonous spines. Some creatures like Electric Catfish and Eels, Stargazers and Torpedo Ray can even produce electric charges. Dangerous! Not to mention the stinging tentacles of Jellyfishes and the lethal poison of Water Snakes.
Why Unclean Birds are Unhealthy?
Unclean birds are carnivorous and some eat dead animals like Vultures or nocturnal Birds of Prey like the Owl, or waterfowl like the Seagull, Stork, Bittern, Heron, Crane, and Gull or hunter birds like Buzzard, Eagle, Falcon, Hawk, Kestrel, and Kite. And we all know that carnivores have more diseases and parasites.
According to the book “Encyclopedia Brittanica”;
“Owls eat rats, mice, and other disease-carrying rodents. The Eagle will eat "fish and refuse that is thrown up on the shore" and one kind of Eagle is "able to take some birds as they fly, but a large part of its sustenance is the flesh of animals that die a natural death"
(Encyc. Brit. 11th, 20:397 & 8:790).
Bats, on the other hand, are carriers of Rabies and can transmit Bat Salivary Gland Fever to a human via bites and infection.
What other animals are considered unclean and why?
“All flying insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you”
Leviticus 11:20 NIV
Some examples of such insects are mosquitoes and flies. Mosquitos are a known cause of diseases such as Dengue, Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Filariasis. Flies transmit Bacteria and viruses that can cause Trypanosome Diseases, Tularemia, Pappataci Fever and Leishmaniasis.
“These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.”
Leviticus 11:29-30 KJV
Snails convey Flukes, and eating infected snails can result to Bilharziasis or Urinary Schistosomiasis. Rat or mouse bites can result in a disease called Rat-Bite Fever. Through contact with their infected urine, feces, and saliva, they can transmit a disease called Lassa Fever. Rats are also known to carry fleas which carry deadly Bubonic Plague. This is not all! Rats and mice can also transmit Infectious Jaundice, Endemic Typhus, Trichinosis, and Food Infection. That’s a lot of diseases, aren’t they? It's not surprising considering that Rats and Mice host up to eleven species of internal parasites which also occur in man.
“And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.”
Creeping things! What are they? This includes Alligator, Asp, Boa Constrictor, Centipede, Cobra, Crocodile, Frog, Millipede, Rat, Rattlesnake, Salamander, Slug, Spider, Cockroaches, Ticks, Scorpions, Snakes, Wasps, Bees, Ants, basically anything creepy! Just looking at them makes you lose your appetite!
They are all carnivores and “scavengers + predators = unclean food”
Snakes swallow their food whole, Ticks transmit germs of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Q Fever, and other diseases, and many of these unclean creatures are also poisonous.
Some Toads and Frog species are poisonous and can infect humans through a bite, sting, or just plain skin to skin contact as is the case between the "warts" or the poison glands of Toads.
" Scavengers + Meat Eaters + Predators = Super not Clean"
God passed down this law to warn us because he cares for us and not to restrict us from the foods we eat. We have free will and we are free to eat clean and unclean animals, it is not a sin to eat unclean animals. But even though it is not a sin, are you willing to put your health at risk to try these foods?
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