Why Islam and Judaism Prohibit the Eating of Pork
Religion and eating Pork
The pig is a common animal. It is found in fair abundance in all continents of the world. The meat of the pig which is usually referred to as pork is eaten all over the world except in the Islamic countries. Generally religions can be classified as Eastern thought and western thought. In the eastern religious thought the religions are Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. All eastern religions except Sikhism propagate the concept of Ahmisa or non violence. This is an all pervading concept. It follows that eating meat is against the concept of Ahimsa hence Hinduism and Buddhism in their purest form prohibit the eating of all meats. In the western religions that is Islam, Christianity and Judaism there is no embargo on eating meat but Judaism and Islam specifically prohibit the eating of pork.
. This taboo on eating pork is very old and as per theologians has existed since the time of Moses.
There is a specific injunction in the Koran that prohibits the eating of pork. One can also form a hypothesis based on extraneous factors. In Islam and Judaism the issue of being clean for worship has great importance. Now a pig sty is normally foul smelling place. Hence the idea of eating the meat of animals staying in an unclean and foul place is incompatible with ritual cleanliness. This is perhaps one of the reasons that eating pork has become taboo in Islam. The Muslims inherited this rule. Another factor is that pigs eat anything available including dead humans. These facts were known to the ancient leaders of Islam and Judaism and thus eating pork was banned. The Koran at 4 places specifically prohibits the eating of pork. It is prohibited in 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115.
Modern science has now identified 16 different harmful germs in a pig which are not good for health. But it must be conceded that at a time when pork eating was banned in Islam, these medical facts may not have been known. The answer that Islam bans the eating of n pork meat is a straightforward interpretation from the Koran. The reason to ban it at that time is simple. As the Pig was observed living in an unclean environment and the fact that it ingests all foods including dead humans and animals must have convinced the founder of Islam and Judaism to ban it. In hindsight it was a good decision as we know that pork is not really a healthy meat and creates many complications for its eaters.