What does God have against pork?

“Eleazar one of the chief of the scribes, a man advanced in years, and of a comely countenance, was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine’ s flesh. But he, choosing rather a most glorious death than a hateful life, went forward voluntarily to the torment.”  (2 Machabees 6)

Wow.  Death rather than pork!  Eleazar is commended to us in the Old Testament as a hero of the faith for refusing to eat “swine’s flesh” when pressed by the Gentile rulers.  

Most of us have eaten (and enjoyed) pork chops, bacon and sausage, so why did God forbid the Jews to do so?

I’ll admit that I have never known the answer to that question, but being a keeper of swine and eater of swine flesh, I think that I know why.

All of the  animals on the farm tend to eat plants that human beings can’t eat and turn them into products that human beings can eat–or at least use (wool, leather, etc.).  

The pig is the only animal that, more or less, eats food that IS edible to humans and turns it into food that is more pleasant to the tongue.  Thus, it is, in most situations an animal that serves gluttonous men who aren’t content with simple foods.  It does nothing NECESSARY for man, as sheep, cows, horses and goats do.

When we consider the ancient (and true) awareness that gluttony is closely linked to lust, we can see that the pig can easily become an incentive to lust.   I think that it is for this reason that God forbid it to his people.  They didn’t need ham, bacon, pork chops or sausage…and they didn’t need lust to be fanned among them.

Now, we might ask “Why would God create a pig if it is to be avoided?!”.  The purpose of the command was obviously to require a fast of the Jews to help them obey God’s law.  That’s nothing new.  God did the same thing to Adam and Eve when he forbid that they eat one of the trees He created.  God made it…and He said don’t eat it.  That’s all we need to know.

However, it was not forbidden to the Gentiles, to whom we Christians belong in most cases.  We may eat pig and the pig does serve a good purpose.  Pigs eat human food waste–leftovers, corn stalks, whey, sour milk, etc., and can help to preserve the healthfulness of a place that might otherwise become disgusting with all of that food waste being dumped elsewhere.  Plus, they can turn it into meat, which is better than nothing.

Hey, I’m just taking a shot here, but I think I have something of the truth in this.  What do you think?


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4 Responses to What does God have against pork?

  1. The pig does serve the purpose, in those parts of the world in which the olive does not flourish, of providing an abundance of fat very desirable to people in whose diets meat had to be a luxury. Fed on those things which, while technically food for humans, are past the point of being desirable on our tables (the spiked potatoes we just pulled out of the potato patch come to mind), they convert these things to the fat which is so necessary a part of our diets, especially if we live in cold climates, but who would like to go without lard for pie crust?

    Shawn and Beth Dougherty The Sow’s Ear shawnandbeth@att.net onecowrevolution.wordpress.com


    • wmclaa says:

      Thanks for commenting. So, you’d say that the prohibitions on pig’s meat was a geographical thing…OR are you saying that Jews were allowed to USE pigs, but not eat their meat? Interesting..

  2. Celine says:

    You may be interested in reading “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan Rubin. He addresses the pork question. He believes that God’s ban on pork has to do with the fact that pigs are designed to eat carrion. Because of this, pigs have some biological factors that are (he says) undesirable for human consumption. Sorry I can’t be specific–it’s been years since I read the book.

  3. I’ll agree to almost anything for a few pieces of bacon. Seriously, your argument sounds good to me. Also, how can we practice moderation unless we have something to practice it on.

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