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The Hazards of Eating Pork

My grandmother loved pork. She vowed to eat it from tail to snout until the end, and she died fulfilling it. I mean no disrespect for her or for pork lovers. But I certainly have no dignified words - even for that golden pig with an apple in its mouth!

The pig presents the greatest hazard, and partly because its use is so widespread. Studies reveal that in addition to cholesterol found in pork, it also contains a number of toxins and contaminants which are associated with human poisoning. Pork products are notorious for worm infestations such as trichinella spiralis, taenia solium (pork tapeworm), and pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms such as salmonella.

Although salmonellosis and taeniasis present real problems, trichinosis is probably the most widespread parasitic infestation modern man gets from eating pork and pork products. When man eats infested swine's flesh, the larvae of the trichina worm are turned loose in his intestine. From there they burrow into the intestinal wall, enter the lymph spaces and the blood stream, and finally end up in the skeletal muscles. Each female worm produces as many as 1,500 living larvae. Once a person is infected, these worms may live on in his muscles for years!

What are the symptoms of such infestation? Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and serious diarrhea. One may also experience swollen, painful muscles, swelling of the face, profuse sweating and high fever. Not every one will have symptoms, although the person may be infested with trichina. Authorities estimate that, on the basis of autopsies, one out of every five persons in the United States is infested with trichina.

It is painfully clear from the above information that swine's flesh is a harbinger of deadly disease. God prohibited Israel to eat pork and other unclean foods. This prohibition is not limited to Jews, or to our brother Muslims. The classification of clean and unclean animals goes back to the time of Noah, who was not a Jew.

Some may insist on arguing that if the pig is really unclean, why did God make it in the first place? Well, in the very beginning, God did not intend for man to eat animals. To our first parents God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food”. Man's original diet was vegetarian. Many are discovering that this diet can make a real difference in living! But that's another topic.

Health problems today gravitate towards the degenerative type of illness that are directly traceable to diet. In most cases the cause of disease is the result of what we put into our mouths. Removing pork from our tables is a big step to reducing disease and enjoying better health. But you ask, “Why single out the pig? There are many causes of disease: such as eating too much, alcohol, or smoking.” I'm sorry, but I hope you understand my love for grandmother. If only she let the pig alone!

Health | Food


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