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Eating pork - Yeah or Nay

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Pigs are too smart toooo eat. Unless my Dad fixes me a delicious breakfest including said animal.

 

-What is that marshmellow guy hopping around in a circle for?

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I got a few insights to share about the Biblical pork prohibition. Dwayner has actually written a book that addresses this topic (among many others) and here is an excerpt. The part specifically about pigs is near the bottom. It might be interesting to a few.

 

 

Staying Kosher

 

Some of the most interesting [biblical/Jewish] laws have to do with food. This is the basis of “keeping kosher” which many Jewish people still do today. There are certain animals that are prohibited for food.

 

Split Hooves and Cud

 

"Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat." This includes the ever popular cows, goats and sheep. Animals such as rock badgers, rabbits and camels which chew the cud but do not have split hooves are forbidden. Pigs, which have split hooves but don’t chew cud are forbidden. Don’t eat them and don’t touch their carcasses.

 

See Food!

 

"These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat…But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is an abomination to you." Some of the things to avoid include eels, catfish, lobsters and shrimp.

 

Foul Fowl!

 

And stay away from these birds: eagles, vulture, osprey, kite, falcons, ostrich, the hawks, sea gulls, the hawk, owls, cormorants, ibis, nighthawks, water hens, pelicans, carrion vultures, storks, herons, hoopoes, bats. Sure, today we call the bat a mammal, but they’ve got wings and they fly around so they can very feasibly mix in with other big flying things.

 

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"Kosher", or "kashrut", means clean or fit according to Jewish law. It applies especially to food but to other things as well. The opposite of kosher is treif!

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Bugs etc.

 

Don’t eat winged insects that “go about on all fours.” except for those “which have legs above their feet, with which to leap on the earth.” Locusts, crickets and grasshoppers are O.K. to eat. You should also stay away from weasels, mice, lizards, geckos, land crocodiles, chameleons and turtles, snails and moles.

 

If meat is consumed, it is not to contain blood, and there are rules for kosher and more humane slaughtering of edible beasts. Even today, kosher butcher shops exist for the purpose of preparing meat for human consumption according to Biblical laws. Vegetables and mineral products (salt, etc.) are generally O.K. for all around consumption.

 

Don’t Mix These Up!

 

A real mainstay of a kosher diet is the avoidance of eating dairy products at the same time as meat products. This is based on the law in Exodus that states “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” Later Jewish law forbade all mixing of mild and meat in order that this commandment not be violated. This one requires a bit of thinking because it’s not just a matter of knowing about what not to eat, but also knowing about ingredients and combinations of foods served at meals.

 

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A kosher kitchen will have separate bowls and utensils for dairy and meat foods and even separate sinks and refrigerators!

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Although it might sound like a real hassle to those not living the kosher lifestyle, it’s rigors usually prove meaningful for those who live it. The food can be great and much of it is good for you. Some have argued that a kosher diet has biological advantages. For Orthodox Jews, these laws are all taken very seriously. More liberal Jews, who tend to see their religion evolving with times, are less stringent.

 

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Kosher Quiz Time! Cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, and a Reuben sandwich: not kosher! Mushroom pizza, fish, and hot dogs (all beef only): kosher, as long as they meet any other associated standards!

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What’s With The Pigs?

 

The reasons for Biblical food prohibitions have been widely discussed and there are several possible answers which might all be, at the same time, true. When you think about it, though, having cultural food preferences isn’t all that strange. Americans, for the most part, don’t eat dogs, cats, rats, horses or insects. And raw meat or fish is not the norm. Some cultures are vegetarian by religious preference or otherwise. Here are a few things to think about:

 

* To some, avoiding certain foods is an exercise in self-control, or maybe even personal sacrifice in accordance to divine law;

*To avoid certain foods can also be seen as a holiness issue. Certain things are set aside not because there are necessarily bad, but because obeying such prohibitions is an act of holiness that all similar believers share; some such prohibitions also separate believers from the practices of those who aren’t;

*A classic explanation for pigs and shellfish involves health issues. Pigs can carry several diseases that can be passed on to humans. Consume some bad shellfish sometime and you will wish that you were eating kosher. Trust me on that last one! On the other hand, any animal product has the potential of bringing about human distress under certain conditions.

*It has been claimed that pigs are economically impractical; that the cost to benefit ratio in terms of caring for them is in the negative. Also, unlike cattle, sheep and goats, they are not particularly easy to herd, especially if you’re on the nomadic side. Then again, pigs, like goats, have a reputation for eating all kinds of leftovers and aren’t necessarily connoisseurs with expensive tastes.

*From an anthropological standpoint, it can be noted that animals such as pigs don’t fit in with the normal system of classification. Pigs have split hooves but don’t chew the cud. Eels swim but have no scales. They’re weird animals that just don’t match the others!

*God says don’t eat pigs, so don’t eat them and while you’re at it, quit asking so many questions!

 

 

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There are people today who argue for new “eco-kosher” standards that will be even more stringent regarding ingredients such as additives. They are also concerned about the ethics by which the food is produced and by whom.

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kosher.gif

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Sorry Dwayner, but those 'rules' are some of the stupidest things I've ever read. That includes Trask's posts. Interesting, though.

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suppose you made a genetically engineered pig, that had a cow stomach so it chewed the cud... would that make it kosher?

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or even if you just fed pigs entirely on cud from slaughtered cows? who needs genetic engineering? it's no worse than making calves drink their own urine in a veal cage!

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