Eating of Pork and Religion

I grew up on a farm that raised cattle and sheep. Our neighbors down the road had hogs and dairy cows. My family still raises cattle and their neighbors still have dairy cows. People around here do still have goats, sheep, hogs, horses, and chickens. Needless to say, I am not a vegetarian.

The majority of people in the world practice some type of religion with a directive from whatever God they worship regarding pork. There is a reason why. There are 16 species of the Suidae family which include hogs and pigs. I am not writing about the different species throughout the world in this post. My focus is on food safety. There is a difference between a domesticated pig and a wild hog. We have wild hogs here too. I wouldn’t eat one for love or money. People do eat them. Wild hogs carry a host of diseases and parasites that can kill you or make you sick. Land owners eradicate wild hogs when possible. If you know what you’re doing, when you shoot it, process it and cook it, you’re probably fine. Ok, whatever, I’ll stick to the domesticated variety. Back when the Bible (or whatever book you use as per your religion) was written, they probably all would have been wild (feral) hogs. At least in comparison to what we now call domestic pigs (hogs) in the US, we would not consider them a domesticated pig . They could very easily have killed a person. There are still areas of the world that do not have domesticated hogs safe for consumption unless you really know what you are doing when you process and cook them. They do not have the controls in place to keep diseases and parasites out of their hog populations. They probably are still not very safe to eat. Cooking to an appropriate temperature will kill MOST things but not all. The process of curing bacon and ham also kills parasites. In the US, we have regulations in place to ensure pork is safe. However, even in the US, you should not eat pork that is not thoroughly cooked. It’s a bad idea.

Being an American who grew up on a farm, I am never giving up bacon, ham, pork roast, and pork chops. It’s just not going to happen. In America, one religion doesn’t dictate to another. We all get to practice our own faith. If you do not believe in eating pork, do not eat pork. Do not spend your money in restaurants that serve pork. Do not spend your money in grocery stores that sell pork. Businesses in America can cater to their own specific customer base. If their customer base in certain locations do not buy a product, they won’t sell the product. That’s how a free market works.

If you’re travelling outside of the US, you really want to find out about the meat you are being served before you consume the meat. This is true of any meat and not just pork.

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