Written by Theresa Corbin
Pork! Bacon! Ham! Ribs! Pickled Pigs Feet! Oh, the promiscuity of pork! It will be anything you want it to be for a price.
I wrote about the pork topic when I posted my Candy Conundrum and the delicious solution (halal peeps recipe for the peep-o-phile). But now I feel as if it is time to talk turkey. Not really. If you will allow me, I would like to explore the position pork plays in the psyche of the Muslim.
On the one hand pork is nasty:
1. Allah tells us not to eat the meat of swine in the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. It is unclean. Do you think a rule like this was just a suggestion? Or maybe there is a reason behind it …
2. An animal’s flesh is a composite of what it eats. Pigs eat their own feces, as well as the dead carcasses of sick animals, including their own young.
3. The Center for Disease Control states that more than 100 viruses come to the United States each year from China through pigs.
4. Many of these toxins that other animals expel through urine remain in the pigs’ system to be stored in their tissue i.e. Urine in the meat that you eat.
5. Trichinellosis or trichinosis: an infection that humans get from eating under cooked or uncooked pork that contains the larvae of the trichinella worm. This worm has been known to hatch in the brain of the consumer i.e. worms in your brain!
6. Pigs are also primary carriers of:
- Taenia solium tapeworm
- Hepatitis E virus (HEV)
- PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome)
- Nipah virus
- Menangle virus
7. Eating pork can lead to gallstones, hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol
8. Pigs are biologically similar to humans, and their meat is said to taste similar to human flesh. (Who is tasting human flesh to know this IDK, but am worried!)
On the other hand, I think people are way too focused on pork.
1. Avoidance of pork is not a prerequisite of faith.
Does eating pork negate your Islam? Does it make you not a Muslim? No.
Did Allah say to believe in His oneness, the Day of Resurrection, His Prophets, the angels, and that eating pork is nasty? Then did Allah say to establish the prayer and don’t forget to not eat pork? No & No. No y No. Non et Non. La wa La.
2. Pork free is not dawah (invitation to Islam)
Many times I have overheard someone answering questions about what Islam is by saying that Muslims don’t eat pork. Well … we are also not supposed to eat cats or cockroaches, but I don’t think it is an appropriate topic for an introduction to what Islam is.
3. Pork prohibition does not a Muslim make.
This is kind of like the inverse operation of number one above … maybe, if I knew what an inverse operation is (j/j i do).
Pork free is not a part of belief, nor is it the only directive in Islam. Why are we so hyper focused on such a small detail? While many Muslims will go around drinking and hooking up, they still revile the idea that somewhere … out there … a pig exists!
Sure your belief is what makes you Muslim, and action are also important. But following the no pork edict is not the only action that makes you a Muslim. If you aren’t eating pork and also not praying I have a sneaking suspicion that the later action negates the former.
If your entire religious identity revolves around the avoidance of one type of meat, I recommend therapy. And can I also recommend a rigorous reading routine that includes more that the regular no pork propaganda?
4. The pigs mere existence is not haram.
People are so ridiculous about the avoidance of pork that they act like even the existence of a pig is haram (unlawful). While I was teaching a second grade class at an Islamic school, I hung up a poster that trailed around the room.
The poster was the typical a-z learning tool that included examples of what things start with each letter. It just so happened that the poster I purchased for the classroom portrayed a pig as something that starts with the letter “p”. Which is true and can be useful in learning that “P” sounds like “pah” in “pig”.
The kids and some of the parents flipped out. Pigs are haram!!!!, they proclaimed as if I were unaware.
In no way was I advocating that they should eat the pig in the poster. He didn’t even look that appetizing, but still there was much ado about nothing. I didn’t take the P for Pig down and we stared at his forbidden flesh all year. (The kids also threw a fit about my left-handedness. Such is the heavy handed way of those who know little but have great zeal.)
What do you think?
Is there some kind of conspiracy theory that pigs and their meat will cause some cataclysmic event? Did I miss that on Fox news? It is possible considering all the diseases that pigs carry and spread to us. But is it necessary to act this way when all your kid wants is a piglet stuffed animal from the Winnie the Pooh franchise?