Friday, December 4, 2009

No Pork on My Fork

Over the past few days, I've had a number of pork-related conversations. It is amazing to me that pork is such a respected delicacy here is the U.S. I mean, you would think that one of the leading countries in the field of health and medicine would have been convinced about this issue by now. But instead, we hear people talking about how they just can't wait to dig into their Christmas ham. Subhan'Allah.

Islam irrefutably prohibits the consumption of pork. Verse 6:145 of the Qur'an states:

Say, "I do not find in the revelations given to me any food that is prohibited for any eater except carrion, running blood, the meat of pigs, for it is contaminated, or what is impious (meat) on which a name has been invoked other than Allah's." If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then your Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

Muslims don't eat pork because it has been forbidden by Allah. But why would Allah forbid it? He tells us- "it is contaminated." Countless scientific and health studies show that eating pork provides almost no health benefits and causes an assortment of unwarranted destruction on the body. Fortunately, there are some people who have picked up on this, refraining from pork altogether. Unfortunately, the majority of people have not.

Pigs are in a category by themselves. For one, their digestive systems are much different from that of any other animal. They are gluttonous, omnivorous creatures who eat anything and everything and because of this, the sheer volume of food that they consume ends up diluting the acid in their stomachs. As a result, their stomachs are no longer protective organs against contaminants. Parasites, bacteria, viruses, and toxins are permitted to pass through, into their fat, and onto that plate in the center of the dinner table.

One of the most common parasites found in pig meat is trichinella, the worm that cause trichinosis*. How does the pig get it? By eating the waste products of other animals (I wasn't kidding when I said they eat anything). Raising a pig in captivity doesn't prevent it from being able to eat its buddy's feces. These toxins remain in the pig's fat (a.k.a. - lard) which is ironically what billions of people pay good money for every day.

In addition to all of this, pork has been found to be linked with cirrhosis (liver degeneration). Chances are that most people who eat pork to begin with aren't keeping their alcohol consumption down (Islam also prohibits alcohol, but that's a WHOLE other post). Cirrhosis occurs when your healthy liver tissue is replaced by excess collagen and scar tissue and thus effectively prevents your liver from being able to perform at its best. This condition is usually irreversible and its treatment aims only at preventing further damage from occurring. In its critical stages, the only option is a liver transplant. Having a glass of wine with your pork chop will only make your liver beg for mercy.

Pork is basically pure fat. It's the last thing you need to be eating, especially in a country like the U.S. where 63% of us are overweight and 31% of us are obese. If you want to be around to watch your grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up you need to get the pork off your fork.

Joel Olsteen gave a sermon about the prohibition of pork in the Bible. It's a three and a half minute video that I think is worth watching.

*Trichinosis is a disease in which cysts burst open inside the intestines and grow into adult roundworms. The roundworms give rise to other worms that are able to move through the intestines and into the bloodstream. They tend to invade muscle tissues, including the heart and diaphragm and can also affect the lungs and brain.