Internationally, pork is the most widely eaten meat and the world meat production accounts for 38 percent of all meat produced. Pig meat is particularly favored in American and European regions as well as African and East Asian areas because they people there have acquired a taste for it. Even though the consumption continues to grow with the increasing population, the health effects remain because the animal itself is unclean. As the Holy Quran states:
“He has forbidden you only the Maytah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine…”
Pig meat is hazardous for health and is the source for numerous complications. It is considered haram (banned) in several religions.
Pig and Pork– An Unclean Animal and Unhygienic Meat
There is good scientific reason for considering pig meat unsuitable for human consumption and the dangers of pork. The animal itself is a naturally dirty one with preference for unhygienic conditions. Even when raised for meat, they are considered organic waste disposal machines and fed scraps. The scraps range from moldy food to insects and other dirty organic matter with a shred of nutritional value. Pigs are notorious for eating their own feces as well, which just shows the height to which the animal can be dirty. Pigs also have cannibalistic tendencies and have been openly recorded to eat the carcasses of their own dead species. Mothers have also been reported to eat their children.
Pigs do not have sweat glands. They cannot sweat out, which is a core function of mammals to rid their body of toxins. Combined with the fact that they actually prefer unhygienic conditions, their meat and fat actively stores toxins in them. They also have a single stomach for digestion which metabolizes food in approximately 4 hours, thus swiftly storing anything in their body. This also includes toxins. Moreover, the meat itself is loaded with saturated fat, which is very unhealthy for the body. Compared to other livestock reared for meat which have 4 stomachs, pigs are different in the aforementioned numerous ways.
Scientific Reasons Why Pig Meat (Pork) is Haram
Just by validating the pig as an animal deems it dirty for human consumption. It prefers a dirty diet, has revolting hygiene and the meat itself is not good for consumption. Following are 5scientific reasons why pigs are not suitable for human consumption by both Islam and scientific reasons. The dangers of pork are numerous and hence the animal is not considered fit for consumption.
1. The Digestive System
The pig meat is loaded with saturated fat as well as many toxins and in many cases bacteria which it has picked up from digestion. Pigs have a single stomach which digests in approximately 4 hours. Other livestock in comparison have 4 stomachs and digestion takes 24 hours. This extended period of digestion is vital for removing excess toxins and killing off bacteria and viruses. Pig stomach swiftly digests the food and allows it to be passed on to the intestine, which absorbs anything (including toxins). These are later deposited in organs and fat, which are consumed and passed onto humans.
Pigs also have very few sweat glands. These are necessary for flushing out toxins from body via sweat. Combined with the incredibly unhygienic conditions favored by a pig, their bodies become loaded with toxins and bacteria. These issues with digestion and sweat glands lead to many dangerous issues.
2. Increases Risk of Cancer
Pigs are mostly raised on farms which promote production of processed meat. Just consuming 50 grams of pork can increase risk of cancer by 18 percent. Processed bacon is considered a carcinogen (cancer causing substance) which is dangerous for human consumption.
3. Carries for Swine Flu
Swine flu is among the leading factors why pork should not be eaten. The pigs act as vectors for transmitting these viruses and bacteria, which are responsible for making humans sick. H1N1 and H3N2 are common swine flu strains which are prevalent in the United States. The viruses are resistant to heat and even survive after cooking and even baking. This renders pig meat dangerous even after cooking.
4. Dangers of Trichinosis
As discussed earlier, pigs are the carriers for numerous harmful bacteria and viruses. They act as vectors for transmitting them to humans and making them sick. With the rise in eating rare and medium-well meat, the diseases related to them have sharply risen up and become prevalent in Western countries.
Trichinosis is the most dangerous disease related to pork eating. Pig meat can contain trichinella, a worm. The undercooked pig meat contains them, who then enter the human body upon consumption. The worm manages to live in the pig by worming into cysts in the stomach. It enters as larvae into the stomach and then finds its way into the body. Once inside the humans, the cyst is dissolved by the human digestive acids and matures. It then causes a host of health issues, which include headaches, consistently high fever, fatigue, muscle pain, pink eye and swelling, especially of the face.
5. Host of Viruses and Bacteria
The dangers of pork extend as far as risking entry of foreign bacteria and viruses within the body because the completely insanitary living conditions favored by pigs makes them excellent carriers for bacteria and viruses. Consuming pork directly places these within our bodies. These include:
- Hepatitis E virus.
- Menangle virus.
- Nipah virus.
- Paramyxoviridae virus.
- Causes Blue-Ear Pig Disease.
Living a Better Lifestyle
As Muslims, pork is considered haram in our religion and for good reason. While we do urge the rest to refrain from the meat because of aforementioned reasons, it ultimately comes down to personal choices, preferences and religion. As such, everyone has a free will to exercise. However, it is imperative that one takes good care of body because health is wealth. The dangers of pork are many and hence it is a meat to refrain from. There are numerous meat alternatives such as chicken, beef, bison, mutton, lamb and even wild game. Good health is a great blessing which should be treasured, hence we recommend refraining from eating pork.