The consumption of pig meat has been characterized by a lot of controversy since time memorial. At the outset, different groups of people from different backgrounds have detested the use of pork as food for varied reasons including religious practices, health as well as sanitary concerns. Some people however continue to enjoy pork as a delicious meat with high nutritional value amid such controversies. It is noteworthy that despite its deliciousness, pork presents more harm than good to our general health hence unsuitable to consume. First and foremost, pork is always associated with a variety of biological diseases and worms. According to Russell (2006, 150) three out of six food-borne diseases in the US are caused by pork consumption. For instance, trichina worm is commonly found in pork and usually attack the muscles of the human heart upon consumption of affected pork. The worms have in the past proven fatal to the human health before the current attempts to identify pork with such worms had been initiated. Moreover, pork contains high levels of cholesterol and lipids which are harmful to the human health in many ways. Such accumulation of levels of lipids and cholesterol in the human body are associated with heart diseases such as heart attack and high blood pressure and should therefore be avoided at all cost. Besides, many consumers of pork diet have gained excessive weight and became obese in many countries given the fact that pork contains a lot of hormones, cholesterol as well as antibodies. Such individuals are prone to the diseases of the heart including heart thrombosis.
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On the religious grounds, pork is highly detested by the Muslim religious teachings and is cited as harmful to human health in many ways hence need to be avoided (Winzeler, 2008, 75). Finally, pig is naturally a dirty animal irrespective of how and where it is reared. It plays in filthy environments and eats dirty stuff including its excreta hence generally unhygienic.
Pork-based diet has proven both harmful and unhygienic to the human body hence should be avoided at all cost. First and foremost, pigs are animals that are unhygienic by nature even when reared in clean environments. They trot in mud and other dirty and filthy environments in addition to eating unclean foods including rotting carcasses, dead insects, worms, excreta including their own, as well as garbage. As a result, pork-based diet may present harm to the human upon consumption especially when such pork is not well prepared. High sanitary standards should be upheld when handling and preparing such diets to avoid diseases that may be associated with such filth. Besides, pork is associated with a variety of worms and diseases that pose danger to the human health. Such dangers were not established in the twentieth century due to lack of technological tools to do so.
Pig's nature to scavenge and feed on any kind of food predisposes them to a lot of illnesses compared to other animals. Illnesses such as influenza are transmitted to humans through consumption of affected pork (Nollet and Boylston, 170). This illness is mostly harbored in the animal's lungs and may be transmitted to humans when the latter consumes such infected pork in foods such as sausage. Individuals who eat pork sausage are therefore susceptible to the aforementioned illness during its epidemics.
Furthermore, when raw pork is undercooked or eaten raw then trichinosis is likely to occur. This is food poisoning through parasitic infestation of the pork. Trichina worm attacks pigs and settle in the animal's lungs and is therefore likely to be transmitted to humans upon consumption of raw or poorly cooked pork. Such illnesses are prominent in countries like US and Canada where one out of six people has trichinosis from eating trichina worms and that the case fatality rate stands at 0.3% (Mead et al, 2010, ). Unfortunately enough, the symptoms of such illnesses are not noticeable during meat inspection and that many people are not informed of the symptoms. Additionally, pigs are cited to be the main carriers of tapeworm usually referred to as taenia solium. These worms are harbored by the animal in its flesh and may be transmitted to humans upon consumption of such pork. The worms therefore inhabit the human intestines initially but may spread to other vital and delicate organs thereby posing dangers to human health. For instance, the worm may cause loss of memory if it invades the brain. It may also cause heart attack as well as blindness if it invades heart and the eye respectively. Managing the effects of tapeworm may prove problematic at some stages because it is incurable at later stages. Pork consumption has been associated to the spread of salmonellosis in humans. Salmonella spp. has harmful effects on the health of humans upon its infestation in the body of the latter through consumption of affected pork. In Netherlands for instance, it is estimated that 15% (5-25%) of all cases of salmonellosis are associated with the consumption of pork. Good manufacturing practices are proposed as the remedy to the disease control.
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Pig meat is also known for its high fat and cholesterol content which are associated with a variety of harmful effects. To begin with, consumption of pork may lead to cases of obesity and gallstones given the high content of cholesterol as well as saturated fat. Cases of above average number of individuals suffering from obesity are prominent in countries where the consumption of pork is high. These countries include Germany and US among other wealthy nations. The high content of cholesterol and lipids in the pork diet is also associated with the excessive weight gained by the individuals consuming such diets. Such individuals are always prone to physical deformations as well as suffering other disorders affecting the joints such as arthritis. Their body weight is basically excessive to be supported by the joints hence the onset of aforementioned medical conditions. Moreover, the accumulation of fats and cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels expose the affected individuals to diseases of the heart diseases. Such accumulation of fat reduces the area within the vessels designated for blood flow thereby forcing the blood to flow at high pressures. Consequently, the heart is overworked and heart related diseases such as heart attack and high blood pressure is inevitable.
It is also worthy to note that pig meat contains a large quantity of growth hormones, antibodies as well as other compounds. Unlike other animals and human beings, pigs are known to produce higher levels of antibodies and growth hormones due to their unique biological structure. These hormones pass to the animal's muscles and other tissues due to normal biological processes in the body. They therefore become threats to the human health when consumed in the pork. For instance, some growth hormones have been cited to promote inflammation of the human body when consumed (Nollet and Boylston, 170). Besides, pork is poised to contain excessive amounts of compounds such as imidazole as well as histamine which are also responsible for body irritation and inflammations. Other compounds such as sulphur are also contained in the pig meat. This compound usually found in the mesenchymal mucus of the animal and often associated with body swellings. Moreover, the deposits of such mucus on the cartilages and tendons may result into diseases including rheumatism as well as arthritis. Generally, the significant quantities of hormones, antibodies, lipids as well as cholesterol in the pig meat are poised to have serious threat to human health.
The pig's poisonous nature is reflected in a variety of scenario. At the outset, pig's bodies are composed of toxins in addition to other diseases. Their fat and meat absorbs toxins through normal biological process. However, they are not in a position to get rid of the toxins easily out of their body. Biologically speaking, pigs neither sweat nor perspire unlike other mammals hence unable to eliminate toxins from their bodies (Nollet and Boylston, 170). It is through the process of perspiration and sweating that such poisonous substances are removed. Moreover, the poisonous nature of the aforementioned animal is affirmed by the inability of poisons such as strychnine to kill the animal. Besides, the animal is hardly killed by other poisons such as the snake venom. The pig meat is therefore cited as containing high percentage of toxins that can be harmful to the health of human beings upon consumption.
Consumption of pig meat is also prohibited by the teachings of Islam religion. According to the religion, Allah has only forbidden people of carrion, pork as well as blood and what has been consecrated to other than Him (Winzeler, 2008, 75). However, the holy book of Qur'an provides that anyone forced to consume pork without his desire or going to excess in it has committed no crime before the Allah. Allah is ever-forgiving, most merciful (Qur'an, 2: 173). The holy book of Qur'an has also elaborated in not less than four instances, why Allah prohibits the consumption of pork. These provisions are contained in different places in the Qur'an including 6:145, 16:115, and 5:3 among other verses. Qur'an revealed such warnings on the possible harm of consuming pork as well as the other aforementioned food products almost fourteen centuries ago. However, people still eat pork despite the religious teachings, the physiological incompatibility of the food product with human body as well as harm caused by consumption of pork. Pork is also forbidden in some books in the bible even though Christians are unaware of the teachings. For instance, the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy prohibit the consumption of pork by human beings (Winzeler, 2008, 75). The bible says: "And the swine, because it divides the hoof, yet does not chew the cud, it is unclean unto you: you shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass." - Leviticus 11:7, 8; Deuteronomy 14:8. Individuals are sometimes motivated by their stomach and not scripture to claim that Christ abolished the rule prohibiting the consumption of pork.
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On the other hand, pig meat has beneficial aspects despite the world clamor to avoid consumption of the food product. It is currently the most consumed meat product in the world with less consumption rate in Muslim as well as Jewish strongholds (Nollet and Boylston, 170). First and foremost, pig meat is believed to contain a high degree of nutritional value. Pork is cited as containing high quality protein as well as low in natural salt content. Moreover, pork contains other vital nutrients required by the body including vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Iron, phosphorus as well as selenium. The aforementioned nutrients present in the pork makes the meat product suitable for human health and wellbeing as well as being necessary for the healthy growth and development of the children. It is noteworthy that pig meat has varying fat contents in different body parts. The leanest parts contain more unsaturated than saturated fats. The pig meat producers are currently in a position to produce pork that is leaner due to the advancement in technology which makes it possible for the combination of genetics and other production techniques. Such pork contains small quantities of the heart protective n3 fatty acids that are required by the body. Currently, pig meat is produced in a manner that yields both fewer calories and less fat content. It is estimated that pigs yield pork loin with slightly above fifty two percent fewer calories as well as about seventy six percent less fat content.
The advances in technology have also eliminated fears of various diseases such as trichinosis as the trichina worm can now be killed at temperatures of 137 degrees F. This is achievable through proper cooking of the meat product at recommended temperatures of one hundred and thirty six degrees F. Pigs may be seen as dirty animals due to the fact they trot and lie on mud as well as feed on dirty foodstuffs such as insects, garbage and rotten flesh. However, it is important to note that as mentioned above, pigs lack sweat glands and can not therefore sweat or perspire. Consequently, they lie on such wet grounds or on water to cool their body off. Besides, individuals should not cite religion as a reason for not consuming pork because irrespective of the religion, meat products just like pork are poisonous when poorly cooked or undercooked.
Generally, pork is unclean for the human body and therefore should not be consumed. To begin with, pig meat is associated with a lot of illnesses emanating from the filthy environment and the dirty foodstuffs that the animal feeds on. Pigs also harbor such parasitic worms as taenia solium which may cause serious problems to human especially if they invade delicate organs such as brain and heart upon gaining entry into the body through consumption of pork. Other illnesses originate from the effects of consuming the animal's flesh such as obesity and heart thrombosis which precipitated by the high cholesterol and saturated fat levels in pork. In a nutshell, pig's bodies contain a lot of poison, underlying diseases as well as worms. Pigs are also detested on religious grounds where both the Islam and Christian laws prohibit the consumption of pork on the basis of unhygienic nature of the animal and its meat for human consumption (Winzeler, 2008, 75). According to White (1998, 14) pig meat still remains the cause of intense human suffering in the world.
Despite its deliciousness as well as high nutritional value, pork continues to be detested by many people. The consumption of pig meat has raised hygiene as well as health concerns among those using the food product. Firstly, pig is associated with filth as it plays, sleeps and eats on mud and garbage thereby predisposing the animal to infections from worms compared to other animals.
Illnesses such as Influenza emanate from such environments and are easily transmitted to human beings upon consumption of affected pork. Besides, pork is characterized by high cholesterol as well as fat content which are associated with several diseases and disorders in the human body. For instance, high saturated fat content and cholesterol levels are responsible for the onset of heart-related diseases including heart attack and high blood pressure. The fats coalesce on the inner walls of blood vessels thereby restricting blood flow hence high blood pressure results. This subjects the heart to strenuous work thereby predisposing it to heart attack. Pork is also detested on grounds of religious laws. Both the Christian and Islam teachings are against the consumption of pork for its unclean nature (Winzeler, 2008, 75). This is stipulated in Qur'an 2: 173 as well as in the bible in the books of Leviticus 11: 7, 8 and Deuteronomy 14: 8. However, pork still remains the most consumed meat product in the world given its delicious nature as well as high nutritional value. Pork has several vitamins and high quality proteins.
Mead, Paul et al .Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States. EID journal. Atlanta: Centers for disease Control and Prevention. 2010. Print. Retrieved on 18th Nov, 2010 at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol5no5/mead.htm
Nollet, Leo & Boylston, Terri. Handbook of meat, poultry and seafood quality. London: Wiley-Blackwell. 2007. Print.
Russel, Rex. What the Bible Says About Healthy Living: Three Biblical Principles that Will Change Your Diet and Improve Your Health. Gospel Light. 2006. Print.
White, Hellen. Disease and Its Causes. Washington: Health Research Books. 1998. Print.
Winzeler, Robert. Anthropology and religion: what we know, think, and question. California: Rowman Altamira. 2008. Print.