The Pig and You

A few years ago we lived in a Devon market town. Our farmer-landlord and his two sons were their own milk roundsmen, and one day the farmer told us of the following incident:

Just a little way down the road in which we lived there had stood an old tollbar cottage and before it was pulled down, the sole occupant had been an old country woman. She had been in the habit of putting her jug or her basin on the door-step in readiness for the early morning call of the milkman, this of course, before bottled milk was the regular thing. One day this old woman hailed our landlord as he was passing her garden and told him that she had nearly lost the milk of the day before. It appeared that when she went to get it from the doorstep, she found a large rat upside down in the milk. "'E was dead when I pulled 'im out" she said, "and 'alf the milk 'ad spilled over. But I managed to save enough for me cups of tea."

Presumably the reaction of readers will be similar to that of our own when this incident was related to us! "Ugh! How horrible! Fancy drinking milk which had had nearly the whole body of a rat in it! Makes one squirm to think of it!" But why squirm? Why feel any repulsion? Why shouldn't the old lady have drunk the milk and eaten even the rat itself?

This article is addressed mainly to those who would be designated "Christian" but we pray that it will come into the hands of non-Christians or those who are very lukewarm. The above true story, however, is related chiefly for the benefit of Christians who believe God's Word (The Bible), and in particular for those Christians who say the Scriptural Food Laws are not meant for the present day as we are now under grace and not under law. These good people usually quote such portions of Scripture as these: "Unto the pure all things are pure:" (TITUS 1:15); "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean." (ROMANS 14:14); "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (ROMANS 14:17); "…eat such things as are set before you…" (LUKE 10:8), and who cite the dream of St. Peter when he saw the sheet let down from heaven filled with all manner of animals, and was commanded by the Lord, "Rise, Peter; kill, and eat." (ACTS 10:13). Therefore, to these Christians we repeat why should not the old lady have eaten even the rat itself? If all things are pure, then the rat must be pure. If nothing is unclean of itself, then the rat must be clean and eaten with thanksgiving. There is a flaw in the argument somewhere, is there not? Let us be honest! We know full well that the rat is not pure, that it is not clean rather it is a filthy flea-ridden scavenger, living in sewers and eating from cesspools. Was St. Paul wrong then? Was he mistaken in supposing all things to be pure? St Paul was not wrong, but there can be a very wrong meaning put upon his words if the circumstances attending their utterance are disregarded. We will be frank. The true story of the old woman and the rat has been related to "scotch" at the outset, the idea that because St. Paul made the statements quoted, and our Lord told St Peter to rise and eat, that there is now no need to keep the Bible Food Laws, The God who allowed the existence of the rat, allowed the existence of the pig also (and this article is essentially concerning the pig) and neither is ever referred to in His Word as human food.

Space will not allow a discourse concerning all of the creatures which are forbidden for food, nor those that are permitted. The sincere reader is asked to turn to Leviticus, chapter eleven, and also to Deuteronomy, chapter fourteen, and to study carefully, for himself, the whole question of the Divine dietary laws.

The Pig

The writer is by no means alone in proclaiming the fact that pig or swine is unfit for human food. Thank God, there are many who, led by His guidance and His Word, have long since ceased to eat the forbidden thing themselves or to pass it on to others. We give some examples before dealing with medical and scientific aspects.

Another farmer friend, whose income was largely derived from pig farming, became so convinced of the necessity to keep the Food Laws of the Almighty and Merciful God - the only Saviour of Mankind - that he disposed of all his pig stock. His wife was distressed, to see him throw away this main source of income and Christian though she was, tried to persuade him to keep the animals. He was, nevertheless, persuaded rather by the Word of God. In a very short time, while still farming in the clean way, an entirely additional source of income presented itself and he was rewarded for his act of obedience. Would that all Christians would obey rather than argue, where the commandments of the Lord are concerned! Untold suffering over the years would have been avoided - pain, crying, anguish, mourning - but "No"!

In another case, a dear Christian, a hospital sister, was guided by The Almighty, though not, at the time mindful of the Old Testament Laws. During her studies she saw so much of the uncleanness of the pig, that she knew that she could neither eat it again herself, nor willingly pass it on to others. Later, when the Lord led her into a deeper study of the Scriptures, she did not argue against the keeping of the Food Laws she saw, at least dimly, that which the Creator knew so clearly, that pig, as food, is an abomination in every sense of the word.

In ISAIAH 55:8-9 we see something of Divine, compared with human, knowledge: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." In Leviticus, chapter eleven, and in other parts of the Bible, He reveals a little to us of His thoughts concerning pig-eating. It is forbidden in His dietary laws for Israel. "And the swine... he is unclean unto you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you." (LEVITICUS 11:7-8). The eating of pig brought God's severe reprimand upon disobedient and idolatrous Israel, "...which eat swine's flesh and broth of abominable things is in their vessels…" (ISAIAH 65:4). The LORD shows that in His kingdom, he that offers an oblation will be as if he had offered swine's flesh. The implication here is this; that the Saviour, having paid the supreme sacrifice, once and for all, is despised by any who still offer an oblation as though His sacrifice had been ineffective. Though the oblation may have been right in pre-Calvary days, yet so heinous would it be in the kingdom age, that it would be on a par with offering the worst of all abominations - swine's blood (ISAIAH 66:3). According to ISAIAH 66:17 the eating of swine's flesh is named with other idolatrous practices which will meet the full punishment of the Lord at His coming.

The New Testament story of the prodigal son tells of how, when the young man had spent all his money on riotous living and was destitute, he had to take on one of the meanest jobs a man could have - he was sent into the fields to feed swine.

Our Lord, Who would never waste human food (JOHN 6:12-13), nevertheless destroyed the swine (LUKE 8:26-39).

It is of interest to note that it was St Luke, the "Beloved Physician", who, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, recorded these incidents concerning swine - NOT, let it be noted, concerning an item of human food.

One more Scripture - our Lord said: "…neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (MATTHEW 7:6). No sane person would cast pearls or any other precious thing in front of pigs, and there is a deeper meaning in our Lord's remark. Holiness and precious things are not compatible with swine, yet thousands cast their pearls of health - God-given health, before swine, by the eating of, and taking into their bodies, this abomination. Ill-health (of a great variety of types) and disease, eventually rend so many of them. Sin is the transgression of the Law of God and that Law says that disobedience will bring "every sickness and every plague." Many people build themselves a refuge wall of excuse for disobedience: "Thousands live long lives and never come to harm even though they eat pig!" We ourselves knew an old lady who was still doing the family baking when she was a hundred years old. She lived until one month short of her 102nd birthday, and never, to our knowledge, had any illness. She cooked with, and ate, the pig in all its "tasty" components, being, we are certain, entirely ignorant of the Divine Law forbidding it. But had she been aware and fed her family accordingly, her daughter might not have died through internal disease at quite an early age. Reasons could be put forward as to why some pay the penalty and others appear not to do so. We, however, take the stand that obedience is the first and foremost essential, and when we know, then it is ours to obey.

Charles Kingsley said: "Believe the whole Bible. Believe what you can by reason, and what you cannot believe by reason, believe by faith." If we truly believe, then we accept that that which God calls an abomination, is an abomination.

Habits, especially concerning that which we enjoy eating, die hard, and those readers who still feel that they should eat pig (bacon for breakfast, lard for cooking, sausage for a quick savoury, etc.) would, we believe, do very well to consider facts now to be related.

Case History

We have before us a copy of the Nursing Mirror for 3rd June, 1960 - in which is related the case history of a little girl suffering from epileptic type defective muscular control. As an introduction to the case there is a short description of the Taenia Solium (common tape worm) found in the intestines of human beings. The eggs of this worm develop inside the pig and the adults have been found alive four weeks after the pig has been killed. Cold storage does not kill these worms. The Nursing Mirror states, "If there is brain involvement with cysticerci (larva stage of the tape worm) it may give rise to epileptic fits."

The child whose case history is given, had shown various symptoms before being admitted to hospital. These had included attacks of pain, numbness in left arm and leg; vomiting; and twitching on left side of face. In hospital she was ataxic at times (Ataxia is defective muscular control, resulting in irregular and jerky movements). After thorough examination and various tests, it was decided to give operative treatment. A total of thirty tapeworms in larvae state were found lying over the cortex, that is, the grey "matter" of the brain, and the majority of these were so embedded that it was impossible to remove them. A few were attached to the dura, that is the outer membrane of the meninges which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, and these were removed. After dealing with the treatment given over some weeks, this case history concludes with a forecast of the probable course of the disease. We quote from the article: "...the likelihood of recurrent attacks in the future is highly possible, and these will increase in both degree and frequency." Commenting on this case, a Nursing Sister has volunteered her opinion that the cysticerci would enlarge and multiply, and the child would in time be beyond medical or surgical help.

Meningitis

We know personally a family who are very happy in all but one thing. The loss of a little boy at the age of four caused them great sorrow. He died from meningitis. In this case, unlike the one just related, we know nothing of the medical findings - if even the brain was laid bare and examined for instance - but we do know that because of the nature of the family business, this little lad was often given various parts of the pig for food. Having no light on the subject, ignorant of the Bible Food Laws, the mother would give the boy bacon, ham sandwiches, etc., and feel that he was being well fed. When the illness came it developed quickly - and killed him.

We were speaking at a meeting in the North of England to which the general public was admitted. In answering a question, we pointed out that - according to some sources - pig must be cooked almost black before there can be certainty that the pests within have been destroyed. A retired farmer in the audience, feeling very strongly on the matter, jumped to his feet and called "Madam Speaker, you are not exaggerating. As far as the pig is concerned, and some fish that are without fins and scales, 'their worm dieth not'." He went on to say that if he had unwittingly eaten any of them, and had discovered it in time, he would wish to take something to cause him to vomit it up, rather than that it should enter his system. He repeated, "Their worm dieth not".

Tapeworm or Cestodia

This can develop into a worm of great length. We have seen a cat, whose entire life had been spent on a pig farm, discharge a white segmented tapeworm about a foot long. On occasions this little animal had shed live segments of the worm - some very small, some larger - and worm powders gave only short-lived relief. Each segment of a tapeworm can contain both a male and a female productive organ. Incidentally, on this particular farm, we have seen the farmer deworming every piglet born. "All pigs must be dewormed", he told us. Unfortunately the pig is soon infected again.

Chambers's Encyclopaedia, Vol. 3, page 245, speaking of the dangerous pork tapeworm (T. solium) says this may grow from two to six yards long. "These... plainly visible, and usually detected by the meat inspector; if not detected, these are killed by adequate cooking..." "The pig is a dirty feeder; if infected, it is usually heavily infected..." Italics are ours.

We feel led to tell of a young man from a family well known to us, who, at one time enjoyed bacon, pork, etc., and was rather inclined to smile at the non-pig-eaters. While doing a temporary maintenance job in a sausage factory he paused in his work and watched some girls who were busy handling pig carcases apparently throwing away certain parts. Suddenly he saw movement in these parts which were heaped on the floor, some portions detaching themselves and moving about. Fascinated, he asked the girls the meaning of this. He was told that the movement was caused by live and active worms in the raw flesh. Later, he was able to take home, in a screw-top jar some of these same pig worms. A member of the family told us, "My brother actually saw the worms coming out of every pig!" This young man is now a rabid non-pig-eater. The writer, incidentally, has seen an X-ray of a completed sausage in which a three inch worm was nestling. By the timely detection someone had been spared that one!

Trichinosis

The effects of this disease are wide-spread and hard to diagnose, the symptoms varying from so-called rheumatism, muscular paralysis, anaemia, and internal bleeding - and even blindness. As recently as two months before the compiling of this article, the findings of a group of medical experts at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Centre, concerning trichinosis, have revealed a really very shocking state. The Lord would surely look upon this as a great abomination, but even man - enlightened - can see that it is "shocking". Referring to the group's survey the Science Editor of the paper, the New York Herald Tribune, citing one of the scientists, describes the situation as a national disgrace. He points out that trichinosis strikes about one out of every four persons at some time in their life. The bug itself is transmitted to the human being as a worm. (We may add from other sources as a very minute worm, so please, reader, do not think that you could see it as you were about to partake!) He states that a single teaspoonful of inadequately cooked pork may contain thousands of these worms, both male and female. Once inside the digestive system, the worms develop into adults and mate. Each pregnant female gives birth to thousands of live young worms which gnaw through the small intestine and then travel via the bloodstream to the muscles where they form cysts. (This information is from the Prophetic News Herald, December, 1964, and is quoted in the magazine Kingdom Digest).

If any readers are suffering from any of the complaints mentioned so far, they may not be able to say that they have never eaten pig, but they CAN say that from this day forward they will not touch the unclean thing. Bacon, pig-cheek, pork, ham, etc., cooked in the usual way, may often be cooked inadequately.

Chambers's Encyclopaedia, Vol. 14, page 742, under the general heading Worm Infestation in Man says, "Trichinella spiralis, the cause of trichinosis, is normally a parasite of the pig or the rat."

There are many kinds of worms and parasites transmitted to man and the symptoms of their presence are almost as varied. There is only one answer to this, strict hygiene and strict obedience.

Cancer

We wonder what would be the result if cancer research workers turned their attention to the creatures forbidden as food by the Divine Physician? This scourge might at last begin to be arrested and perhaps it would then be felt that enormous amounts of money had been wasted in following clues of the lesser important or even wrong type. It has to be admitted, that in spite of all research to date, cancer is getting a stronger hold upon mankind. It is perhaps, true that cancers may be caused by more than one means. Lack of certain minerals in some of the victims may be one of them. There is proof enough that much lung cancer has been caused by smoking - though smokers themselves and those with vested interests may seek to deny this. Although it may not yet be fully established that there is a direct relationship between pig-eating and cancer or between shell-fish consumption and this disease, we suggest that the eating of forbidden things is likely to be the greatest factor of them all. We relate the following in support of this contention.

In a London Teashop:

After a meeting in South London, the writer and others decided to have "a cuppa and a natter". At another table sat a dear Christian who had been to the same meeting. He was a master grocer from Wales. He came over and joined the main group and soon the conversation turned to the Food Laws of the Bible. "Nearly every pig has a cancer" said our friend, and he proceeded to tell us where it is generally located. I "know" he said, "that the Bible forbids the eating of pig, but I am so fond of it, and I am afraid that I give in and eat it frequently, in spite of the fact that I know that it has these diseases." We all felt sad - a man so kind, we just wished that he would be more concerned to keep the Law. Very shortly after this encounter we learned that he had died - and the cause of death was cancer.

Bible Study Class:

We attended a Bible Study group and one day we were asked to give a short talk on any subject connected with God's Word. The Food Laws were selected. After the meeting, a gentleman came up to the front and said very emphatically that he could not agree that these laws were meant for to-day. "I eat anything I fancy," he said. "All I have to do is to ask God to bless it to my use. This He does and, therefore, it can do me no harm." A few weeks later his wife called to see us. "I have come to tell you that my husband is very ill in hospital. They thought he had a duodenal ulcer, but when they were about to operate they found cancer so malignant and of such long standing that it is too late to do anything for him." This dear man passed away a few weeks later. He too had felt so sure that now we are under grace and not under law, and may, therefore, eat anything we fancy. Alas! He did not see - and there are many other sincere Christians who do not see - that God never blesses for human food that which He has forbidden to be eaten.

Final Thoughts

The Word of God does not "beat about the bush." Unnecessary and meaningless phrases are never used. In EXODUS 15:26, we read: "...If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee." Again, in DEUTERONOMY 7:11,15: "Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgements, which I command thee this day, to do them. And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee." The warning concerning disobedience can be read in DEUTERONOMY 28:58-60: "If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance. Moreover He will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee."

What were these diseases of Egypt which would be the reward of disobedience to an all-wise and loving God? Information in Chambers's Encyclopaedia under the heading: "Worm Infestation in Man - to which reference has already been given, may enlighten us to some extent. "...and our knowledge of the existence and effects of such parasites goes back in the case of man, to Egyptian papyri of about 1500 B.C., which contain accounts of an anaemia-producing disease, so clearly described as to leave little doubt that its cause was ancylostomiasis. Today, one of the great medical problems of Egypt is the control of the helminth infection, schistosomiasis. That this is no new problem is proved by the finding of schistosome eggs in the sections cut out from the tissues of the preserved pharaohs..." Reference to a medical dictionary shows that "ancylostomiasis" or "ankylostoma" is hookworm disease. "Helminth" is a worm infecting the intestines.

Howard B. Rand in his book Digest of the Divine Law makes the following comments: "Wherever there is disease and sickness among His people... they are refusing to keep and administer His laws. Multitudes continue to live in pain and suffering, while countless numbers have gone to untimely graves for national failure to keep and administer the law and observe the requirements for continued and uninterrupted health. Certain fundamental laws are given in the Bible, which, if kept, would give that health and vigour so characteristic of the life of Moses. Moses died at the age of one hundred and twenty years and the record states, "His eye was not dim nor his natural force abated." (DEUTERONOMY 34:7).

A friend in the medical world has stated, "If people would only realise that even if the worm dies or is removed, the damaged tissues probably remain inflamed and are certainly open to invasion by other organisms or germs, producing further forms of disease, possibly malignant growths also."

Reader, this article is written for your good and for the happiness of those you love. It is written pleadingly, but One greater than all pleads far more deeply, and with wisdom that is INFINITE: "If ye love Me, keep My commandments."

by Doro Stell, A.R.C.A.

Source: The Ensign Message, October-December 2000.