Friday, 5 November 2010

Pig? Thanks but no thanks

I am often asked why I don't eat pork. The explanation is a bit too long winded for normal conversation so I often opt to utter the little white lie of "I'm allergic".

Of course I am not allergic. I stopped eating pork at the age of fifteen for a number of reasons, the most important ones I will explain later. It's definitely NOT to do with religious beliefs because as you know, I have none. I don't believe in imaginary friends.

As a young child I used to love taking the bucket of pig-swill collected in our kitchen to feed our neighbours pig.

I lived in a semi-rural setting, where our neighbours used to breed one pig per year to slaughter just before Christmas. The pig was kept in a sty approximately 5m x 4m. The trough was at the front by the gate, the pigs "bed" of hay was at the back facing the gate, covered by a zinc sheet and for some reason all pig residents used the right hand rear section as their toilet.

Pig swill, as you all know, consists of all the kitchen left-overs, including bits of pork such as ham, pork chop bones etc. I used to watch in amazement as the pig indulged in cannibalism with ignorant bliss.

By the tender age of nine, I was already aware of most animals chosen diets, be it carnivorous, herbivorous or both (omnivorous) and, the thought of the poor pig unknowingly eating pig meat, upset me enough on a few occasions that I would run home with a list of questions for mum.

Mum couldn't explain why it was deemed right by all to feed pig to pigs and couldn't use the rebuff used by all  present day parents - "go and google it" - but I never gave up.

I was never one to be fobbed off without explanation and so went on to read and learn as much as I could about the subject of diet.

Some years later I asked some Muslim and Jewish school pals why they didn't eat pig but they didn't know the answer either.  I read the old testament and was left none the wiser. It seemed some people didn't eat pig for no other reason than tradition. That was unacceptable to me. I continued to read all I could and by the age of fifteen  I had reached the conclusion to stop eating pork.

I knew carnivore mammals eat herbivore mammals as first choice, followed by other species such as birds, reptiles fish and insects. In order for a strict carnivore, say a tiger, to get the sun-given energy of plants on which almost all life depends on, it needs to eat a herbivore, such as a gazelle.

There are a few omnivorous mammals (meat and plant eaters) such as humans, pigs, bears and dogs. Given the choice, omnivorous mammals always seem to chose herbivorous mammals to eat. That being the case, why do we bother eating pig, an obvious omnivore? And if that's OK. why don't we eat dog, bear etc. since they are also omnivore mammals?  The main reason is that we are guided and influenced by nature and nature has rules such as dietary preference for all animals, making them chose and like the best or more appropriate food source. The best meat food source for omnivore and carnivore mammals is herbivore mammal meat.

Pigs, being omnivores like us, are very similar to humans in the biological sense. As a result, extensive research is being carried out to enable organ transplants from pigs to humans. There are no plans to use any other donor animal species but the pig. Pig flesh is so similar to human flesh that eating it is almost an act of cannibalism. Humans eat pig because the cooking process disguises its taste. Humans can enjoy and do eat raw beef, venison and gazelle because nature has made them appealing to our tastes. Appropriate food, so to speak, unlike unsavoury raw pork.

If I am ever in a situation where I have to eat pork, stranded somewhere or destitute, I probably will, but until then...thanks but no thanks

How can anyone who has watched the film "Babe" eat pig?



  1. My good friend, who is originally from Lyme Regis, used to raise chicks with her Nan. She will not eat chicken because of this.

    It is all what you are exposed to I think. I was about 10 when I saw a live chicken, that my Uncle had me choose, was turned into that nights meal. I did not eat chicken for YEARS! However, when times were so hard that chicken was about all my Mom could afford to eat us... I started eating it again.

    Personally, I LOVE BACON and other pork products. I just cannot explain that, but I totally understand why you don't.

  2. Momma: I did like the taste of it, especially ham, just didn't want to eat an omnivorous cannibal mammal (what a mouthfull - excuse the pun) ;) ewwww You have not posted for a while, what's up?

  3. I just haven't had much to say really... =] Been running around here. Brought our daughter home from college to celebrate Thanksgiving this week and shopping for turkey and all the traditional T-Day dinner trimmings has kept me busy! Today... I bake Pumpkin Pies! YUM!