The pig is said to have been domesticated as early as 5000 B.C. Pigs are the most widely eaten animal in the world, accounting for about 38% of meat production worldwide. It’s most popular in East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, and Oceania.
No matter how you look at it, pigs are rather unclean animals. Pigs are omnivores, which mean that they consume both plants and animals. They are considered the scavengers, often eat literally anything they can find, and that’s why they are called waste eliminators of the farm. This includes not only whatever leftover scraps they find laying around, but insects, their own feces, carcasses of animals including their own young.
In India, pigs have been domesticated for a long time mostly in Goa and some rural areas for pig toilets. This was also done in China. Chinese influence may have spread the use of pig toilets to Okinawa before World War II.
A pig toilet is a simple type of dry toilet consisting of an outhouse mounted over a pigsty, with a chute or hole connecting the two. The pigs consume the feces of the users of the toilet, as well as other food.
Though ecologically logical as well as economical, pig toilets are waning in popularity as use of septic tanks and/or sewerage systems is increasing in rural areas.
Problems With Pork
The Pig’s Digestive System
The pig has a digestive system which is classified as non-ruminant; it differs from digestive system found in cattle and sheep. A pig digests whatever it eats rather quickly, in up to about four hours; no wonder why meat of the pig becomes more saturated with toxins than other farm animals like sheep and cows.
A cow for instance, its ruminant digestive systems miraculously turn vegetation that is inedible to humans into digestible nourishment for themselves. It takes a good 24 hours to digest what it’s eaten which helps the animal to get rid of excess toxins and other elements of the food that could be dangerous to health. On the other hand, because pig’s digestive system acts fast and poorly, many of the toxins remain in its system to be stored in its more than adequate fatty tissues.
Another problem with pig is, unlike other mammals, a pig does not perspire much because it has very few functional sweat glands. Perspiration is one of the means by which toxins are removed from the body, and since a pig does not sweat much, the more toxins remain within its body and in the meat. So, when you consume pork you are eating the meat with the entire toxin it contains.
Swine influenza "swine flu" is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses which is common throughout pig populations worldwide.
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), H1N1 and H3N2 swine flu viruses are endemic among pig populations in the United States and something that the industry deals with routinely – that can occur year round.
Swine influenza virus can be directly transmitted from pigs to humans. People with regular exposure to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry), are at increased risk of swine flu infection.
Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness, shortness of breath, and general discomfort.
According to the CDC, swine flu has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork. But what does that mean, exactly? Well, properly handled and prepared means cooking pork to an internal temperature of 71.1 °C degrees which is supposed to kill all viruses.
But what if you consume pork from a pig that had influenza and it wasn’t cooked to that temperature guideline? Anyone would like to roll the dice and venture into that?
Neurocysticercosis is the infection of the human central nervous system by pork tapeworm larvae. Little baby pork tapeworms invading one’s brain "has become an increasingly important emerging infection in the United States", and it is the No.1 cause of epilepsy in the world. It is the most common parasitic disease of the human brain; and used to only be found throughout the developing world—"with the exception of Muslim countries", of course. Watch the above video Chronic Headaches & Pork Tapeworms for more.
Trichinellosis, also called trichinosis, is caused by eating raw or undercooked meat of animals infected with the larvae of a species of worm called Trichinella. Infection occurs commonly in certain wild carnivorous (meat-eating) animals such as dog, bear or cougar, or omnivorous (meat and plant-eating) animals such as domestic pigs or wild boar. This is the reason there are so many warnings out there about eating undercooked pork.
When a human eats meat that contains infective Trichinella cysts, the acid in the stomach dissolves the hard covering of the cyst and releases the worms. The worms pass into the small intestine and, in 1-2 days, become mature. If you’re at this stage, you may experience nausea, vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea.
After mating, adult females lay eggs. Eggs develop into immature worms, travel through the arteries, and are transported to muscles. Within the muscles, the worms curl into a ball and encyst (become enclosed in a capsule). Ten days following ingestion, symptoms of trichinosis include: high fever, intense muscular pain, difficulty breathing, swelling of the eyelids or face and pink eyes.
According to CDC, successful trichinae control programs by the U.S. pork industry have nearly eliminated the disease in domestic swine raised in confinement, but still during 2008–2012, 15 cases were reported per year on average.
In some countries like Japan, people actually consume pork raw. The Japan central government banned restaurants from serving raw pork in 2015, reported Japan Times.
Under the new requirements, pork has to be heated for at least 30 minutes at 63 degrees, or be heat-sterilized in other ways with a similar effect. Violators will face up to two years in jail or a 2 million yen fine, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry added.
A research published in Archives of Internal Medicine’s June 2001 issue, found that Mozart suffered many of the above listed symptoms. He had written in his journal about the consumption of pork just 44 days before his own death. Based on what Mozart himself had recorded, an American researcher Dr. Jan. V. Hirschmann theorized that trichinellosis is the exact cause of Mozart’s rather sudden death at age 35.
Factory Farmed Pigs
Nowadays, just about everything is mass-produced, including our food, with large, factory-style farms churning out a seemingly endless supply of meat and other products.
According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Ninety-seven percent of pigs in the United States today are raised in factory farms. They don’t run across sprawling pastures, bask in the sun, breathe fresh air, or do anything else that comes naturally to them.
Practices that restrict natural motion, such as sow gestation crates, induce high levels of stress in the animals and threaten their health, which in turn may threaten people’s health too.
Crowded into warehouses with nothing to do and nowhere to go, they are kept on a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive and make them grow faster, but the drugs cause many of the animals to become crippled under their own bulk.
The pork industry crowds pigs because overcrowding pigs may pay, according to the trade publication National Hog Farmer. They acknowledge this presents some problems—inadequate ventilation, increased health risks—but, sometimes, "crowding…pigs a little tighter will make you more money".
Do these sounds like conditions that yield a health-promoting piece of meat? Of course not, which is why not only you should avoid pork but, factory farm foods altogether.
Healthier Meats To Eat
The best way to ensure you’re getting food from non-industrial farms is to buy from local sources, where you can see how the animals are raised, and what they were fed.
Make sure the animals were on pasture. Animals benefit tremendously from being outdoors daily on natural vegetation. They exercise, breath fresh air, lie in the sun, and generally live more natural and much healthier lives.
Get into the habit at meat counters and restaurants of asking where the meat is from. If they don’t know, don’t buy or don’t order it. The simple act of asking this question – if enough people begin to do it – over time has the potential to spark a massive change in our food system.
Independently owned grocery stores tend to be more willing to work with traditional farmers, and the staffs are generally more knowledgeable about the meats they offer.
Eat less meat but eat better meat - Getting good food could be one of the most important things we do to keep ourselves in good health. The price of local, organic, grass-fed sheep, cow and goat meat is little higher than grain-fed animals, but certainly healthier. They normally have higher levels of vitamins and minerals as well. Grain-fed animals generally are loaded with genetically modified corn feed and countless additives.
Look also for chicken that was raised on pasture. Chickens are low in saturated fat, which according to the American Heart Association, makes it a better protein choice than red meat.
Read the labels - In general, if it does not specifically say that it was raised on pasture, assume that it was not.
Just like other meat sources, you want to avoid farm-raised fish if possible. Farmed Fish also have high concentrations of antibiotics, pesticides and lower levels of healthy nutrients. If you like fish, wild-caught fish is a better choice. In the same way, if the label doesn’t say wild, it’s likely farm-raised.