Going back to the scriptures referenced above (Leviticus 11:7-8 and Deuteronomy 14:8), if God really meant it when He taught that pork was not suitable for people to eat, then we can easily understand how eliminating a herd of animals unfit for human consumption would actually be doing the pig herders and consumers a favor. It would be a blessing in disguise.
But it's not just the Bible that makes the case for avoiding pork, a prohibition dating back thousands of years.
In early 2009, going back just a few months, The New York Times published a couple of op-ed articles just one month apart detailing some of the present dangers of pork consumption.
One article, "Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health," by columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, described growing concern that pigs are incubating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, sometimes referred to as a potentially deadly flesh-eating bacterium.
Mr. Kristof suggested that "we as a nation have moved to a model of agriculture that produces cheap bacon but risks the health of all of us."
The problem is not confined to the United States. Mr. Kristof went on to mention a strain of MRSA that "has spread rapidly through the Netherlands--especially in swine-producing areas."
Intensive pig farming
In another article, "Free-Range Trichinosis" by James E. McWilliams, a professor at Texas State University at San Marcos, the author discussed problems with the horrors of intensive pig farming and the high rate of salmonella and other bacteria and parasites in free-range pork.
Dr. McWilliams concluded that, if these problems cannot be solved, "there's only one ethical choice left for the conscientious consumer: a pork-free diet."
The Gadarenes were benefited--at least temporarily--by adopting such a diet. Now others, even from a nonreligious standpoint, appear to be considering a similar option.
Their arguments provide additional food for thought. Maybe, just maybe, God knew what He was talking about.
Now, what will be on your menu?