FWD (SK) Pork taboo

From: Terry W. Colvin (fortean1@frontiernet.net)
Date: Wed Jun 28 2000 - 23:31:24 MDT

>Take eating pork, for example; the food laws of the ancient
>Jews ought to have archeological repercussions. Digging into a Jewish
>garbage pit ought to show no pig remains, and this is generally the
>case. Some wanted to say the pork proscription argued that Jews had
>an especially well-developed hygiene, or perhaps were revolted by the
>behavior and appearance of pigs. However, it has been found that no
>one in the region was eating much pork. Pig bones are rare anywhere
>from that time; quite possibly there were economic reasons, such as
>the difficulty of herding pigs or of raising them in dry areas. The
>Jews shared with their neighbors a prohibition against pigs, and no
>one can claim that this somehow made them unique.

One suggestion I remember reading some years back was that pigs are
omnivores like humans and eat pretty much what humans eat--tubers, roots,
nuts, etc., plus meat when they can get it. They're not grazers or
browsers like sheep, goats, and cattle--they don't eat grass or bushes.
(IIIRC, the pig digestive system is often used as an analogue of the
human digestive system.)

Thus, in a subsistence culture, pigs would be seen as competition, not as
complementary. People would want animals that ate something that the
people couldn't, transforming that unavailable food into meat.

George Slusher/Eugene, OR

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA)
< fortean1@frontiernet.net >
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