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Pork, swine, hogs - these sacred beasts may yet be the salvation of the world
Throughout history the multiplicity of diverse uses of The Pig has continued to be amazing, but more recently a new development may elevate Pork from being useful to being miraculous.
Pigs have some biological similarities to humans, and it is for this reason that in ancient times some belief systems banned them as "unclean". The reason was originally based on good foundations, as the parasites inside the pig were compatible with humankind. However, now we live in a modern scientific age, medicine and food hygiene are advanced to be able to completely eliminate such problems, so pork is now safe. In sharp contrast to the development of science, some religious ideas still follow the outdated model where there's a problem with pigs. It is for this reason that the pig, as well as being able to sniff out quality truffles, can now be used for precipitating out religious intolerance. The presence of pigs, or even the hint of pigs in graphic form or in effigy, can sometimes flush out problems quicker than the platinum in a catalytic converter can get rid of bad gases in exhaust from oil burning!
You can believe what you want, but in my opinion this newly found talent of the pig exalts it to Sacred status! It is for this reason that the pig is to be glorified and so here are a few pig-positive links to be going on with:
The Joy of Pigs
Breeds of Swine
Gift of a Pig at Christmas
www.siec.k12.in.us/west/proj/oink/pigs.htm - a variety of interesting pig related stuff
Bycrofts Pork Butchers
http://netvet.wustl.edu/pigs.htm - pig contacts
WikiPig (picture of sow & piglet snaffled thanks to public domain policies at WikiPedia: "This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture"). Also WikiSwine - A domestic pig on an organic farm in Solothurn, Switzerland. (work released as public domain).
Uric Acid in Pork - the myth exposed
http://warrensburg.k12.mo.us/webquest/pigs/index.htm - Kindergarten studies
Cute porcine character Peppa Pig can be seen at Character Online where iconic symbolic items can be acquired.
Pigs have always had an immense practicality as you can keep pigs, feed them on almost anything, including stuff you'd not fancy eating, and then, after a while, you can eat the pig! Well, you probably wouldn't, as by then you've got too fond of the pig and it then becomes a pet pig! Nevertheless, the growth of a pig eating scraps over a period building up to a wealth of food is allegorical with the "piggy bank", often used symbolically on savings accounts and other money wise notions. An alternative explanation is that "piggy bank" was a typographical misunderstanding by a potter commissioned to make savings pots, which were at some time made of PYGG (clay)?
In pork butchery, nothing much of the pig is wasted, and the joints vary in price according to fashion and demand. Pig meat is often far too lean these days because of the fashion fad for being as thin as a rake, but you can still find fat pork if you know where to look.
The pig is biologically one of the most similar animals to human, and this now means that it's getting near to being possible to use pig organs for transplant into humans. This will save many lives. Incidentally, having a pig heart does not mean a person has a greater appetite or exhibit other porcine attributes, although they may gain a superior ability to sniff out terrorists.
Free range pigs are a good idea, as they eat an even more diverse diet than the stuff folk would care to feed them on. Also see Free Range Chickens
Truffles, the exquisite delicacy prized by such esteemed establishments as London Fine Foods, can be located by a sniffer pig. It may seem odd, but that's the way truffle hunting works.
Because of the way "supply and demand" works, one of the cheapest parts of a pig that you can order is the head. Pork butchers are happy to supply this, even though it is an infrequently asked-for item! This is then a DIY method of studying anatomy without getting mixed-up in various ethical nonsense. The dissection of the head is educational, even with saws/scalpels from the Pound Shop, and features such as the brain have a striking similarity to those of the human. (This could be another reason for pious people in primitive times trying to disassociate themselves from The Pig, realising that they might be "made in the image of Pork"). Some years ago I performed such a do-it-yourself dissection anatomy study on a head of pig, but I can't stand wasting of food, so the surgery had the unorthodox add-on of frying going on nearby, which was quite odd. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but if you have the patience you can make a fat pigskin leather wallet. In the end, after careful study, most of the bits of pork ended up in the soup. A very efficient double use of an already very cheap huge piece of meat.
The installation of statues of pigs, swine, boar, and other porcine forms, is to be encouraged. Sometimes not having them can cause offence! See the matter of the Historic Statue of the Florentine Boar in Derby: www.derbygripe.co.uk/arbor.htm
Also, the glorious Whapplehog should continue to adorn the interesting town of Whaplode.
I wonder if we have any pig garden ornaments at the gardening category.
Pigs are not to blame for swine flu, any more than birds are to blame for bird flu, or Asians are to blame for asian flu. So, why is there a pork holocaust in Egypt? See www.toxicdrums.com/killing-pigs-in-egypt.html . My guess is that it's religious fanaticism and prejudice.
Talking about religion, an additional bonus to eating pork is that it can not possibly be Halal nor Kosher and therefore is without the excuse of Ritual Slaughter which allows supermarkets to sell unlabelled Halal ritually slaughtered meat as it's cheap. Pork doesn't have such problems.