An estimated quarter of the world’s population doesn’t eat pork—mostly for religious but also for vegetarian reasons. Why?
“Islam and Judaism both originated in a region where pigs were scavengers and rooted through garbage to survive,” explains Jeff Dege on Quora. “They were unclean in every sense in that environment.”
On the other hand, Western civilizations are more accustom to non-scavenger or otherwise domesticated pigs that aren’t as infected as the ones the Middle East grew up with.
“If I lived in the Middle East 1500–200 years ago, I wouldn’t have eaten pig, either,” concludes Dege. “But I don’t and the reasons for avoiding it then and there don’t apply here and now.”
Which explains why the other three quarters of the world happily consume pork, mostly for barbecue, bacon, sausage, and chop reasons.
On a personal note, I rank edible animal muscle as follows—beef > poultry > pork > fish—but I try to limit my intake of it to no more than 2-3 times a week in favor of produce.