Since the subject of eating pork creates a lot of division in the Christian faith, I opted to assign my theology students the task of presenting on the Jehovah’s Witness stance.
Their presentations left everyone stunned because of the misconceptions held about their stance on eating pork. At the end of the presentations, the class found out pork is not as taboo as people think it is within the Jehovah’s Witness community.
To provide further insight into their views and opinions as a theology professor, I wrote this article with all the answers regarding this topic.
So, does Jehovah’s witness eat pork?
Yes, it is permissible for Jehovah’s Witnesses to eat pork since they do not follow the Old Testament, which prohibits consuming pig’s flesh. They instead believe that God declared pigs and other animals clean to eat, as said in Acts 10:15.
In this article, I shall take a deeper look at Jehovah’s Witnesses eating habits around pork and their restricted foods. This is an article you don’t want to miss.
How Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Rationalize Eating Pork?
Generally, Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to eat pork. Like many Christian denominations, eating pig meat was seen as unclean and strongly condemned due to the Mosaic Law, which is found in the Old Testament.
Several verses, such as Deuteronomy 14:8, show disdain towards pigs and pork: “The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.”
Still, many modern Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the New Covenant replaced Mosaic Law and lifted the restriction on eating pork (Acts 10:15).
So long as the animals do not die in a trap, by strangulation, gunshot, or spear, they are safe to consume in the Jehovah’s Witness Church.
Members also believe pig meat (as with other kinds) can only be eaten if they are appropriately killed and bled well.
Blood is seen as holy in the Jehovah’s Witness community, so eating blood-ridden pork or meat is against its religious beliefs.
What Foods Can A Jehovah’s Witness Not Eat?
Jehovah’s Witnesses typically refrain from eating meat from animals whose blood has not been properly drained. Blood sausage (black pudding) and blood soup are also avoided.
All forms of blood in food, whether whole, processed, human, or animal, are not consumed. The reasoning behind these aversions stems from Mosaic Law.
God also commanded Noah after the flood in Genesis 9:5-6 to keep blood sacred since it symbolizes life: “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.”
It is a Jehovah’s Witness belief that this covenant applies to all of Noah’s descendants, including us.
Blood, according to Acts 21:25, is viewed by Jehovah’s Witnesses as unclean and unfit for consumption: “As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”
Although foods containing blood are the only ones expressly rejected by the Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses also place restrictions on alcohol.
While consuming alcohol and wine is allowed, overindulgence and drunkenness are heavily condemned.
While moderate drinking is permitted in scripture such as 1 Timothy 3:2, scholars insist that others, such as Titus 2:3 and Proverbs 20:1, prohibit believers from “enslaving themselves to wine”.
Consuming drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and tobacco is also off-limits for Jehovah’s Witnesses unless for medical purposes.
According to Acts 17:24-25, community members believe God gave us everything on earth to sustain our lives. Substances such as recreational drugs are viewed by the Church as disrespectful to the precious gift of life.
Are There Other Jehovah’s Witnesses That Don’t Eat Pork?
Yes, there are. According to a Watchtower Society article, some Jehovah’s Witness members avoid eating meat for both religious and personal reasons.
For a start, pigs’ eating habits are a great concern to many since they are known to indiscriminately feed on fodder that may be parasite and virus-ridden.
Biblically, pigs and swine were viewed as unholy and dirty, which is a belief carried by a section of today’s Witnesses.
For instance, these animals were used by Israelites to convey disgust and loathing (Isaiah 66:3).
Additionally, Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, cast demons out of the possessed into swine.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and even Jews believe that with Christ’s all-knowing power, He chose pigs as hosts for the demonic entities because of their unholy nature.
Further, some members think Christ’s parable in Luke 15:15-16 about the prodigal son who slept in a pig sty as a swineherd depicts the animals as a sign of degradation and detachment from the Lord: “So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.”
Lastly, Matthew 7:6 also shows pigs in a negative light as they are used to illustrate unwisdom since they were unable to recognize valuable pearls: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
For these reasons, some Jehovah’s Witnesses have disregarded pork meat, although elders propound that under normal, healthy rearing circumstances, a pig is no dirtier or more unclean than any other animal.
As a theologian, I have always been curious to learn more about the Christian Faith. That is why I pursued a Certificate in Christian Studies, Certificate in Christian Foundations and a Masters in Theology. I also have an immersive experience in editing for numerous websites. I have worked as an editor for over a decade and am currently the editor-in-chief at Christian Faith Guide. I enjoy working as an editor and feel privileged to share my expertise and help spread God’s word. You can read more about me on the about us page.