Non-kosher surgery

Where do Jewish and Moslem clerics stand on porcine heart valve transplants?

I’ll defer to any Jewish posters to better explain this, but a higher tenet of Jewish law is the sanctity of life.

Saving lived can be done on the Sabbeth.
Porcine heart valves, if deemed better a better alternative than mechanical valves by the doctors involved, and not considered to violate the laws of Kasrut.

Sue from El Paso

Correct; Jewish law states that any commandment (other than idolatry, murder, and sexual prohibitions) may be violated in order to save a life.

But even if that were not so, there would be no problem with pig-to-human transplants (or baboon-to-human; baboons are just as non-kosher as pigs), because the only thing forbidden to do with non-Kosher food is to eat it. Other benefits may be dervied from the stuff, including not only transplants, but even selling it for money and feeding it to one’s animals. The only exception to this is the mixture of meat and milk.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

What makes a baboon non-kosher? Not that I plan on eating one, but curiosity has gripped me.

Baboons don’t have hooves or chew the cud, so they are ineligible as a land animal (Leviticus 11).

I promise not to mention hyraxes again :slight_smile:

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

I think it’s more basic than what has been cited already. For Jews, the prohibition is against EATING the flesh of pigs… there’s no prohibition about touching it or using it for non-eating purposes. Thus, transplant of animal organs to human beings would have nothing to do with the dietary rules.

For Muslims, I believe the prohibition is more strict. Perhaps a Muslim poster will let us know.

I guess the epitome of non-Kosher is a Bacon Cheeseburger? :slight_smile:

Although it is possible to have kosher cheeseburger, either by using soy instead of meat, or by using non-dairy cheese.

(Inside joke: by using both soy and non-dairy cheese, it would be possible to have a pareve cheeseburger, which is sort of mind-boggling.)

(( Yes, I know, I said it was an inside joke. If you don’t get it, don’t ask for the explanation.))

OK, so explain if you will.

It’s my understanding that the “unclean” aspect early kosher practices was really a thinly disguised attempt to deny the pleasures of the most succulent meats around - abstinance, moderation, that sort of thing. It had little to do with the risk of sickness from not preparing the food correctly. Does anyone know if chickens were common in the land of Canaan and Palestine. Other poultry? And if so, why weren’t they banned? It’s way easier to ingest harmful bacteria from ill-prepared poultry than pork.

Hell is Other People.

The reason Jews don’t eat pork is because it is among the animals which God chose to ban in Leviticus 11.

Over the centuries, many Jewish philosophers have tried to figure out why God made choices that He did in this area. As Sake Samurai writes, their guesses have little or nothing to do with the medical health values of this meat or that meat. Rather, they concern the spiritual effects of eating it. However, it is usually along the lines of choosing a tame herbivore over a predatory carnivore, which might have the effect of making people less violent.

Judaism looks looks down on overindulgence in physical pleasure, but astinence is not a virtue in and of itself. On holidays and festive occasions, it is suggested or even required that one should enjoy “the pleasures of the most succulent meats around” (in accordance with ones means, of course), which goes directly against your suggestion that this is the logic behind totally banning pork and other meats.

Predatory carnivores like pigs, rabbits and lobsters?

People don’t eat predatory carnivores as a general rule in any event. The animals prohibited in Leviticus are animals that people do eat.

It was my understanding that a big part of Judaism is that you just follow the bloody rules, and there’s value in doing so; “G-d says so” is a much more important reason than “eating unrefrigerated pork can lead to trichinosis”.


I’m certainly not going to bring up cloven hooves… again. :wink:

Well, I got it, because I’ve been reading

Let me add that in supermarkets nowadays you can find vegetarian versions of many breakfast foods, such as sausage, sausage patties, and bacon.

So if the vegetarian “bacon” has the right ingredients, you could have a kosher bacon cheese-burger!

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Morningstar Farms makes great kosher breakfast “meats”. Unfortunately, they are milchig (dairy–they contain whey), so you can’t put them on your burger (if it’s a real burger). Also, most soy cheese that I’ve found contains casein, so it is also dairy.
Now for a real taste treat, try Yves Veggie brand pepperoni (kosher pareve) on your pizza–not as greasy as real pepperoni, but tastes remarkably similar (at least so far as I can remember–I stopped eating pork more than 5 years ago).

Anybody know of any pareve soy cheese?


>>Anybody know of any pareve soy cheese?<<

Mmm…I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t really care about whether something has dairy in it (no meat to mix it with and all), so I haven’t paid much attention, but I’d have to believe that something like that exists. Check out your local health food store. It seems like the POINT of having soy cheese is to be non-dairy, so that vegans will eat it, obviously.

Speaking of health food stores, I’ve recently begun shopping in them, and am pleased to see how much of the stuff is kosher. It just makes me feel better.