Jews are not prohibited from eating pork specifically. The prohibition is a trivial consequence of the commandment, You shall not murder, which applies equally to humans and animals. Life is sacred, and murder is prohibited. Practical Judaism, however, recognizes that some killing is unavoidable. Sometimes, it is “kill or be killed,” and Judaism allows killing to save other lives. Jews can kill enemies and heinous criminals legally.

People have to eat meat. The moot issue of vegetarianism aside, people cannot live without meat. In order to save their own lives, people have to kill animals. Hence Judaism makes an exception for three or four animals from the general prohibition of murder.

It is not that some animals are prohibited for food. All animals are prohibited, but out of necessity an exception is made for three or four of them. A few other animals were included in the list of permitted animals later, and erroneously—they do not satisfy the very narrow criteria about hooves and chewing. Jews don’t eat humans, just as they don’t eat horses, camels, bears, pigs, and most other species.

Animals earmarked for food are domesticated, with the later concession for gazelle. People give them life to take it later. This implication is derived from the kosher mode of slaughter, which is only applicable to domestic animals; it is practically impossible to catch gazelle with a trap and cut its throat in a precisely kosher manner.

Judaism stipulates that animals must be killed painlessly. Murder—even of animals, even out of utter necessity—is still murder and must not be enjoyed; Judaism opposes recreational hunting.

The choice of permitted animals is not accidental. Cows, goats, sheep, and gazelles are the folklore examples of stupidity. If we have to kill some animals, at least kill the least intellectually advanced. Similarly, Judaism prohibits scaleless sea creatures. All fish have at least some scales, and even shrimp have a scale-like chitin cover. The only truly scaleless sea creatures are sea mammals. They are intellectually advanced, and humans should not kill them for food. Similarly, swarming creatures are prohibited. The swarming creatures par excellence are ants and bees, incredibly smart beings.

Similarly, creeping creatures are prohibited. Their prototype, the serpent, is the symbol of wisdom in Judaism and other cultures. Prohibition of pork has nothing to do with uncleanness. Horses are clean, but Jews do not eat them. Jewish children can play with pigs in a zoo just as they would play with horses. Judaism prohibits murdering animals, not playing with them or using them. Drinking camel’s milk is okay for the Jews just like eating honey produced by non-kosher bees. Jews must not derive benefits from pigs murdered by others, particularly by wearing pig leather clothes.