hello, I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place.

but a question has always plagued me.

You always hear it is a sin to murder, it is a sin to hate people (always with exceptions), it is a sin to like children, it's a sin to steal, etc. etc. etc.

But why is it a sin to eat shellfish?

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My take on the whole matter is that all of the laws/codes/commandments are just rules that were needed by early civilization in order to maintain some sort of civility. These laws passed on from word of mouth until they were codified, along with an oral history of the clan, when writing was invented and there you have the bible. As was stated before, shellfish has a high percent of pathogens possible, along with pork, if not cooked properly so they just outlawed eating it. I'm sure that the allergies had a big thing to do with it too. Maybe the early Israelites had a genetic disorder that made them more susceptible to shellfish allergies???
It was a rough tribe that Moses led into their land. They had been slaves for some 400 years. He set up dietary laws and certain foods were to be eaten and other were not. no one was executed for eating shellfish!
It wasn't necessarily a 'sin' per se. They were dietary guidlines to render the best health possible.
For example, pork was forbidden. We now know unless pork is raised and processed correctly (very dirty animal)and cooked properly there are parasites (trichinae--trichinosis) peculiar to that meat and it can give one an infection of parasites.
With modern cooking stoves this can be avoided to some degree, but deep in the meat these parasites thrive;but then it was crude ovens or open fire. I have doctor friends who won't eat pork because of the cases of infection they have seen and treated.

There are 'bottom feeders' in the sea. They feed on fish dung and just about everything and anything you can imagine. I won't go into detail. 'Shell fish' are bottom feeders. They were given lots of other sea denizens to eat in Moses' law that we know today are better for one's health,etc.

There have been well documented books written about these dietary laws and most authors detail the benefits. I was quite surprised how 'scientific' the list is as to healthy good food as I researched food science and nutriition since '63.
Also,and often neglected were the cleaning or sanitation teachings. Marvelous and far in advance of our sanitation methods today.
It doesn't matter who raised pigs. What matters is that they carry trichae and unique homotoxins,which can cause permanent disease condtions. A lot of med German research has shown they are not a good and safe meat to eat period.

These ancient slaves from Egypt at that time were much better off leaving pork alone. Med research has shown that mummies and preserved bodies of ancient humans show signs of parasitic infection and this is what they believe caused much of their health problems and premature death. We now know a great deal about how important parasites are relative to one's health.
Thanks for your post.
There is no evidence, other than the bible, that the Israelites were ever slaves in Egypt.
How can you say they are just guidelines in one breath, but then say pork was FORBIDDEN?

I smell something fishy here....
in the ancient world, there were no refrigeration or storage to allow for the transportation of shellfish and seafood over any good long distance. So the risk of getting food poisoning was high unless you lived close to the sea (or ate preserved shellfish/fish)

There is a theory that many of the Levitican rules started out as basic social rules in early Israelite culture, which were then reinforced by the addition of the 'divine command' aspect of the narrative.
Why do abominations even exist in the bible? An omnipotent god should be able to avoid creating abominations by accident, and a god who purposefully creates abominations that serve no purpose other than to be avoided is just a sadistic bastard who shouldn't be worshipped in the first place. But I guess if fundies were capable of being logical they wouldn't believe in the bible at all, much less take it seriously.
Yeah . . . abominations, incest, war, genocide, infanticide . . . what are ANY of these things doing in "holy" text?
I think dietary laws, in scripture, stem from human experience with food. Some were known to cause more illness (from food poisoning or parasites) than others, so became taboo.

That's just an impression I have that I'm tossing out there :-)
A human aversion to some food animals--like shrimp, lobster, and pigs--sometimes derives from the aversion to what they eat, like carrion and garbage. In the 1700s, lobsters were so common and easy to snatch by hand that they were regarded as poor people's food--or as fertilizer, which is what the Micmacs and Abenaki used them for. The first Europeans considered them disgusting bottom-dwellers--like shrimp--and that prejudice against all mud-dwelling shellfish was one they had carried with them to the New World.

In the 1800s, lobsters were harvested from tidal pools and served to prisoners and indentured servants. In Massachusetts, when some of the servants rebelled, they had it written into their contracts that they would not be forced to eat lobster more than three times a week.
Hey Don,

Interesting stuff . . . I had NO idea :-)

But I doubt that ancient people had analyzed the diets of the animals they ate . . .

The Old Testament appears to be concerned with cloven hooves. What's with that? Whatever it is, I doubt it has anything to do with the diets of these animals.

Does anybody have an explanation for Old Testament dietary laws?
I'm guessing that it came about because some goat herder died of PSP , ASP or anaphylactic shock.
These are all pretty spectacular, instantaneous deaths.
To some barely evolved sand-people, it probably COULD have looked like god just plain didn't like you that day.
Suddenly these things are seen as deadly. Common wisdom is passed down through religious mandate, and there you have it!

Then again, a few lines down, it also says you can't trim your beard, so who the fuck knows, right?
A lot of this shit doesn't make sense. Finding the root of it probably isn't even possible after all these centuries.
I think the most important question is why you'd be following the rules of some nomadic desert tribe from two thousand years ago....


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