Hiram posted an excellent article over at the Society of Epicurus entitled “Reasonings on the Hedonic Pig and Cultural Hypocrisy.” Be sure to check it out!
It reminded me that I had posted previously on part of this topic, but could not find the reference to Lactantius that I thought was here. It appears I posted it only to Facebook.
To remedy that oversight, here is a link to that post with an accompanying youtube clip. The operative text from Lactantius’ “Divine Institutes” was as follows:
Think what it means that the favored mascots of Epicurus are demeaned by the world’s religions, for reasons stated by Lanctantius: “The forbidding of the flesh of swine also has the same intention; for when God commanded them to abstain from this, He willed that this should be especially understood, that they should abstain from sins and impurities. For this animal is filthy and unclean, and never looks up to heaven, but prostrates itself to the earth with its whole body and face: it is always the slave of its appetite and food; nor during its life can it afford any other service, as the other animals do, which either afford a vehicle for riding, or aid in the cultivation of the fields, or draw waggons by their neck, or carry burthens on their back, or furnish a covering with their skins, or abound with a supply of milk, or keep watch for guarding our houses. Therefore He forbade them to use the flesh of the pig for food, that is, not to imitate the life of swine, which are nourished only for death; lest, by devoting themselves to their appetite and pleasures, they should be useless for working righteousness, and should be visited with death. Also that they should not immerse themselves in foul lusts, as the sow, which wallows in the mire; of that they do not serve earthly images, and thus defile themselves with mud: for they do bedaub themselves with mud who worship gods, that is, who worship mud and earth.” (From the “Divine Institutes“)