Q: Does it violate the Biblical injunction against consumption of unclean meat to use medicines, vitamins and mineral supplements derived from unclean animals? Is it a violation to use gelatin products, which might be derived from parts of unclean animals?
A: The Bible prohibits the consumption of the “flesh” of certain animals, designated as unclean in passages such as Leviticus 11:1-8 and Deuteronomy 14:7-8. The Church has long understood that the use of medications, mineral supplements or vitamins derived from unclean animals does not violate the Biblical injunction against eating the FLESH of unclean animals. Until recently, diabetics had to use insulin derived from pigs, and the Church did not prohibit such use. (Now, the best form of insulin is derived synthetically). This is based on the understanding that medication, drugs and supplements fall into the category of non-food. For instance, calcium can be extracted from oyster shells.
The consumption of these types of non-food items is not the equivalent of eating the flesh of unclean animals. Likewise, blood transfusions are not Biblically prohibited [although the Bible does prohibit the consumption of blood], since the transfusion is not the equivalent of eating blood. If one were to carry the Biblical prohibitions too far, kissing or sexual intercourse would be prohibited as well, due to the exchange of bodily fluids.
Regarding the consumption of various gelatin products, most gelatin is a meat by-product made from beef, calf or pork skin. It…