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More Proof That Lobsters Feel Pain

Written by PETA | November 8, 2007

People will cling on to the most unlikely notions if it means that they can keep doing something they enjoy but know deep down is wrong. And sad as it is to say, there are going to be people who continue to ignore or deny the fact that crustaceans feel pain despite mountains of evidence that this is the case—including the study published in New Scientist today, which shows that lobsters, crabs, and other crustaceans all share pain sensitivity. Which means (just in case anyone needs this spelled out) that cramming them into pots of boiling water while they’re still alive should be a jailable offense. Literally. We prosecute people for equivalent cruelty to cats or dogs, so a lobster bake shouldn’t be any different.

Setting that aside for a second, I hate the fact that this study was ever done in the first place. The notion of a bunch of grown men and women in labcoats prodding lobsters to see if they react and then pompously announcing to the scientific community, that “yes, they do react,” would frankly be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that these animals suffered to prove what we all know intuitively already: That there’s something horribly wrong with the way we treat these animals, and that no matter how much someone might enjoy the taste of lobster, there is simply no way to justify torturing a living being for the sake of a palate preference.

If you haven’t read it yet, you should definitely check out the essay Consider the Lobster, by David Foster Wallace (who happens, incidentally, to be my favorite living author). It’s a fascinating analysis of the ethics related to this issue from the point of view of someone who had never given it any thought at all, until he was assigned to write about a lobster festival for Gourmet magazine. You can find that here.

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  • Randy says:

    I just heard about the “scream of a lobster” on MSNBC as a metaphor about the election and I was horrified. I haven’t eaten lobster for several years now because of the extremely inhumane way they are boiled alive so that humans can feed on expensive seafood. If anyone has info on any way to combat this cruel way of preparing food please email me at

  • Caboose says:

    ….it was a rock LOBSTER!!!! rock lobster ROCK LOBSTA!

  • Caboose (Combine Slayer) says:

    I suppose so rojo but everything is interconnected somehow. Can u believe that they call meus antis even though were half antis?

  • rojo says:

    laura our opinions differ on the belief that it is wrong to eat meat. Particularly for otters. Perhaps the rest of the human population don’t realise it for the simple reason that they don’t believe it’s wrong to eat meat. caboose re web yes a much better description of the overall depedence of species on each other. Food chain is however more appropriate when dealing with specific animals like say the otter.

  • Caboose (Combine Slayer) says:

    Dont we have an overpopulation problem and you want to spare more lives?

  • Caboose (Combine Slayer) says:

    Laura What part of MODERATION dont u get?

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    Judy How original an inbreeding joke and a penisplayonwords regarding my last name. I guess I’ll never be as smart as you thank goodness. I guess the Ozarks are getting yucky mostly because we can’t stop all the idiots from California from moving here in droves because they continually shit where they eat. Even stupid animals don’t do that.

  • Ariel says:

    Maya Sorry but I’m a LOT older than you would like to think have medical credentials which I don’t feel a need to advertise am retired and have had more experiences with people and life than I care to remember. And since I’ve had all those vast experiences I can easily tell when someone has a need to be held in esteem out of ego rather than the desire to directly focus on admit to and address the factual issues of the pertinent subject. In order to fill that need heshe prefers to flaunt an authoritative attitude even when wrong and also presents condescending comments to seek support. When such a person is confronted with the truth heshe is cornered and becomes hostile. Consequently heshe lashes out with unsubstantiated outbursts and illogical reasoning to TRY to undermine the person who speaks the truth. And you have proven all of this to be true about yourself. And again the issues here are ANIMAL RIGHTS’ not animal welfare. There are no “maybes” about it WHENIF you get off your pedestal you will understand MY words. BTW there are a number of ar’s activists who have tremendous credentials on here but they don’t have a need to advertise their titles or have authoritative attitudes and they are very respected for that. Their highly educated positions allows for them to present VERY worthy and focused contributions to this forum for the sake of the ar’s movement. I THANK YOU for not wasting any more of your time responding to me. I’d prefer not to read any more of your juvenile rants.

  • Laura says:

    “Laura thats the problem people think if animals like insert favorite predator here had human intelligence they wouldn’t kill. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed but over 90 of the human population aren’t vegetarian. And they apparently don’t even need meat to survive.” It’s not just human intelligence I’m asking for. It’s the ability to realize that eating meat is wrong. Over 90 of the human population… don’t realize that. “Ya know whats worse than meat Even though meat isnt unhealthy in moderation and cutting the white fatty part off? CANDY and SWEETS. So dont ever blame meat for obesity.” There’s no such thing as healthy meat. A typical omnivore gets far too much protein because of the meat. And their chosen protein source meat also contains cholesterol fats and toxins not present in vegetarian protein. Also the myth of plants not containing a “complete protein” is just that a myth. The research done to support that was later proven false and was declared to be so even by the person who originally claimed it was true. Unfortunately when it was taken back it didn’t get enough publicity. The healthy choice is clear.

  • Caboose (Combine Slayer) says:

    Mike Yes only for the lazy dumb American but some people practice modertation and stay healthy Like me though candy rocks and I’m healthy thx to excercise. I know you too are healthy. Michele You forgetAGAIN I am merely a half anti.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter says:

    Looks like NOCOCKMAN has invited one of his inbred children it’s name is I love to eat animals M.D. Lots of inbreeding in your neck of the woods… OZARKS? YUK

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    C’mon Caboose. I agree candy and sweets can contribute to obesity but meat can play a role too. A Big Mac complete has 29 grams of fat 10 of which are saturated. And Americans are now spending more than 46 of their food dollar eating out and I’m sure not always making healthy choices.

  • Ariel says:

    a person on this planet Take a look at the broader picture. “namecalling” as you refer to it is NOT taking the “moral high ground” and is NOT trying to “convince people that you’re superior.” People have a right to HONESTLY express themselves as they feel according to the appropriate situation at hand. However when one doesn’t know the “continuing drama” as obviously you do not know as to why people must eventually express themselves justifiably as they do and that same person criticizes others for how they express themselves then THAT is taking the “moral high ground” and trying to show a betterthanthou superiority. Surely you are trying to indicate that you are perfect at all times under every circumstance with every encounter.

  • Caboose (Combine Slayer) says:

    Ana Tell predators that. They kill too.

  • Michele says:

    Tetris thank you for your simple yet important comments. Ariel Ana EAS Judith etc thanks to all of you for the various perspectives related to animal rights. As usual the logical factual information that all of you and I continue to provide seems to be completely ignored by the anti’s. They think that we are going to be discouraged by their “I love meat” comments or that we are suddenly going to say that it’s okay to kill animals as long as one uses a “humane” alternative like a gun. You anti’s really need to channel your energies elsewhere possibly where you might actually be useful. The animal rights movement is not going away we will not be swayed by your specious twisted comments and there continue to be victories for the animals every single day in spite of people like you.

  • Maya: Master's candidate, wildlife biology says:

    BTW Jack I did forget one thing THANK YOU for pointing out that article. I was really surprised to see it published in Gourmet magazine. Although I never read it I’d think they would have seriously censored that piece. Good for them for leaving it whole. I like his point that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see a panicked animal clinging to the sides of the pot and banging on the lid to escape to realize that the whole process is barbaric and cruel. So simply put so sadly the truth. Nice find.

  • Maya: Master's candidate, wildlife biology says:

    Hi Ariel. I don’t think I should waste any more space responding to you but I leave you with one thought The reason I put my credentials as a vet nurse and master’s student of conservation on there is because if I were reading a health blog’s comments for example for advice I sure would like to know if the commentor was a doctor or not. Of course people can lie but I really am a vet nurse and master’s student. I don’t know how old you are Ariel I’m guessing you’re still a teen with time to learn. But in my 38 years I have dedicated my work to saving animals lives and I know one thing for sure your nasty tone is responsible for more animal deaths than any meat eater out there. Maybe when you reach adulthood you’ll understand my words.