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Victory! 140-Year-Old Lobster Going Home

Written by PETA | January 9, 2009

Remember when we told you about the 140-year-old, 20-pound lobster confined to a tank inside New York restaurant City Crab and Seafood? Well, after initially denying PETA’s request to release the ancient crustacean, the good folks at City Crab have had a change of heart and have agreed to send the lucky lobster back home—i.e., into the sea. (Yay!)

City Crab and PETA are hosting a bon voyage event to see off the lobster, who will be sent back to a watery habitat in style. Pretty exciting if you ask me! Next step: ban catching lobsters completely. Lobsters don’t deserve to be pulled from their ocean home and kept in tiny tanks in their own waste and then boiled alive.

A huge “thank you” goes out to City Crab for this compassionate decision. To celebrate this victory for lobsters everywhere, I encourage you to try our recipe for mock lobster.

PS If you want to become a “lobster libber” and help liberate lobsters in your hometown, check out our suggestions for how you can get active here.

PPS You know how life sometimes imitates art? Click here to see just how true that really is.

Written by Liz Graffeo

Commenting is closed.
  • Jay Cook says:

    I eat animals…period. It’s natural and part of the food chain we are omnivores. However even though I am a fanatic when it comes to my love for seafood I just cannot see BOILING SOMETHING WHILE IT IS ALIVE!! I’ve actually given up lobster because of the way they are prepared. Imagine you boiling in that pot.

  • Don says:

    Bowing to pressure from PETA George the 20pound 140yearold crustacean was freed by City Crab and Seafood in New York City yesterday. Ingrid E. Newkirk president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said We applaud the folks at City Crab and Seafood for their compassionate decision to allow this noble oldtimer to live out his days in freedom and peace”. I too would like to applaud the folks at City Crab and Seafood for their compassion and wisdom in recognizing the right of lobsters and all animals for that matter to retire. Far too often we inhumanely marginalize our main courses. We continue to selfishly eat them to ensure our own survival with no thought whatsoever to the fact that they too have a life of their own. No thought to the fact that when caught and cooked for dinner animals such as George might just object. No thought to the fact that George might just not want to be steamed and smothered in butter but rather returned to his home on the coast of Maine where he can live out his golden years swapping stories of his days in the Big Apple with the other old crony crustaceans and playing with his grandlobsterchildren. And having avoided the menu this long doesnt he deserve it? We humans have a long and disturbing history of eating all kinds of animals and for no good reason other than we need to in order to live. Oh sure federal legislation mandates that we provide humane living conditions for animals such as chickens and lambs before we eat them but is that really fair? Maybe the chicken doesnt want to have her neck rung. Has anyone ever bothered to ask? Well PETA has and the answer is NO! Thank goodness for PETA and for opening my eyes and inspiring me to free all my animals back into the wild where they can live in freedom and peace I still see my dog JoJo around the neighborhood sometimes and to never again assume that just because a piece of meat is on my plate that it wants to be there. And isnt a little B12 iron zinc and protein deficiency accompanied with the consequential inability to digest food properly a small price to pay? Thanks again PETA for your continued hard work in leveling the playing field between us and our meals. Ill never look at a pork chop the same again.

  • Jacqueline Bartley says:

    I am not sure releasing this lobster into the ‘great unknown’ was a good idea. I am a strong supporter of your efforts but did you have enough information and not just make a statement.

  • Angela Hill says:

    Love you all keep up the good work

  • Silvia Granold says:

    Thank you for your help PETA! But does he survive in the open sea? Im sure this big lobster will be caught again and there is nobody to help him again…

  • Andie says:

    I just read that the lobster was caught recently and had only been in the tank for about two weeks now that he is being released into protected waters where fishingpoaching is prohibited. George will be fine! He’s made it 140 years what’s to say he won’t make it for many many more? Happy swimming George!

  • Joanna says:

    Great job thank you PETA. However here in Australia we also fight with the government to change the Ani mal Law so that people who chain a dog for 24 hours or involve their dogs in dog fighting games will be prosecuted and punished. I mean punished not just getting a pat on the shulders. Also those people can not keep any animals in the future.

  • Deborah Kemp says:

    It should be moved to an aquarium somewhere. For it to be returned to the sea it will probably end up being caught and killed!!

  • lynda downie says:

    AliasSt.Fang From any reports I’ve read George spent only 10 days in captivity. The rest of his 140 yrs were spent in his ocean home.

  • brandie says:

    i agree with another post how can one be sure this lobster will not be caught again? you just can’t be sure. not even PETA.

  • Alias: St. Fang. I don't leave my name anywhere. says:

    Just a question that’s been asked on here before but I’d like to point out again. If this lobster has spent most of 140 years in a tank how the heck is it going to survive in the wild? Does it know how to survive out there? Will it really stay in its ‘protected area’? Won’t it be more obvious to predators? Does it know what predators to avoid? Are you sure letting it go isn’t doing more harm than good?

  • lynda downie says:

    Thanks for saving George’s life Peta!

  • vegancoin says:

    What kelly said. As weak and ineffective as federal laws are concerning animal standards they are rarely andor not actively enforced making them practically useless.

  • Kelley says:

    I am glad this one lobster will be freed but what about all the other lobsters and crabs killed by this establishment? Saving one life hardly makes these people “good folks.” I am sure they are back to business as usualselling poor boiled alive creatures to uncaring people who then eat them for dinner and see nothing wrong with what they are doing.

  • kelly says:

    Michelle Ortiz the big problem is that the USDA with our tax dollars protects these slaughterhouses from things like lawsuits! Government corruption


    I am really glad to hear that a 140 year old lobster that has lived most of it’s life in a tank in a New York Restaurant can finally be put back where it came from. I truly hope that this poor lobster will be able to live and survive amongst all other sea creatures.

  • George (not the lobster) says:

    What’s wrong with putting him in a Sea World type aquarium? He’d be safe well cared for and people could see this remarkable animal. Putting him back out to sea is a bad idea if the intention is giving him back a life. He’s going to die pretty quickly out there.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Karen You can download a pdf here

  • Jessica says:

    I’m so glad to read this story of the restaurant doing the the right thing rather than the easy thing. I read the article Liberated Lobster in the PA Patriot News. What they did was the right thing to do and I commend you. Last year I was able to go out on a lobster boat that teaches you about lobsters. And I realized what a volatile industry it is. Most lobsters have a very small survival rate. In Maine if it is under a certain size or over a certain size they release them. They release the larger lobsters because it means they had a great survival rate and they want this lobster to be able to continue making more lobsters. You can read more about it if you want by Lulu lobster boat. Again thank you for doing the right thing. It would have been easy doing it the other way because you probably don’t have those regulations. But again good job for doing the right thing not the easy thing. Jessica

  • anonymous says:

    yeah! I’m a hostess at city crab and i was rooting for him! and all the other crabs and lobsters in the tank I’m really glad City Crab did the right thing. I knew they would. Everyone who came in felt bad and the other people who work there named him George so I knew something positive would come of it. They are all great people and no one wanted to see grandpa lobster get eaten! I’m so glad he’s free! Since I personally met George and he’s come such a long way I am really happy that he is free because he looked pretty upset when he was in the tank!! Where are the pictures of George now?? I really want to see him…

  • Ash says:

    Ya!! Go PETA!! U guys ROCK!!!

  • Susan says:

    Thank you City Crab for having a heart!

  • karen says:

    thats great news. does anyone know what toothpaste and mouthwash doesnt test on animals?

  • michelle Ortiz says:

    My husband and I were having a discussion on why I think everyone must become a vegan. It was some what of a heated but good discussion. My Husband made a great point ” why if all these organizations are putting the evidence of animal cruelty out there why has anyone not sued these slaughterhouses”. I was stumped and I said well I don’t know. Has any organization sued for the right of the abused animals? There should be a standard across the board if any person is “caught” abusing or mistreating an animal the company should be fined big time the employee should be fired and not allowed to own or work with any animal. I think with the meat industry any industry should be hit where it hurts their wallets. Take legal action against them for animals rights.

  • Mitchell Zebert says:

    Hello I just wanted to leave a comment or two about the lobster. If the lobster was in a tank for years and served as a 20LB mascot release into the ocean is definetly not a good idea. The lobster has no idea of the ocean habitat and is more than likely not surviving well in its current environment. The lobster has no safe haven and doesn’t know how to adapt to the environment being caged like that for years. Yes I do believe the lobster should not have been put in that tank for that long but I also believe releasing the lobster isnt the greatest of ideas either. By all means I very much love all animals and thier well being but other alternatives could have been met. Maybe putting him in a tank or something in a safe environment would have been the best choice in my opinion.

  • Matthew Bunker says:

    Hurrah! Love all animals great and small. So happy the lobster is able to finally go home. Much love and thank you all

  • Sarah says:

    I wonder if he will survive since he was put into different water quality? Let’s hope so.

  • Maureen says:

    If anyone deserves freedom its this old timer! To life!!

  • tim says:

    Do you actually think that the lobster will stay in the “protected area”? Lobsters tend to move aroundsometimes miles. This lobster will be caught again.

  • ava ariadne sheridan says:

    Wow!go PETAI am thrilled!. Made my daywell night. Thank god that poor old lobster is going home I wish him or her all the best!. XX

  • kate says:

    i love you guys!!!!! x

  • Larry Maloney says:

    Way to go peta! That lobster had lived longer than any human on record and it’ deserves to keep on living!

  • John Szabo says:

    I just saw one in a window of a fish store on Austin street in Forest Hills Queens NY noon today. He was still alive and i’d say he was close to 20 lbs. People were taking pictures of it through the window.

  • gem says:

    how can you be sure this lobster is a century and a half old? anyway regardless what age.. I’m glad this plucky and lucky lobster was set free..

  • Marsha says:

    Are you sure that is a good idea? He’s 140 years old but How long has he been kept in a tank? He won’t be able to survive if he has been in a tank captured for very long. Just checking.

  • tallfuzzyone says:

    personally i think it’s cool you guys saved him i eat lobster..but i don’t cook them alive because i think it is inhumane. if i was the one to save the old guy i would keep him in a tanka very closely regulated tankinstead of releasing him…he might get caught again! or even worse get killed by another animal. lobster use they’re small size to hide from predators so this big guy is gnna have a tough time.

  • REMB52FAN says:

    What a wonderful story to wake up to on a Saturday morning. PeTA rocks my world. Ps. I had a dream last night that I saved a baby veal calf from slaughter.

  • jill says:

    fantastic news go lobster go!! and a big thanks to the restaurant

  • Curtis says:

    Saw this on Awesome!!

  • Robert Lee says:

    Congratulations PETA you accutally did something that isn’t just a radical attention grabbing stunt but a normal attention grabbing stunt and helped a 140 year old lobster. Kudos.

  • Meech! says:

    This is absolutely WONDEFUL news! I hope many people take the time to thank the restaurant.

  • Canaduck says:

    Yay! This is great news! Wonderful job PETA!