Can shellfish feel pain?

Yes. Scientists have proved beyond a doubt that fish, lobsters, crabs, and other sea dwellers feel pain. Lobsters’ bodies are covered with chemoreceptors so they are very sensitive to their environments. Boiling lobsters alive is particularly cruel. A lobster’s ideal body temperature is between 38 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit; when lobsters are packed on ice, they sometimes “drop” a claw in order to conserve body heat. As many people have discovered, when dropped into boiling water, lobsters will frantically scrape the sides of the pot in a futile attempt to escape. If grocery stores kept live pigs or chickens crammed together in filthy glass tanks with accompanying recipes suggesting that the animals be dropped into a pot of scalding water, consumers would be outraged. These acts are equally deserving of outrage when perpetrated on shellfish.

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind