Some behind-the-times restaurants and grocery stores are still cramming lobsters—complex animals who feel pain—into barren tanks to starve slowly before being boiled alive. Follow these steps to save them from a lifetime of torment in Lobster Zone machines and grocery store tanks.
Lobster Zone Machines
Arcade-style Lobster Zone machines allow users to grab at terrified lobsters using a joystick-controlled claw. Once caught, a lobster is dropped down a chute before being boiled or cut up alive. Its slogan reads, “You Catch ‘Em—We Cook ‘Em!” Yeah, it’s that horrible.
Here’s what you can do if you see one of these cruel machines:
1. Contact the restaurant.
NOTE: If the tank is excessively crowded or looks as if it contains dead animals, complain to the local health department.
2. Follow up.
Remain firm in your assertion that lobsters are not trinkets or toys and that games should involve skill and fun—not suffering. Then ask that the contraption be removed. If you receive a disappointing response, thank the owner for his or her time and say that you look forward to discussing this more in the future. Be polite, and always remain calm.
3. Contact the corporate offices.
If the owner is uncooperative, seek out a corporate decisionmaker who may be more willing to discuss the problem with you. Look online for corporate contact information and call or write an e-mail explaining that you need to discuss a disturbing situation at the company’s restaurant.
4. Start an online petition.
Sometimes all it takes is a letter or a discussion to achieve a victory for animals, but if that doesn’t work, petition the decisionmaker using an online petition site. Use Facebook and other social media sites to gather signatures.
Grab a friend and hold leafleting sessions in front of the restaurant during its busy times and ask patrons to sign your petition. You can download leaflets here or contact the Action Team, and we’ll send you some for free. Bonus: Use this helpful guide.
6. Follow up … again.
After a couple weeks of leafleting, deliver your petition in person to the owner, speak to him or her on the phone, or send an e-mail informing the owner of how many signatures you’ve collected and request again that the machine or tank be removed. Bonus: Get others to make contact as well.
PETA’s outreach coordinators can guide you step by step and promote your protest to other local activists. Contact the Action Team to receive free posters and leaflets, and watch our fun video. Bonus: Organize ongoing protests to keep the heat on—don’t stop after just one.
8. Alert the local media.
Make sure that the owner knows you are planning protests and will be notifying local news outlets. Learn how to contact the media and find tips on doing interviews here.
Never give up! Hopefully, the restaurant will remove the Lobster Zone machine after you’ve protested and talked with customers about the cruel device.
Grocery Store Tanks
After hearing from concerned customers, grocery chains like Safeway and Raley’s Supermarkets have discontinued the sale of live lobsters. This is a game-changer and sends a strong message to other grocery chains that cruelty will not be tolerated.
Inspired to do more?