Last night we learned that City Crab and Seafood in New York City was attempting to sell a 140-year-old, 20-pound lobster to customers for dinner. We immediately contacted the restaurant and spoke with Manager Mitchell Rosen. Rosen let us know that they are unsure what their plans are for the lobster (they may keep him in his tank and “spare him” death), but have refused to hand him over to PETA to be released back into the ocean. Whatever happened to respecting your elders? And—you know—not eating them?
Because of the lobster’s sophisticated nervous system and high sensitivity to pain, boiling lobsters alive is completely illegal in some cities, such as Reggio, Italy (where offenders face a $600 fine!). But, unfortunately, more than 20 million lobsters are killed and eaten every year in the U.S. alone.
Even if City Crab takes the lobster off the menu, by keeping him in captivity they are likely sentencing him to death. Because lobsters are sensitive to water quality, they easily die if too much waste is created in their environment. In order to prevent the lobsters’ excrement from contaminating the tank water with ammonia, merchants normally do not feed lobsters, so the animals often starve or are reduced to attacking each other.
This lobster lived in the ocean for over a century, and we think he deserves to spend the remainder of his life in peace in his natural habitat—not in a pot of boiling water or a cramped, dirty tank. Since City Crab needs some persuading to release the supercentenarian lobster, we’ve contacted its parent company, Branded Restaurants USA. Hopefully the executives will show some compassion for this 140-year-old survivor! You can check out our full letter here.
Written by Liz Graffeo