For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2022
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Jacksonville, Fla. – “I Need My Claws!” That’s the sky-high message from a crab near Winn-Dixie’s headquarters calling attention to PETA’s release of new video footage that shows workers ripping the legs off live crabs for the supermarket chain’s supplier and tossing the mutilated animals back into the ocean to suffer and endure what crustacean experts call a painful and prolonged death.
The twist is that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requires that claws be torn off live stone crabs—which would otherwise be illegal under the state’s cruelty-to-animals law—so PETA has challenged that requirement with a formal rule-making petition to ban the conduct. PETA’s attorneys argue that the FWC allows Florida’s $30 million annual stone crab claw industry to operate in an illegal manner.
“Crabs are hauled out of the water, torn apart, and tossed overboard to endure a painful death without the claws they need to defend and feed themselves,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges everyone to stand up for crabs, keep sea life off their plates, and make the switch to vegan crab cakes instead.”
The FWC has admittedly “found a very high mortality rate associated with declawing,” discovering that 40.8% of crabs died after one claw was torn off and that 62.9% of crabs died after both claws were torn off. An Everglades National Park Service study found that more than three-quarters of stone crab deaths caused by this cruelty occurred within 24 hours. Many more crabs, unable to defend themselves or obtain necessary food, will suffer and die.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that today, many healthy and delicious vegan options exist, from Sophie’s Kitchen’s Plant-Based Crab Cakes to Good Catch’s plant-based tuna and New Wave Foods’ new plant-based shrimp.
The billboard is located at 300 Cassat Ave. in Jacksonville, and PETA has also placed the message on bus shelters in Miami, near Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant, another Keys Fisheries customer.