Restaurant Nets PETA Appreciation for Sparing 23-Pound Lobster—but Congratulations Come With a Catch

PETA Calls for Vegan Lobster on the Menu so All Lobsters Get a Break

For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2015

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Island Park, N.Y. – When news hit that a 95-year-old 23-pound lobster had caught the break of a lifetime, thanks to business owner Stephen Jordan’s decision to save him from the pot, PETA rushed a letter thanking Jordan for his compassion and made a request: that he extend his kindness to all lobsters by adding tasty meat-free lobster dishes to the menu. The first vegan lobsters are on their way to Jordan, courtesy of a PETA donor. As PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—points out in its letter, physiological and behavioral studies have shown that lobsters, who have nerve ganglia covering their bodies, likely feel immense pain when boiled or broiled alive, as revealed in its undercover investigation of a slaughterhouse in Maine.

“When dropped into scalding water, lobsters struggle frantically and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape—responses that scientists have confirmed are triggered by panic and pain,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, who stopped eating lobster 40 years ago after selecting a live lobster to be broiled for her birthday meal. “That’s why PETA is calling on Mr. Jordan to offer his patrons the chance to opt for a tasty vegan lobster dish and increase his customer base to include health- and humane-conscious guests.”

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PETA’s letter to Stephen Jordan, owner of Jordan Lobster Farms, follows.

July 23, 2015

Stephen Jordan
Jordan Lobster Farms

Dear Mr. Jordan,

As someone who, at a dinner for my 20th birthday, watched a lobster wave his antennae, chose him to be broiled, and then regretted what I had done, I’m writing on behalf of myself and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) more than 3 million members and supporters, including tens of thousands across New York. Thank you for deciding not to kill Claws, the 95-year-old lobster who arrived in a shipment to your business. We’d love it if you would extend your consideration for this lobster to others by adding some vegan options to your menu. Offering delicious vegan lobster (made from plant foods) would give your customers the opportunity to choose a vegan meal whenever they dine at your restaurant.

Numerous physiological and behavioral studies of crustaceans have shown that lobsters feel pain. Lobsters who are broiled alive obviously suffer immensely, and those who are boiled alive suffer horribly every second of the three long minutes that it takes for them to die. As I’m sure you know, when dropped into scalding water, lobsters struggle frantically and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape. Scientists have confirmed that such reactions are panic and pain responses.

We hope you enjoy the faux lobster we are sending to you, and we’d be happy to connect your staff with a vegan chef to create gourmet vegan options for your menu, such as delicious Old Bay “crab” cakes and artichoke and oyster mushroom Rockefeller. These dishes would wow your existing patrons and allow you to expand your customer base by appealing to the ever-growing number of potential customers who are searching for animal-friendly fare.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 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