Thursday, March 11, 2010

Do lobsters feel pain?

Lobster is delicious! Unfortunately there is a very good chance that they are killed inhumanely. I don't like to eat cow and chicken (and other mammals) because of the ways they are killed. I enjoy fish, crustaceans, and shellfish and do my best not to think that they feel pain. Unfortunately I'm wrong.

It is cruel to cook shellfish and crustaceans alive, because although they have less extensive nervous systems than humans do, they still feel pain. Anybody who has ever cooked lobster can see them move in the pot in obvious distress they also emit a wail of pain/distress.

According to a website :
You can reduce the suffering of shellfish during cooking by freezing them first for approximately 15 minutes, and remember to cook shellfish in a tray above the water, not submerged in it. If you want to cook crustaceans humanely, start by freezing them for around 15 minutes. This will not kill them, but it will numb their nervous systems, much like shocking cows before slaughter is supposed to do. Next, place the crustacean back down on a cutting board. Because it is frozen, it will move sluggishly, making the next part of this operation safer and more accurate. Keep one hand on the tail, and use the other to position a heavy chef's knife slightly above the middle of the lobster's torso, with the blade facing towards the head. Use a single sharp movement to chop the lobster in half from mid-torso to head, killing it instantly, and then throw it into a pot of salt water for cooking.

Is it really humane? Does freezing them really make it better? I honestly don't know. I do know that I will probably give up lobster, but I'm not sure I can cut out the fish, shrimp, mussels and crabs. Maybe I'm guilty of just not wanting to eat anything cute, since I think lobsters are cute. That said, they're still delicious and I still want to eat them, I just won't.

If you are less anxious than I, which you have every right to be, there are several good reasons to eat lobster. Lobsters are a low-fat source of high quality protein. They're low calorie and their high mineral content is good for bones and teeth as well as for the immune system, for reproductive health (zinc), and for metabolism (magnesium). They're an excellent source of vitamin B12, contain folates, and besides the zinc and magnesium, contain potassium and calcium.

1 comment:

  1. They have no vocal cords, therefore do not emit any noise of any kind in pain. The noise you are hearing is steam being forced through the shell.

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