|Rare blue Maine lobster at home within his own little grotto. Around one in two million lobsters is blue.|
Shucks! 4:53 PM 3/27/2009
An official study by scientists, Dr. Robert Elwood, professor at the School of Biological Sciences at The Queen’s University in Belfast, and colleague Mirjam Appel studied hermit crabs collected from rock pools in County Down, Northern Ireland. confirms that that Lobsters and Crabs, (yes, those delicious fellows) DO feel pain and suffering after all.
Arguments to Support Their Findings
According to the scientists, “Crustaceans possess “a suitable central nervous system and receptors.” They learn to avoid a negative stimulus after a potentially painful experience. They also engage in protective reactions, such as limping and rubbing, after being hurt.
Physiological changes, including release of adrenal-like hormones, also occur when pain or stress is suspected. And the animals make future decisions based on past likely painful events.
If crabs are given medicine — anesthetics or analgesics — they appear to feel relieved, showing fewer responses to negative stimuli. And finally, the researchers wrote, crustaceans possess “high cognitive ability and sentience.”
“The findings add to a growing body of evidence that virtually all animals, including fish, shellfish and insects, can suffer… “
Best Way to Cook Lobster, Crab, Crayfish
1. Kill quickly and painlessly by inserting icepick or sharp knifepoint into head behind their eyes. Cook immediately. (Toxin will NOT form -false rumor)
3. If you MUST boil them alive, (they will suffer agonizingly till dead) bring water to full boil. Plunge lobster or crab head first into water. REVISION: It turns out that they survive far longer in the boiling water than initially thought. Kill first.
• NEVER put shellfish into cold water and bring to boil. They will flail and desperately attempt to escape from the tremendous pain.
Notes About Lobsters
• Did you know that older lobsters will lead younger lobsters around by the claw to lead them? Yes, it’s true…
• Like humans, lobsters have a long childhood and an awkward adolescence.
• Lobsters carry their young for nine months and can live to be over 100 years old.
• Like dolphins and many other animals, lobsters use complicated signals to explore their surroundings and establish social relationships.
• Lobsters also take long-distance seasonal journeys and can cover 100 miles or more each year (the equivalent of a human walking from Maine to Florida) — assuming that they manage to avoid the millions of traps set along the coasts.
Lobsters may even feel more pain than we would in similar situations. One popular food magazine recently suggested cutting live lobsters in half before tossing them on the grill (a recipe that’s “not for the squeamish,” the magazine warned), and more than one chef has been known to slice and dice lobsters before cooking them. But, says invertebrate zoologist Jaren G. Horsley, “The lobster does not have an autonomic nervous system that puts it into a state of shock when it is harmed. It probably feels itself being cut. … I think the lobster is in a great deal of pain from being cut open … [and] feels all the pain until its nervous system is destroyed” during cooking.
“Don’t heat up the water just yet, though. Anyone who has ever boiled a lobster alive can attest to the fact that when dropped into scalding water, lobsters whip their bodies wildly and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape. In the journal Science, researcher Gordon Gunter described this method of killing lobsters as “unnecessary torture.” ”
Why Lobster and Shellfish May Be Dangerous for Your Health
Like the flesh of other animals, lobster flesh is loaded with excessive protein and cholesterol. A 6- to 8-ounce serving of lobster flesh contains 120 to 180 ml of cholesterol—comparable to an average serving of tenderloin.
Fish and shellfish often accumulate extremely high levels of toxins in their flesh (as much as 9 million times that of the water in which they live) such as PCB’s, dioxins, mercury, lead, and arsenic, which can cause health problems ranging from kidney damage and impaired mental development to cancer and even death.
Lobster livers, or “tomalley,” which some people consider a “delicacy,” can be especially dangerous. The high doses of toxins concentrated in the livers can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning.
Symptoms range from numbness in the lips to dizziness, nausea, impaired breathing, and choking. Seafood consumption is also the number one cause of food-borne illness: It has been claimed that eating lobsters and other sea animals is like playing Russian roulette with your health.
Another Norwegian government report stated that Lobsters do not feel pain. However, as fishing is a main industry in Norway, many discount the report as “biased.”
Truth be known, almost all living creatures were bestowed the ability to enjoy pleasure and feel pain. Whether we intend to recognize and acknowledge this when it doesn’t suit our preferences, is another story.
We wish that all food animals would be well cared for, fed good, healthy natural food, be allowed to live contented and comfortable lives, and at the end, killed quickly and painlessly without suffering.
Don’t Mistake Seafood for Health Food
From the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s Web site.
Recipe: MOCK LOBSTER
(Purported to be delicious)
Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Philadelphia’s Singapore restaurant
For the “Lobster”:
4 medium potatoes
1 7 oz. can corn kernels
1/2 cup green peas
12 oz. Worthington Foods vegetarian “Skallops” or seitan
1 tsp. minced parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
Dash of pepper
1 cup flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
For the batter:
3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups water
Oil for deep-frying
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, and steam until soft. Add the remaining ingredients (except those for the batter) to the potatoes and mash. Divide into 10 equal portions. Mold the portions into chunks and dust with a little cornstarch.
For the batter, mix together the flour and water. Coat each “lobster” chunk with batter.
Heat the oil to 300°F in a deep-fryer. Add the mock lobster chunks and fry them until they are golden in color. Drain on paper towels.
For a tasty dip, mix together barbecue sauce with a little hot mustard.
Makes 10 mock lobster chunks.
“New York’s May Wah Healthy Vegetarian Food, which offers everything from mock lobster to faux crab roll and shrimp (and also sells faux chicken, beef, and ham). These “fab fakes” taste just like the real thing. You can order online. For info, visit: “www.vegieworld.com.