Did you read the story that came out on last Friday about the giant lobster who PETA saved from being eaten at a New York City restaurant? Let me fill you in: “George” weighs 20 pounds. PETA and the owners of the restaurant where he was found, City Crab and Seafood in New York, estimate that he is somewhere around 140 years old. After bringing his uniqueness to the attention of the owners of City Crab and Seafood, PETA members were able to convince them to spare the arthropod. George was released into the Atlantic ocean near Kennebunkport, Maine, in an area where lobster trapping is forbidden.
Lobsters are truly amazing animals. They can live to be 200 years old and are rather intelligent. Despite living in deep, dark, and cold waters, they have intricate social lives. I remember hearing a story a couple years ago about some scientists who attached an underwater video camera to some lobster traps. They found that for every lobster that was caught in a trap, two or three escape with the help of their crustacean friends and family. How amazing is that? Sure, lobsters look very different from us, but they too are intelligent and caring.
It is a tragedy that these thoughtful beings are subject to such a barbaric act of torture: Slowly being boiled while still alive. Everytime I see an image of a bright red lobster, a shudder runs down my spine. (Lobsters are naturally a dark greenish color and only turn red after suffering scalding hot water.) And let’s not forget that they have their claws tied together and are piled atop one another in tiny tanks at supermarkets and in restaurants. It may be difficult for us to empathize with lobsters since they appear so different than us, but let me assure you that they suffer just as we do.
This story reminds me of the starfish parable. While we may not have the power to save every lobster from being scalded alive, at least George got away. I hope his story inspires more people to leave lobsters, and for that matter all other animals, off their dinner plates for good.