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Crabs Feel Pain, Says Obvious Study

Crabs Feel Pain, Says Obvious Study

In a new study that seems like proof of something that should be common sense, researchers found that crabs prefer to avoid painful experiences.

The Queen’s University Belfast study gave small electric shocks to the crabs, who were found to vacate their favored dark shelters to avoid more jolts.

Considering they had to cause pain to discover that crabs don’t like pain, this certainly isn’t a test animal activists will approve of, but they might like the argument the researchers are trying to make with this information. They hope the food industry will rethink how live crustaceans are treated.

Irish Examiner reported that expert Professor Bob Elwood said, “In contrast to mammals, crustaceans are given little or no protection as the presumption is that they cannot experience pain. Our research suggests otherwise. More consideration of the treatment of these animals is needed as a potentially very large problem is being ignored.”

In this test, 90 crabs were placed in a tank with two dark shelters as options. After they chose one, they were given rounds of shocks to see what they would do. Professor Elwood said about the results, “Having experienced two rounds of shocks the crabs learned to avoid the shelter where they received the shock. They were willing to give up their hideaway in order to avoid the source of their probable pain.”

Whether it’s boiling crabs and lobsters alive or housing them in noisy bright crowded tanks at supermarkets, in the effort to serve fresh seafood, crustaceans are sadly treated as little more than objects. Perhaps conclusive data that crabs feel pain will make an impact as to how they are treated.

When it comes to keeping crustaceans safe and thinking about the ethical implications of the way we treat them, Considering the Lobster by David Foster Wallace still takes top marks.

By Ali Berman, From Ecorazzi

Read more: Nature, ,

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Ecorazzi has been providing the latest in green gossip since August 2006. The environment is serious stuff. The same goes for animal rights and humanitarian issues. But that doesn't mean that it needs to be complex and boring! Ecorazzi takes the latest in celebrity gossip and entertainment news and filters out all of the fluff. What's left are fun and interesting stories that you want to hear about, without the guilt.


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10:17PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

of course they feel pain

8:15AM PDT on May 22, 2013


2:43PM PDT on May 21, 2013

OBVIOUSLY.............................every LIVING thing FEELS

8:46AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

Of course they feel pain, don`t have to be a rocketscientist to figure out that! Not long ago they said fish did not feel pain, guess what...., they did! Life is life and to be life and live we all have to feel pain in some way so we can avoid it. Animals learn from pain, we learn from pain and so forth so we don`t do the same mistake again (unless you are Homer Simpson of course :-))

4:46AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

9:00AM PST on Feb 13, 2013

thanks for sharing

6:47PM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Interesting, I was under the impression they can't feel pain because they lacked pain receptors. The need to survive and avoid danger is not the same as feeling pain.

12:10PM PST on Feb 2, 2013

All things feel pain and emotions including plants and trees.

6:21AM PST on Feb 2, 2013

Two different things? So if they didn't feel pain, why should they avoid something they didn't feel?

5:12AM PST on Feb 2, 2013

I don't know...avoiding pain instinctively and actually feeling pain are two different things I think

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