The treatment of lobsters and whether or not it is right to prepare them as food is a highly debated matter that is continuously being brought up in our society.
Lobsters are one of the most majestic and interesting creatures that our waters have to offer. These poor animals are becoming the victims of widespread cruelty due to over-harvesting and by the very inhumane methods of preparation that are used to cook these lobsters. The effects of these bad behaviors create much debate in the world, which extend to countless individuals. The overall cruelty that is demonstrated towards lobsters is damaging to both the lobster population and society’s reputation and these acts of brutality must be stopped.
Although the harvesting and preparation of lobster is becoming increasingly looked down upon by many, there still remain some benefits of the existing lobster industry. The practice of catching lobster and selling them in open markets is one of the oldest traditions that exist in the coastal towns of the New England region and the local people take great pride in the animal. The Maine Lobster Festival held every year in late July is a good attraction for tourism and is a staple for the midcoast region (Wallace 156). The lobster industry also brings in countless amounts of revenue to these coastal economies through marketing the actual product, hosting festivals, and even selling various types of lobster-based merchandise. There is good reason to believe that these towns would struggle greatly if the lobster industry goes away entirely. In addition to cultural and economic reasoning for support of lobster cultivation, arguments can be made that the preparation method of lobster is not inhumane at all due to the overall anatomical makeup of the lobster.
Some evidence suggests that lobsters may not even have the ability to feel pain at all because it has been scientifically hypothesized that lobsters most likely do not posses the ability to feel pain in the same way that we do due to the lack of pain receptive equipment that absorbs opioids that are responsible for handling intense pain (Wallace 174). Finally, since many people believe strongly in the preparation of other types of food such as beef and pork, these groups of people do not see a difference between the cooking of these types of animals and lobsters. These people are more than likely not opposed to eating meat and think that taking advantage of other less evolved species is essential to the survival of human beings. They also more than likely do not ponder about what really goes into the actual preparation of these meats and would be shocked to see the true details. There are some good reasons for the cultivation and preparation of lobsters that sill exist in our society that is increasingly becoming against the practice. Nowadays, lobsters are quickly evolving into one of the most popular foods consumed in our world due to its lure from attachment to the rich and upper-class societies.
This increased popularity is taking its toll to the overall well being and existence of the wonderful lobster population that resides in our oceans. These magnificent creatures have evolved from their humble beginnings where they were overly fed to the poor and institutionalized to now being sought after by endless people seeking a fancy meal (Wallace 162). Lobsters can be found in almost every grocery story, supermarket, and anywhere meat is sold all across our country. The overwhelming popularity has allured the fishing industries to seek out these lobsters in greater and greater numbers, which is doing almost endless damage to the population amounts. Unlike other types of meat such as pork and beef, there is no way to actually farm these animals for the sole purpose of food due to uncertainties of breeding methods. Therefore, when harvesting from the natural population of lobsters continues to increase, the numbers of these animals continues to decrease due to inadequate time for reproduction into newer generations.
Over cultivation has also taken away numerous victims from older generations of the lobster population. There exists some forms of regulation that attempt to prevent the over harvesting of these lobsters, but more must be imposed before we lose these wonderful creature forever. Lobsters can live to be over 100 years old and grow to over 30 pounds and too many of these very old creatures are being captured, further dwindling their numbers. In many cases, the especially large lobsters are even kept as trophies in especially small tanks for many years, not allowing for the natural living habits that they exhibit. Many people even try to free these large lobsters from the cramped cages back to their natural habitat, like in the case of “Nick” from “The Luckiest Lobster”, where he was liberated from his cramped tank and driven all the way from Pennsylvania to the coastal waters of Maine into freedom (Radiolab).
Many people do this as both a good deed to the suffering lobster, but also as a protest against the overall cruelty that is demonstrated towards the animal. The ever-increasing popularity of the lobster has led to dwindling population numbers and an uncertain future for these wonderful animals. When preparing a lobster to be eaten, there are numerous ways that it can be conducted. However, the most overwhelmingly popular method of cooking is by boiling the lobster alive in a large pot until it is eventually killed and fully cooked from the boiling water. This approach is seriously inhumane and creates uneasy feelings for many people.
There is good reason to believe that these animals do truly suffer from this boiling process. In many cases the lobster fights to try and escape the lid of the pot, even up until its final moments of life. Some report that the lobsters even scream when introduced to the boiling water. While many explain this to actually be air escaping the body of the lobster, it is still extremely disturbing and makes people truly sympathize for the poor dying lobster (Wallace 171).
However, alternative methods of preparation are available to be conducted. These include some that seem to be equally cruel such as microwaving them alive, and others that seem to be slightly more humane which involves actually stabbing the lobster in the head and killing it quickly before it is boiled. Although these alternative methods exist, it is still upsetting to think about the overall nature of eating lobsters and after doing so much research on the topic I would personally not suggest eating lobster anymore. The boiling of lobsters as means of food preparation is totally inhumane and should not be conducted any longer. The highly debated topic whether or not it is morally okay for lobsters to be captured in the wild and later prepared as food is an ever-lingering topic that has sparked much debated, and will more than likely continue to do so.
The lobster is being increasingly over harvested and this is leading to dwindling numbers. The boiling of these lobster and other methods of preparation are very disturbing and are viewed as extremely cruel. The harvest of lobster is becoming increasingly damaging to both lobster populations and the image of humanity as a whole and should no longer continue in our society. Works CitedFoster, Wallace.
“Consider the Lobster. ” Mercury Reader. Compiled by Marisa Carlson. Ed. Jancie Neuleib, Kathleen Shine Cain, and Stephen Ruffus.
Boston: Pearson, 2014. 159- 177. Print“The Luckiest Lobster. ” Radiolab. WNYC Radio, 12 July 2010.
Web. 27 April 2014