Why did a Restaurant Owner Save this Lobster?

NEW YORK–This lobster was confined in a tank in a New York City restaurant on the verge of being boiled alive. The restaurant owner decided not to kill her. But why?

Lobsters have a central nervous system, feel pain, and experience stress being in a tank. When boiled, they often try to escape.

According to invertebrate zoologist Jaren G. Horsley, “a lobster 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.

So what happened to this particular lobster? Did the restaurant owner decide he could no longer kill lobsters given their sentience? Think again.

The restaurant owner learned this is a yellow lobster, a rare color seen in only 1 out of every 30 million lobsters, according to the Lobster Institute of Maine.

Upon making the discovery, the restaurant owner sent this lobster to an aquarium to be further exploited, not back to the ocean where the lobster belongs.

What do decisions like this tell us about the human race? Even though people will often teach children not to judge others based on their religion, appearance, sexual orientation, race, or other distinguishing factors, these rules don’t apply to animals. This thought process is known as speciesism.

“We couldn’t help but notice her,” the U.S. director of operations for Burger & Lobster, Steven Costello, told ABC News regarding the lobster, “and that one of these things was not like the others.” Yes, one of these “things.” So off the thing went to an aquarium. The other things got cooked.

The color of a lobster is no more important than the color of a person. This lobster is like all the others in the ways that matter. And all that matters is that lobsters want to be free to live their natural lives just like us, not cooked alive and eaten.

Sending a yellow lobster to an aquarium while killing the rest isn’t praiseworthy except in a society that fails to grasp the concept that all animals matter equally.


9 thoughts on “Why did a Restaurant Owner Save this Lobster?

  1. Well-said! I hope at least some people are moved enough by your powerful post to make changes, so that our world – their world – becomes a little less violent and callous.

    1. Thank you Gary. Yes, less violence and more compassion would go a long way. The mindset in our culture is so broken, entrenched, and shortsighted when it comes to respecting all animals.

      A red lobster feels no less pain than a yellow lobster.

  2. Great article! We all should think about this matter. Animals suffer a lot but humans often don’t care. I think people need to learn to understand animals better. If it is your cat, dog, bird, etc. If animals could talk, it would make a huge difference. Humans would hesitate to torture, kill and eat them. Maybe we have to evolve more.

    1. Thank you! Of course, animals do talk–we just don’t understand their language. But they also speak with the fear in their eyes, their attempts to escape cruelty, and their screams of pain.

      When they are free, they speak with their love, their happiness, their wagging tails and kisses, and their playing in open fields.

      If we listen with our ears and eyes and use common sense rather than follow cruel traditions, we would understand them better.

  3. Vicky Thing and Restaurant owner Thing both should be dropped in hot water just to test to see if they feel any pain or put in tiny tanks so we can all look at their repulsive facees!

    1. One of our greatest challenges is to get people to imagine themselves in the place of animals. Unfortunately, most people only apply the old adage “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” when it is convenient.

  4. Once I was visiting Lake Michigan. Lobster was on the menu. Someone ordered the lobster. I got emotionally sick. All I could think about was the pain this poor creature endured being thrust into boiling water…and for what? To coat a greedy human’s stomach and go down the toilet. SAD SACK HUMANS – when will we wake up?

    1. Thank you for choosing compassion over killing. People will make this connection as we continue to inspire them to make it. Of course, many people will make it but will continue to eat animals regardless.

  5. So sad, I was upset when I went to Macro recently and there were live lobsters for sale. It was awful, I so wanted to help them, but was powerless to do so. It makes me cry that people can actually buy these living beings and take them home to murder them.

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