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.