Letter to Editor: Sensitive lobsters

To the Editor:

Lobsters are smart, sentient animals, so it’s understandable that restaurateur Charlotte Gill wants to minimize their suffering, as reported in the “Hot box lobsters tested” story in the Sept. 15 Islander.

Research has shown that lobsters use complicated signals to explore their surroundings, establish social relationships, recognize individual lobsters, and remember past acquaintances. They also feel pain. Dr. Robert W. Elwood, a leading authority on the subject of pain in crustaceans, says, “With vertebrates we are asked to err on the side of caution and I believe this is the approach to take with these crustaceans.”

That said, it’s highly unlikely that getting a lobster high would make a lick of difference when it comes to the full-blown agony of being boiled or steamed alive.

There is a well-established, foolproof way to prevent crustaceans from suffering, though, and that’s by not eating them. Many restaurants across the country dish up vegan lobster “taste-alikes,” and Ms. Gill could certainly do the same.

In fact, PETA recently released a list of the top 10 vegan seafood dishes in the U.S. These include vegan crab cakes, artichoke oysters, hearts of palm lobster rolls, and more. No sensitive sea animal needs to die for dinner. Find out more at www.PETA.org.

Paula Moore

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

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