Lawmakers in the United Kingdom are considering legislation that would ban the boiling of live lobsters, crab, and other crustaceans.
The current Animal Welfare Sentience Bill only takes into account the inhumane treatment of creatures with backbones, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has authorized a study that will look into whether invertebrates, such as crabs and lobsters, should be considered sentient beings who are capable of suffering and feeling pain.
“We have commissioned an independent external review of the available scientific evidence on sentience in decapod crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters, as well as in cephalopods, which includes octopus, cuttlefish and squid — and we will carefully consider the results of this review which will be published in due course,” the agency said in a statement.
Advocates of the bill argue that a more humane way of cooking lobsters and crabs would require stunning or freezing them beforehand. The argument for boiling a live lobster is that doing so helps avoid the overwhelming presence of Vibrio bacteria, which begins to show up a mere hours after the creature is dead. Once the bacteria appears, your options are nonexistent since cooking the lobster will not help either.
While consuming bacteria can lead to slew of problems, there is something to be said about the emotional toll that comes with realizing that the lobster being eaten was in agony for a few minutes before dying.
Countries, like New Zealand and Switzerland, have already implemented such a ban.
Whatever. As long as they’re dead (and seasoned) when they hit the plate…