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Lobsters Feel Pain

Getty Images/Sean Gallup

I just can’t do it.  I can’t eat lobster.

I just can’t bear to watch them be tossed into a pot of boiling water and be cooked alive.  It really upsets me and I can’t help but think they must feel pain before they die in there.

I feel so guilty about it, that I just won’t eat it.  I feel guilty eating other things too, like crab, squid (calamari), and won’t eat red meat or pork, all for the same reason…guilt.  I hate to admit it, but I am sometimes purposely ignorant about learning how some sea life is caught and killed, because I just don’t want to know.  If I know, I’ll feel bad, and I won’t eat it.

Pretty soon my compassion for other living things is going to make me run out of food options!  I’ve got to draw a line somewhere or I’m going to be stuck eating celery sticks all day, every day!

I’ve always thought lobsters and other sea life felt pain, and it’s been proven that farm animals feel pain when being slaughtered, but do fish and sea life?  I just read up on it and turns out they do.

Scientists have been trying to find evidence on whether or not invertebrates like crabs, lobsters, and squid actually feel pain, in a similar way as humans do.

"These are not just reflexes, this is prolonged and complicated behavior, which clearly involves the central nervous system."

An experiment done by Professor Robert Elwood of Queen’s University Belfast revealed this:  “If he applied a brief electric shock to one part of a hermit crab, it would rub at that spot for extended periods with its claws. Brown crabs rubbed and picked at their wound when a claw was removed, as it is in fisheries. At times the prawns and crabs would contort their limbs into awkward positions to reach the injury. “These are not just reflexes,” Elwood says. “This is prolonged and complicated behavior, which clearly involves the central nervous system.”

Squid and octopus had similar behavior, and have the same kinds of nerves that detect certain pain in humans.

Now I know that they do in fact feel pain!

 

 

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