Even dedicated meat-eaters are finally realizing that lobsters and crabs feel pain, and that even if their perceptions of pain and suffering aren’t quite the same as those of mammals (read: ours), it may not be OK to boil them alive for the eaters’ gustatory pleasure. What’s being done with these realizations, unfortunately, reads more like bad sci-fi than like any genuine acquisition of humane awareness.
A new “solution” to the problem of these animals experiencing pain and stress has been found, one that is supposed to allow seafood lovers to be nice to their lobsters and eat them too. Enter the CrustaStun, the hot new contraption on the “humane” meat market.
British inventor/entrepreneur Simon Buckhaven believes that crustaceans feel pain, and indeed, upon opening the home page of the CrustaStun website, the following text rolls out: “Crustaceans are sentient animals. Butchering or boiling alive causes them pain and stress.” He thinks it’s much better to shock them to death instead. That’s right folks–the CrustaStun is an electric chair for lobsters, crabs, and the like. Buckhaven has taken advantage of the fact that salt water can carry an electrical charge to give these creatures a shocking watery grave rather than a boiling one. Makes perfect sense, right?
One wonders whether, with his oh-so-deep concern for all things crustacean, it occurred to Buckhaven that his device does nothing to address the stress and discomfort caused by methods of trapping and/or farming and transportation of shellfish, or the crowded tanks in which the animals are kept until ready to be consumed. But hey, why worry about little details like that? Clearly a short, less painful death makes up for a long miserable life. Did he stop to consider that his invention might make concerned consumers feel better about eating these animals, thereby actually increasing demand for crustaceans, directly raising the number of animals who live torturous lives only to become expensive “gourmet” platters? Well, we know for sure one thing that he did think of: “The animals do not get stressed during the process and, as a result, the meat tastes better.” Touching.