On Friday, it was announced that Whole Foods Market will no longer sell live lobsters or crabs. After a seven-month review of the lobster procurement process, which revealed that many lobsters are confined in storage facilities for several months, the company has determined that the sale of live lobsters is inconsistent with its commitment to animal welfare. (The company founded the Animal Compassion Foundation and in December 2003 began creating Animal Compassionate Standards.)
Now for the not so good news. Whole Foods will continue to sell frozen lobster products from companies that meet its humane standards. The market is also open to reintroducing live lobsters to its stores if it discovers a way to meet the quality of life standards for these crustaceans. To those of you who are curious about the fate of the lobsters who were already in the stores, I am sorry to report that they were not liberated, but boiled instead.
Hopefully, there will soon be another study revealing that boiling lobsters alive isn’t too hot either and they’ll consider trashing the whole lobster thing altogether. In the meantime, I applaud Whole Foods Market for taking another step in the right direction. Whole Foods Market is the largest retailer of natural and organic foods in the nation, so I imagine their decision will cause their competitors to also consider the lobster.