Some photos I took in one of my labs last week. From the top left: young starfish, radiolaria larvae, phyllosoma of spiny lobster, decapod crab zooea, copepoda plankton, ostracod larvae, pelecypod trophophore, echinus prism larvae.
Like humans, lobsters have a long childhood and an awkward adolescence. Just like us they also carry their young for nine months and can live to be more than 100 years old.
Like dolphins and many other animals, lobsters use complicated signals to explore their surroundings and establish social relationships. They take long-distance seasonal journeys and can cover 100 miles or more each year (the equivalent of a human walking from Maine to Florida)—assuming that they manage to avoid the millions of traps set along the coasts. Sadly, many lobsters don’t survive their most formidable predator … humans. More than 20 million are consumed each year in the United States alone.
Contrary to claims made by seafood sellers, scientists have determined that lobsters, like all animals, can feel pain. Also, when kept in tanks, they may suffer from stress associated with confinement, low oxygen levels, and crowding. Most scientists agree that a lobster’s nervous system is quite sophisticated.
“As an invertebrate zoologist who has studied crustaceans for a number of years, I can tell you the lobster has a rather sophisticated nervous system that, among other things, allows it to sense actions that will cause it harm. … [Lobsters] can, I am sure, sense pain.”—Jaren G. Horsley, Ph.D
Anyone who has ever boiled a lobster alive knows that when dropped into scalding water, lobsters whip their bodies wildly and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape. In the journal Science, researcher Gordon Gunter described this method of killing lobsters as “unnecessary torture.”PETA has consulted with many marine biologists about the least cruel way to kill a lobster. While the experts couldn’t seem to agree on which method would cause the least suffering, they do agree that there really is no humane way to kill these sensitive and unusual animals.
Watch this video and please stop contributing to this unnecessary torture!