The Idiom

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Free the Lobsters!

If you boil us do we not burn? If you grill us do we not sear? Shy-lobster, Fish Monger of Venice.

Pity the lobsters. You dangle those hapless crustaceans over a boiling cauldron... of course you pause to give them a moment to seek redemption from their lobstery deity, then you drop them in. You sadistic bastard.

It is ironic that while you dispatch those lobsters to a hot and watery grave (or execute them via restaurant proxy) your steak-chomping dinner companions wil say, "You're so cruel, how could you do that?!?" Now you can tell your dinner companions that a Norwegian study says the lobsters feel no pain.

A lobster is effectively a bug. The lobster has no "brain" per se, so when it writhes in the pot it's not actually "hurting" it's just trying to get away, a reflex, it does not have a subjective sensation of pain. (Note that the timing of the Norwegian study is critical as the Norwegian parliament contemplates adding invertebrates to its animal cruelty statutes.) And needless to say, this flies in the face of PETA's Fish Empathy Project and its Lobster Liberation efforts. For those of you more than casually interested, well-known author David Foster Wallace published this thorough article in Gourmet Magazine about contemplating the ethical dilemma of lobster-boiling while attending the annual Maine Lobster Festival.

How do you think the cow feels before it becomes a shrink-wrapped T-bone steak in the meat aisle of your local Shoprite? Yes, your steak was bloodily rendered from the lifeless carcass of a once happy animal frolicking hither and yon in the fields. Our modern convenience society has neatly apportioned the division of labor so that you don't have to go out and club a cow to death, butcher it, and grind up the meat yourself to get that Hardee's Monster Thickburger you so crave. Do you really think about the pig's last wishes before you dig into your Grand Slam Breakfast at Denny's? Unless you were working the night shift at the abattoir, I doubt it.

To paraphrase Denis Leary, meat is murder and murder tastes pretty good.

And to you PETA vegans out there, how do you know your salad doesn't scream? Think of the carnage in every bite of that spring mix! Although etymologically that does not make sense here... vegetage? Think of the vegetage you barbarians!

You are an animal, you must kill to live, check it out on the Discovery Channel.

Now, will somebody please pass the foie gras...


At Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 5:09:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I have nothing clever to say. I'm just tickled that you talked about the Gourmet article. Great stuff! The sad thing is, even after digesting all his intelligent musings about ethics, my first thougth upon finishing was -- "Let's melt us some butter and steam up some of these babies!" Yep. That settled it. I'm evil. -- Mrs. Surly.

At Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 7:59:00 PM EST, Blogger Christina said...

As Bill Walton said the other day, Vegan eat living things, too. It's just plants are easier to catch.

At Friday, February 18, 2005 at 3:08:00 AM EST, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

1. Did you know that the German word for lobster is "Hummer?" If your answer is "No, but so what?" or "Yes, but what's your point?", I fully understand.

2. Yowza! Christina is quite striking.

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