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From: Bryanna (NewVeggies.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: crustaceans
Date: October 12, 2009 at 10:46 am PST

In Reply to: crustaceans posted by Jennifer Evans on October 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm:

This is a great article that says it all!

Why It Steams Me When People Eat Crabs, Shrimp, and
Lobsters
Posted By Heather Moore On April 8, 2009


Did everyone read about the recent study [1] showing
that crabs not only feel pain but that they remember
it? Researchers at the School of Biological Sciences
at Queen’s University in Belfast gave hermit crabs
mild electric shocks in order to determine if they
could feel pain. Not surprisingly, the answer was
“yes.” While I don’t think it’s ethical to subject
animals to pain in order to prove that they can feel
it, I am pleased that researchers are helping to
prove that it’s unethical to eat animals—any
animals.
Other studies have suggested that crabs, lobsters,
and prawns (which are similar to shrimp) can feel
pain, yet as researcher Bob Elwood points out, the
millions of crustaceans used by the fishing and food
industries each day have little to no legal
protection. Professor Ellwood feels that a
potentially very large problem is being ignored, and
although he doesn’t come right out and say that
people shouldn’t eat crabs, lobsters, or prawns, one
can infer that from his comments. “With vertebrates
we are asked to err on the side of caution,” he
says, “and I believe this is the approach to take
with these crustaceans.”

Crustaceans Deserve Compassion

Now there’s a novel idea, one that relatively few
people embrace. Even some “vegetarians,” or pesco-
vegetarians, eat fish and other sea animals,
presumably believing that these beings are somehow
less capable of suffering than cows, pigs, chickens,
or turkeys. Sea animals (mainly shrimp and scallops)
were the last animals I gave up when I went
vegetarian too—a simple lack of thought on my part.

It shouldn’t really take a study to make people
realize that crabs, prawns, lobsters, and other sea
animals feel pain when they’re boiled, steamed, or
killed in other cruel ways. Even people who aren’t
entirely convinced should err on the side of
compassion, as Prof. Ellwood suggests.

I think if people knew more about crustaceans,
they’d understand why we shouldn’t eat them. Not
only do these animals feel pain like people do,
they’re similar to us in other significant ways as
well. Lobsters carry their young for nine months and
can live to be more than 100 years old. They use
complex signals to establish social, lasting
relationships. They take long seasonal journeys each
year, often traveling for hundreds of miles. Crabs
are capable of learning from their mistakes and
retaining information so that they don’t make the
same mistake again in the future. They learn to
avoid foods that make them ill and they adapt to
changing cues in their environment.

Hmmm. Actually, I can’t say all of these things for
some people—it seems crustaceans may be more evolved
than humans in many respects!

“I’ll Have A Plate Full of Bodies, Please”

What’s really unsettling—and infuriating—is that
when people eat a crab, lobster, or shrimp, they’re
devouring an entire body. I mean, they can form cow
or pig flesh into a patty and call it a “hamburger”
or “sausage,” and it distances them from what
they’re eating, but when they eat a crab, lobster,
or shrimp, they are biting into an entire being.
Yikes!

How is it that people can obliviously pound on a
corpse with a mallet, rip off animals’ legs, and
suck the flesh from his or her skeleton? It’s
gruesome, really. With shrimp or prawns, people
often eat dozens of whole bodies in one sitting. I
guess I never thought about it when I ate shrimp
either, but it’s really quite disturbing, and it
shows how disconnected many people are from their
“food.”

Faux “Seafood”

If you like the taste of seafood, but don’t want to
eat sea life, try the seafood alternatives available
from vegieworld.com [2] (I’ve only tried a few of
the products and some of them are better than
others, so please let me know if you have any
recommendations!).

For those of you who like to cook, Nancy Berkoff’s
cookbook Vegan Seafood: Beyond the Fish Shtick for
Vegetarians [3] includes recipes for “Fish” Tacos,
“Crab” Enchiladas, and much more. If you were (or
are) a scallop fan, try Worthington’s Vegetable
Skallops, which are sold in many grocery stores or
by Pangea [4], the vegan superstore.

If you have other recommendations, please share
them. Now repeat after me: “fish, and crustaceans,
are friends, not food!”

Article printed from Vegan Campus:
http://vegancampus.com

URL to article:
http://vegancampus.com/2009/04/08/why-it-steams-me-
when-people-eat-crabs-shrimp-and-lobsters/

URLs in this post:

[1] recent study:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/03/27/crabs.mem
orypain/index.html
[2] vegieworld.com:
http://www.vegieworld.com/index.asp?
[3] Beyond the Fish Shtick for Vegetarians:
http://www.veganstore.com/book:-vegan-
seafood/Page_1/671.html
[4] Pangea: http://www.veganstore.com/index.html?
stocknumber=428SK

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