Moving people toward compassionate living
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|Originally Posted: 14 Aug 2010|
Victory... Lobster Zone Game Will Be Removed
We are happy to let you know that the owner of the Long Beach bar has responded to activists' efforts and has promised to remove the "lobster zone game" device that tormented lobsters held captive in a tank for the amusement of patrons.
His response came within a day of receiving the letter below.
Original letter from:
August 13, 2010
Re: Lobster Zone Game Device
We are writing on behalf of a number of concerned citizens
and animal advocacy groups in Long Beach and surrounding areas
to request the immediate removal of the Lobster Zone “game”
device from the bar. This device, which torments
lobsters held captive in a tank for the amusement of patrons, is
both cruel and unlawful.
Lobsters are intelligent animals capable of experiencing fear
and pain. In the European Union, lobsters are treated as
in the same class as dogs and cats with regard to capacity for
Moreover, lobsters are solitary animals who prefer to burrow
under sand and do not enjoy socializing with other lobsters.
In the Lobster Zone tanks, these animals are denied the ability
to burrow, forced to interact with other lobsters in close
quarters, and subjected to the constant, threatening menace of a
huge claw. Observation of the Lobster Zone game in your
establishment, documented by numerous photographs, shows that
the lobsters consistently huddle together in a corner of the
tank, as far away from the claw as is possible. Given
their preference for solitude and space, their choice to huddle
together demonstrates clearly that they fear and routinely avoid
California Penal Code Section 597(b) makes it a crime to
“torment,” subject to “needless suffering,” “inflict unnecessary
cruelty upon,” or “in any manner abuse” an animal.
Violators of this statute may be charged with a felony and fined
up to $20,000. In light of lobsters’ capacity for pain and
fear, their preference for solitude and burrowing, and their
demonstrated terror of the huge claw in the Lobster Zone, the
lobsters used in this “game” are clearly being “tormented,”
“abused,” and subjected to “needless suffering” within the
meaning of Penal Code §597(b).
Moreover, California Penal Code Section 597t makes it a
misdemeanor to fail to provide a confined animal with “adequate
exercise area.” When not in captivity, lobsters travel up
to a mile on a typical night. The space in the Lobster
Zone tank does not allow them to move more than several feet in
any direction, nor are they capable of moving freely while in a
state of constant fear.
Finally, this game violates Long Beach city ordinances
6.16.130 and 6.16.150, which prohibit a restaurant from keeping
live animals on the premises.
Numerous animal advocacy groups are opposed to the bar’s
Lobster Zone game, including Irvine Students Against Animal
Cruelty, Compassion in Action, In Defense of Animals, Animal
Rescue Media Education, Band of Mercy, Orange County People for
Animals, United Animal Advocates of Los Angeles, Last Chance for
Animals, All-Creatures.org, Cease Animal Torture, and Concerned
Citizens for Crustaceans. These organizations, whose
collective membership numbers in the thousands, routinely
mobilize supporters to oppose cruel practices by protesting,
picketing and leafletting.
Lobsters are intelligent, sentient animals capable
of suffering, not inanimate toys or trinkets. We believe
you were likely unaware of the needs and capacities of lobsters
when you decided to place the Lobster Zone machine in your
establishment. We assume you were also unaware of the
various state and city laws that this machine violates. We
hope that now that we have brought these issues to your
attention, you will decide to remove this game.
Incidentally, because of the concerns expressed above, and the
disapproval expressed by patrons, many establishments across the
country have removed their Lobster Zone machines permanently.
We hope you will do the same, and we are prepared to remove and
re-home the lobsters immediately.
We’d appreciate the opportunity to meet with you at your
earliest convenience to answer any questions and discuss the
logistics of removing the machine and re-homing the lobsters.
The organizations cc’d below and their memberships are deeply
committed to seeing this machine removed as soon as possible,
and the lobsters in them handed over to us so that they may be
safely re-homed at the earliest possible opportunity. To
arrange a time for us to meet, or to advise us of your plans to
remove the machine, please call (714) 584-4321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
<mailto:email@example.com> or firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>. If we do not hear from you by Friday, August 27, 2010,
we will assume you do not intend to respond, and we will proceed
Thank you in advance for addressing this matter in a timely
and compassionate manner.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!