I Rescued My First Lobster Today

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I Rescued My First Lobster Today

[Ed. Note: Every life saved is a life saved. Read A Single Starfish - if you've read it before, read it again! For lots of amazing facts about lobsters, read About the Lobster (Attitudes Toward Lobsters, Do Lobsters Feel Pain).]

By Angela Norma MacDonald, Nova Scotia
July 2012

Lobsters mate for life, they are social beings that travel in group and migrate, and yes, they have a brain.

Pain was invented by our creator to tell a being when they are doing something that is endangering their lives. When humans are born without the ability to feel pain, they rarely live past age of 12, since they don't know what hurts them and what doesn't.

It has been proven that fish feel pain, and I'm sure lobsters do as well. I don't think that they have any vocal cords, so the sound probably is steam.

I rescued my first lobster today. Why? The rescuing of lobsters is something I had thought of often, but thought: what's the point? or it won't make a difference or who cares about lobsters when there is so much suffering in the mammal world? They mate for life, but who cares? Crustaceans –who cares about them? You will never see a “Crustacean Animal Welfare Site.” If you do, it is a rarity. Period.

As always, walking by the horrid supermarket tanks, where lobsters are filled to capacity in my local grocery store, I was repulsed. Today, as I walked by, numerous were piled high -except for one. One, struggling soul. It’s six legs shoved against the glass, struggling to get out - opposite from the others, piled high (revolting). What was I do? Stare at the tank, in helplessness, as I did before?

No, I paid for the lobster in hopes of release. Scared of claws? You betcha! Risk digits to save a lobster? Absolutely not. I had heard horror stories in the past. Yes - those conversations went through my mind at the check-out, but I paid for this poor miserable (living) creature – making sure the check-out handled my purchase with care. I was terrified. “What if I can’t release this lobster?” “Is is going to snap off one of my fingers?"

I asked the fish market rep: “How can I make the lobster more relaxed?” He suggested sea salt. “Put a bit of sea salt on their underbelly and that will relax them before you put them in the boiling pot of water”. Great – check-out guy didn’t know my intentions. No boiling pot for this guy, but....how do I get those elastic bands off its claws without risking an amputation of my finger? I was scared silly, but still paid the fee for the lobster at check-out.

After leaving store, I found re-location place.

Flipped over lobster, put on light coating of sea salt on underbelly and waited ten minutes, per instructions. Fish market guy had been kind enough to give me a free sample.  I think he suspected how nervous I was as to not stress out the lobster – before the boiling tank.  Thank you, fish market guy!

Later, took out surgical scissors and ever so very gently, clipped the elastic bands. My heart was beating frantically. I was watching my fingers - but - viola! - release to the salt water. I am so glad I had the courage to do that.

Will this lobster be caught again? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not, but I gave that soul a chance. Did I do good? Yes. I’m glad I did what I did. Yes, there are numerous animal welfare organizations that would say, “Why did you spend $10 on a lobster when you can spend that on our charity?” Well, I did. My social conscientious was not spent (today) on fur, fins or feathers (as in the past), but on a living creature that never seems to get any acknowledgement.