have my lobster electrocuted, please
Painless method of killing crustaceans developed
By Andy McSmith
heart-rending sound that a lobster makes as it is boiled alive puts off
many a home chef from preparing the dish for a dinner party. But now anyone
can serve up a buttered lobster freshly cooked in their own kitchen, safe
in the knowledge that it has been humanely killed, thanks to a British entrepreneur.
Simon Buckhaven has created a machine that takes less than a second to efficiently
and painlessly zap a lobster, crab or other crustacea to death. The price
– at £2,500 – may deter some but many an animal lover
or restaurant chef will think it a small price to pay for a cruelty-free
death. Plus, according to the manufacturer, the CrustaStun also makes the
meat taste better.
one of the little machines that are going on sale this week, a lobster takes
just 0.3 seconds to die, whereas it can live for three minutes in boiling
water. A crab takes even longer to die as it is boiled to death –
up to four and a half minutes. After several trials here and in the US,
Mr Buckhaven's firm, Studham Technologies, in Bedfordshire, has developed
a machine that takes five seconds to use, and meets health and safety and
other regulations on both sides of the Atlantic. The entrepreneur is firmly
in the "yes" camp in the old argument about whether lobsters feel
pain. One side is that their nervous systems are not complex enough to experience
what humans would recognise as pain, implying that, for a lobster, being
placed in boiling water would be like being sent gently to sleep in a warm
conclusion was buttressed by research published in Norway in 2005, but in
November 2007, Professor Robert Elwood, of Queen's University, Belfast,
published the results of an experiment which involved daubing acid on the
antennae of prawns. The animals immediately reacted by touching the affected
areas, a reaction consistent with experiencing pain, although other specialists
in the same field argued that the prawns may simply have been cleaning their
antennae, without suffering distress. Mr Buckhaven is in no doubt that research
like Professor Elwood's is conclusive, and means that the practice of subjecting
crustaceans to a slow death will have to end. "These are sentient animals,
who feel pain and distress, and you should not boil them alive, or drown
them in fresh water, or cut them in half while they're alive," he said.
"A lot of people who love to eat lobster do not like preparing it at
home because they have to cook it in boiling water. And restaurants are
more frequently hearing questions from customers about how their lobster
will be killed." He added that in one blind test, customers were given
lobsters killed in boiling water and lobster that had died in a CrustaStun,
and every participant said that they preferred the meat from the electrocuted
animals. "It was sweeter meat and better consistency," he said.
"If you eat an animal which had been under stress before it died, it
affects the meat quality."
a planned demonstration of the CrustaStun turned into an unmitigated disaster
– not least for 1,800 lobsters. It was a charity event for 600 guests
in Tucson, Arizona, whose organisers had consulted the animal welfare group
Peta, to see if there would be any objection to having lobster on the menu.
Peta said it would be acceptable, if the lobsters were killed in the CrustaStun
machines rather than being boiled or drowned in fresh water. Peta bought
two of the machines and paid for Mr Buckhaven to travel out to demonstrate
them. The machines were shipped out separately. Sadly, the delivery company
let them down, 1,800 lobsters died horribly, and the machines turned up
in Tucson two days late. "We were completely let down, and are suing
to get the money back," Mr Buckhaven said. Despite that catastrophe,
he is convinced that there will be a growing demand for his machines. His
company is now offering two types of lobster zappers. The larger industrial
models, which cost over £60,000 each, are already in use in the UK,
Ireland, Norway and Portugal. Some supermarkets are now stocking lobster
only if it has been killed by electrocution.
Sunday, 22 November 2009 at 01:23 pm (UTC)
I'd rather have no lobster at all. Just because it's less painful doesn't
automatically make it humane. Killing animals can't possibly be called humane.
Lobsters and seafood is poison
Saturday, 12 December 2009 at 01:58 pm (UTC)
The USDA said 100% of all fish and seafood tested has mercury poison in
it. They said 25% of them are at "unsafe levels" which means TOXIC.
Unless one wants a diet of cancer causing substances (and possibly causing
brain damage too), they should avoid all fish and seafood. Keep in mind
lobsters and shellfish eat DEAD PEOPLE - rotting flesh. Which means the
eaters of lobsters and shrimp are eating dead human flesh as well.
Saturday, 12 December 2009 at 01:13 pm (UTC)
"humane slaughter" is an oxymoron, especially when it is done
only for human benefit.
are worried about the lobsters, stop eating them.
is not painless either
12 December 2009 at 01:55 pm (UTC)
Electrocution hurts too. PETA should instead educate the public that eating
seafood/lobsters is extremely hazardous to your health. The USDA reported
100% of all fish and seafood contains mercury poison. 25% fish/seafood has
"unsafe levels" which can mean toxic. So eating lobsters and other
sea/fish foods is eating MERCURY and other poisons as part of their diet
which are all cancer causing. Also keep in mind that LOBSTERS EAT DEAD PEOPLE.
People DO die and rot away in the oceans-lobsters gorge on their rotting