How Would You Like Your Lobster Cooked?

Lobster Diner at Murphy's Restaurant, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo by Benson Kua.

Steamed, grilled … or baked, as in high as a kite on pot?

No, really. Customers at a restaurant in Maine now have that option. I missed the memo Maine legalized pot though.

Actually, nine states now have some sort of legalization going on whether for medical use only or for medical and or recreational use. But I digress.

Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound is located at 465 Seawall Rd, Southwest Harbor, Maine – for anyone out there who may be interested in stopping by if you are in their neck of the woods. They offer more than just blitzed lobsters. According to a picture of their place on their Facebook page they serve burgers, fried clams, chowder, fried shrimp, and blueberry pie.

Owner Charlotte Gill, according to a BBC report, said, “eating the sedated lobster will not make customers high and using marijuana leads to better quality meat, as the animal is more relaxed when it dies,” telling her local newspaper, the Mount Desert Islander, “if we’re going to take a life we have a responsibility to do it as humanely as possible” and that “the difference it makes within the meat itself is unbelievable.” Ms. Gil has a medical marijuana growing license.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A lobster named Roscoe was the first to experience a technique lobster pound owner Charlotte Gill is hoping will be more humane way of executing lobsters.

In an experiment to test the affect of cannabis on lobsters, Roscoe the lobster was placed for a few minutes in a covered box with about two inches of water at the bottom. Marijuana smoke was then blown into the water at the bottom of the box.

Gill’s hypothesis is that the treatment sedates the animals and could make their deaths less traumatic.

“I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” said Gill, who has owned Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound for seven years. “It’s a unique place and you get to do such unique things but at the expense of this little creature. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to make it better.”

Mount Desert Islander; September 15, 2018

The theory goes, there is “growing evidence the crustaceans feel pain” and that “a growing body of scientific findings suggest that not only lobsters, but other invertebrates, such as crayfish and crabs, are able to feel pain.”

And what is this “growing” evidence? Well, according to Jonathan Birch – who is an assistant professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science and author of The Philosophy of Social Evolution (2017) –  reported in a newsletter in the online blog publication Aeon about a study by a biologist Robert Elwood who is also within the London School of Economics, but is at the “Queen’s University Belfast” in the “Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method,” decided to take hermit crabs, drill holes into their shells, insert electrodes and ramp up the voltage, and as that voltage is ramped up higher and higher (no pun intended) to get the desired reaction they were able to get the hermit crab to leave its shell even when it is a preferred shell over another.

Unsurprisingly, crabs would sometimes vacate a shell, even a good one, if the shock became too severe. More surprisingly, the crabs traded off the quality of the shell against the intensity of the shock received within it. For a given intensity of shock, they’d be more reluctant to give up a high-quality shell than a low-quality one. This is known as a motivational trade-off. The crabs were balancing their need to avoid shocks against their other needs.

Aeon; Crabs and lobsters deserve protection from being cooked alive; by Jonathan Birch; Nov. 3, 2017.

In another “experiment” Elwood and his colleagues gave shore crabs a “choice” of two shelters. But in one shelter they would repeatedly ramp up shocking them to the point that if they would return they would ramp up the current more so that eventually after a while the crabs, even if they “preferred” one location over the other, would choose the other shelter. A “phenomenon” called conditioned place avoidance.

“Unsurprisingly”? “Conditioned place avoidance”? Hmm, who knew animal survival instincts were a thing? That if an animal perceives danger they would avoid that danger, or that you, the experimenter, or, shock, the very nature of the animal itself’s survival instincts would condition it? *raises hand* I’m pretty sure that the gazelle avoids the watering hole under certain conditions for a reason, and I didn’t need scientists to shock them for me to know that one, neither does the animal for that matter.

So, in Switzerland, they’ve actually “banned” the boiling alive method for lobsters “and ordered that lobsters be stunned before being despatched [sic] to our plates to avoid unnecessary suffering in the kitchen.” See here for “optimal electrical stunning.” However, they did conclude in this study that “electrical stunning used in combination with a thermal shock may stun and kill the animal instantaneously.”

People are so silly sometimes. (and some “scientists” are really wacked sometimes, too). I don’t mean to disparage human’s emotions over this, and I do not want to follow that with the “but” because I’m serious, I do not mean to. It is just that, that is what this is about. This is about human emotions being projected onto animals. I am not saying animals do not feel pain, I am not even attempting to suggest such a thing. However, when you shock an animal looking for a desired condition, ramp it up to the point you get that desired condition? That is just a hammer looking for a nail.

Even with all their ‘experiments’ there is still debate whether lobsters even have the right receptors to interpret pain as humans do, let alone if lobsters have the right cannabinoid receptors for them to get high like humans.

Is it a logical conclusions that ‘hot boxing’ lobsters with pot smoke in a few inches of water would give them “a blissfully humane death? Only the lobster will know.

YouTube: Dongo News
Published Sept. 20, 2018

Question for the night: What is your favorite late night munchy snack?

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