Friday, June 1, 2018

Lobsters Sense Pain

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When it comes to cooking fresh lobster, the Swiss are now saying: We feel your pain. 

A law that took effect from March 01, 2018 has banned the common cooking method of tossing a live lobster into a pot of boiling water to quickly kill the crustacean. 

This practice is outlawed because the Swiss say it's cruel and lobsters do sense pain. 

It is said this is the first such national legislation of its kind in the world – that called for a more humane death for lobsters. 

The lobster legislation that promotes a pain-free death was research-driven, based on the study by Queen’s University in Belfast that found crustaceans are sentient creatures. 

This means that lobsters must be rendered unconscious before plunging them into scalding water. 

Two methods are suggested, either electrocution or sedating the lobster by dipping it into saltwater and then thrusting a knife into its brain. 

The measure is part of the broad principle of “animal dignity” enshrined in Switzerland’s Constitution, the only country with such a provision. 

The Constitution already protects how animal species must be treated. A list of examples. Dogs cannot be punished for barking. Cats must have daily visual contact with other felines. Hamsters or guinea pigs are to be kept in pairs. And anyone who flushes a pet goldfish down the toilet is deemed to be breaking the law. 

Although lobster consumption in this landlocked country is "negligible," Parliament had tried to ban the import of all live lobsters to prevent them from an agonizing death at the hands of Swiss restaurant cooks.


The law also stipulates that lobsters must be transported to their final Swiss destination in their natural environment – seawater – rather than on ice. 

I also read that boiling lobsters alive is already illegal in some places, including New Zealand and Reggio Emilia, a city in northern Italy – at least according to the animal-rights group Viva. 

Cool, now I can eat lobsters in Switzerland with nary a guilt!


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