Sadly the suffering of crustaceans including Prawns, Lobsters and Crabs is being ignored and is on the increase in the ‘food’ industry around the world. Billions of crustaceans are used each year but are regarded as not being able to suffer. They suffer extreme cruelty - many suppliers simply rip off the legs or abdomens of live animals to keep for sale, while throwing the less valuable back into the sea. Scientists have proven that crabs and other crustaceans do feel pain, and are able to recall an unpleasant experience and take action to avoid it happening again.

PRAWNS:  Prawns caught by the ‘Drag-Netting’ method are almost always beheaded and boiled alive, then pealed prior to sale.

Prawn farming mainly takes place in China and Thailand. Prawn anatomy is such that where their optic nerve connects to their brain is also where reproduction is controlled. The standard method used on all marine shrimp maturation or reproduction in the world, both research and commercial, is known as “eyestalk ablation”. This procedure involves the removal of the eyestalk, which triggers the maturing of their ovaries. They have no control over their egg production and so produce eggs uncontrollably .

The Food Standard Agency recommends that this is done with a razor blade but there are no or few laws regarding animal welfare in these countries, so the main method used is to remove the eyestalk by hand. Scientists describe this process as cruel and traumatic. It is known that crustaceans have the appropriate physical and neurochemical mechanisms to feel pain. It is high time crustaceans were afforded legal protection under the Animal Welfare Act.

LOBSTERS: Lobsters are killed by being placed into boiling water, where they behave wildly, whipping their tails and trying to escape. Death can take up to 7 minutes.

Contrary to claims made by those in the industry, scientists have determined that lobsters, like all animals, can feel pain. Also, when kept in tanks, they may suffer from stress associated with confinement, low levels of oxygen, and crowding. Lobster’s nervous system is quite sophisticated they have a full array of senses. Lobsters may even feel even more pain than we would in similar situations.

The lobster does not have an automatic nervous system that puts it into a state of shock when it’s harmed. Therefore lobsters feel excoriating pain when they are being cut open, this is an extremely traumatic and barbaric procedure the lobster is in a great deal of pain from being cut open and feels all the pain until it’s nervous system is destroyed “during cooking”.

According to invertebrate zoologist Jaren G. Horsley, who has studied crustaceans for a number of years, lobsters’ nervous systems allow them to sense actions that will cause harm to them. When a lobster is dropped into a pot of scalding water, lobsters whip their bodies wildly and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape.

Like dolphins and many other animals, lobsters use complicated signals to explore their surroundings and establish social relationships. They take long distance journeys and can cover 100 miles or more each year. Like humans, lobsters have a long childhood and an awkward adolescence. Just like us they also carry their young for nine months and can live to be more than 100 years old.

In the journal ‘Science’, researcher Gordon Gunter describes this method of killing lobsters as “unnecessary torture”. Who could possibly do this to a living breathing sentient creature? This sadistic unnecessary abuse must stop. Lobsters are intelligent beings that deserve respect and shouldn’t endure this horrific abuse in order to satisfy ones’ taste buds for a mere few moments. There is no “humane” way to kill these sensitive and unique animals.

CRABS:  Like all animals that have nerves and an array of other senses, crabs feel and react to pain.

Crabs have well- developed senses of sight, smell, taste, and research indicates that they have the ability to sense pain. They have two main nerve centers, one in the front and one to the rear. Crabs are capable of learning from their mistakes and retaining that information so that they don’t make the same mistakes again in the future, and they adapt to changing cues in their environment. 

Sadly, every year fishers kill hundreds of millions of crabs. Fishers use several methods to catch crabs, including setting traps in shallow water and dragging huge nets along the ocean floor. These methods also capture non-target animals such as birds, fish, and other marine animals termed “by catch” - who are often thrown back into the sea, when they are dead or dying. Crabs, who are naturally territorial, are crowded together in holding containers while they await their fate.

Scared and confused, they may fight with each other after already suffering injuries from rough handling. Many crabs have their legs damaged and torn off when fishers quickly rip them off from the nets. Countless crabs die each year before they even reach the market.

Like lobsters, crabs are often thrown into pots of scalding hot water and boiled alive. The crabs will fight so hard against a clearly painful death that their claws often break off in their struggle to escape. Some crabs used for food are electrocuted, some are chopped up, and others are microwaved – all while they are still conscious.

The best way to help put an end to this cruelty is to switch to a vegan diet. All life is worthy of respect, no living being should have to endure such an horrific death just to simply become another unnecessary item on someone’s plate. No one has the right to inflict such heinous abuse on any living creature.  What sort of an individual could torture sentient beings day in and out, and watch them struggle to escape from a scalding pot of hot water? By eating these animals’ dead bodies, you haven’t physically murdered the animals, but you are allowing the abuse to continue. You’re lining the pockets of animal abusers.

There is no excuse. Now is the time: GO VEGAN!

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