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Lobsters Unlikely to Feel Pain

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Lobsters Unlikely to Feel Pain

Old 02-15-05, 12:29 PM
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Lobsters Unlikely to Feel Pain

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...0903171.htm?1c

Study: Lobsters Unlikely to Feel Pain

CLARKE CANFIELD
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - A new study out of Norway concludes it's unlikely lobsters feel pain, stirring up a long-simmering debate over whether Maine's most valuable seafood suffers when it's being cooked.

Animal activists for years have claimed that lobsters are in agony when being cooked, and that dropping one in a pot of boiling water is tantamount to torture.

The study, funded by the Norwegian government and written by a scientist at the University of Oslo, suggests lobsters and other invertebrates such as crabs, snails and worms probably don't suffer even if lobsters do tend to thrash in boiling water.

"Lobsters and crabs have some capacity of learning, but it is unlikely that they can feel pain," concluded the 39-page report, aimed at determining if creatures without backbones should be subject to animal welfare legislation as Norway revises its animal welfare law.

Lobster biologists in Maine have maintained for years that the lobster's primitive nervous system and underdeveloped brain are similar to that of an insect. While lobsters react to different stimuli, such as boiling water, the reactions are escape mechanisms, not a conscious response or an indication of pain, they say.

"It's a semantic thing: No brain, no pain," said Mike Loughlin, who studied the matter when he was a University of Maine graduate student and is now a biologist at the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission.

The Norwegian report also reinforces what people in the lobster industry have always contended, said Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute, a research and education organization in Orono.

"We've maintained all along that the lobster doesn't have the ability to process pain," Bayer said.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Va., has made lobster pain part of its Fish Empathy Project, putting out stickers and pamphlets with slogans such as "Being Boiled Hurts. Let Lobsters Live." Group supporters regularly demonstrate at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.

PETA's Karin Robertson called the Norwegian study biased, saying the government doesn't want to hurt the country's fishing industry.

"This is exactly like the tobacco industry claiming that smoking doesn't cause cancer," she said.

Robertson said many scientists believe lobsters do feel pain. For instance, a zoologist with The Humane Society of the United States made a written declaration that lobsters can feel pain after a chef dismembered and sauteed a live lobster to prepare a Lobster Fra Diavolo dish on NBC's "Today" show in 1994.

It's debatable whether the debate will ever be resolved.

The Norwegian study, even while saying it's unlikely that crustaceans feel pain, also cautioned that more research is needed because there is a scarcity of scientific knowledge on the subject.

And, many consumers will always hesitate at placing lobsters in boiling pots of water.

New Englanders may feel comfortable cooking their lobsters, but people outside the region often feel uneasy about boiling a live creature, said Kristen Millar, executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council.

"Consumers don't generally greet and meet an animal before they eat it," she said.
Looks like Mary Tyler Moore can eat lobsters again.
Old 02-15-05, 12:32 PM
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Whew, I can finally sleep at night.........
Old 02-15-05, 12:33 PM
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That's too bad. That article took all the fun out of eating lobster.
Old 02-15-05, 12:35 PM
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Fish Empathy? WTF is that? Like not eating sushi?
Old 02-15-05, 12:37 PM
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I'm not a big lobster fan anyway. Too much effort for too little gain. They're tasty, but not that tasty.
Old 02-15-05, 12:39 PM
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I don't believe this study at all.. it's just way to help people from not feeling guilty when the have lobster. All living things feel pain. I bet if you threw a person into a boiling pot you would see "escape reactions" as well. We know living things feel pain, and i've never seen anything to prove otherwise.
Old 02-15-05, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
I bet if you threw a person into a boiling pot you would see "escape reactions" as well.
To simulate this, get a fat guy to fart in a crowded hot tub.
Old 02-15-05, 12:54 PM
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I ate lobster just so I could see them suffer. Now how am I suppose to get off?
Old 02-15-05, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mopower
I ate lobster just so I could see them suffer. Now how am I suppose to get off?
There's always live crabs.....
Old 02-15-05, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
I don't believe this study at all.. it's just way to help people from not feeling guilty when the have lobster. All living things feel pain. I bet if you threw a person into a boiling pot you would see "escape reactions" as well. We know living things feel pain, and i've never seen anything to prove otherwise.
Are you joking? Sometimes I can't tell around here...
Old 02-15-05, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
I'm not a big lobster fan anyway. Too much effort for too little gain. They're tasty, but not that tasty.
Man, that is the truth.

I do kind of wish they felt some pain though. Now they can never truly experience joy.
Old 02-15-05, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
To simulate this, get a fat guy to fart in a crowded hot tub.


Originally Posted by cpgator
Are you joking? Sometimes I can't tell around here...
Not at all.
Old 02-15-05, 01:10 PM
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One of my aunts used to have a job where she would hold on the lid onto a pot of crabs as the water heated. She quit that after a while, couldn't take their pushing onto the lid to get it open as they slowly died. I'm not sure why they didn't just have a locking lid.

She still cooked crabs at home, but would put them into a pot of boiling water rather than putting them into cold water and heating the water up. I remember playing with the crabs on the kitchen floor before cooking them, they were fun little critters. And they tasted good too.
Old 02-15-05, 01:12 PM
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Awesome - A pet that's okay to eat.....
Old 02-15-05, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
I don't believe this study at all.. it's just way to help people from not feeling guilty when the have lobster. All living things feel pain. I bet if you threw a person into a boiling pot you would see "escape reactions" as well. We know living things feel pain, and i've never seen anything to prove otherwise.
How do you come up with the idea that all living things feel pain? That makes no sense. Do you understand how pain is processed in a living being? For one you need pain receptors. There are even some people who don't have these, or at least not functioning, and are unable to feel pain. Plus you need a brain to process what these receptors are sending. You can argue about lobster if you want - I really don't care one way or the other - but you cannot actually believe that ALL living things feel pain.
Old 02-15-05, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by devilshalo
Fish Empathy? WTF is that? Like not eating sushi?

[Finding Nemo]Fish are friends, not food[/Finding Nemo]
Old 02-15-05, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
I don't believe this study at all.. it's just way to help people from not feeling guilty when the have lobster. All living things feel pain. I bet if you threw a person into a boiling pot you would see "escape reactions" as well. We know living things feel pain, and i've never seen anything to prove otherwise.
That's why I quit eating carrots. Poor bastards. I've seen Vegitales. They may not get the best lines, but I know they feel just as much pain.

How do you know that all living things feel pain. Is it just humanistic intuition?
Old 02-15-05, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cpgator
How do you come up with the idea that all living things feel pain? That makes no sense. Do you understand how pain is processed in a living being? For one you need pain receptors. There are even some people who don't have these, or at least not functioning, and are unable to feel pain. Plus you need a brain to process what these receptors are sending. You can argue about lobster if you want - I really don't care one way or the other - but you cannot actually believe that ALL living things feel pain.
Well I should have been more specific. I believe all animals and insects feel pain. I don't believe plants or vegetables (except Carrots!!!!) feel pain, although there have been studies to show that they do. There is no "brain" in plants, but there is in animals and insects.

I find it ironic in this article that it states "It's a semantic thing: No brain, no pain", yet the Lobster DOES have a brain (even though it's under-developed). So this it sounds like this article contradicts itself on the surface.
Old 02-15-05, 01:30 PM
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Study: Lobsters are yummy, so Im Unlikely to care if they feel pain

Last edited by twikoff; 02-15-05 at 01:50 PM.
Old 02-15-05, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Minor Threat
Awesome - A pet that's okay to eat.....
Old 02-15-05, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Well I should have been more specific. I believe all animals and insects feel pain. I don't believe plants or vegetables (except Carrots!!!!) feel pain, although there have been studies to show that they do. There is no "brain" in plants, but there is in animals and insects.

I find it ironic in this article that it states "It's a semantic thing: No brain, no pain", yet the Lobster DOES have a brain (even though it's under-developed). So this it sounds like this article contradicts itself on the surface.
A lobster does not have a brain. It has ganglia, which is not a brain. Also, as other people have pointed out, a creature needs pain receptors to actually deliver the sensation of pain to the brain, and the brain needs to be able to actually understand that sensation. Lobsters have neither.
Old 02-15-05, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Well I should have been more specific. I believe all animals and insects feel pain. I don't believe plants or vegetables (except Carrots!!!!) feel pain, although there have been studies to show that they do. There is no "brain" in plants, but there is in animals and insects.

I find it ironic in this article that it states "It's a semantic thing: No brain, no pain", yet the Lobster DOES have a brain (even though it's under-developed). So this it sounds like this article contradicts itself on the surface.
What studies have shown plants feel pain? What is "pain" anyway?
Old 02-15-05, 01:46 PM
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Study: Lobsters Unlikely to Feel Pain Study: Lobsters Unlikely to Feel Pain

How about kittens?

I don't eat lobsters or crabs. Swimming cockroaches!
Old 02-15-05, 01:49 PM
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I disagree because once my dad made lobster when we were little and the thing appeared to feel heat from the boiling water steam and made a semi screeching sound and resisted being put in the pot. It freaked me out when I was like eight. I really haven't eaten lobster since then.
Old 02-15-05, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Slow Hands
I disagree because once my dad made lobster when we were little and the thing appeared to feel heat from the boiling water steam and made a semi screeching sound and resisted being put in the pot. It freaked me out when I was like eight. I really haven't eaten lobster since then.
That "semi screeching" sound is actually the sound of air escaping under its shell due to the change in atmosphere.

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