Monday, January 12, 2009

The world will never starve from want of wonders, but only from want of wonder.

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained

Marie Curie, Chemist

Today's paper was an interesting mix of stories about the Catholic church, budget crises, and vegetarians. I'll stay away from the church and budgets, it's Monday after all. A meat free sampling follows.

The AP story features release of an 80 year old Spider, ah, lobster that PETA claims is 140 years old. The artcile Big old lobster avoids date with dinner plate features George Bush's vacation home

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - A huge lobster that was destined to adorn a dinner
A huge lobster that was destined to adorn a dinner plate is back in the ocean after a New York City restaurant granted him a reprieve.

The 20-pound (9-kilogram) crustacean, named George, was returned to the
wild Saturday in a rocky cove in Kennebunkport, less than a mile (1.6
kilometers) from the summer home of former President George H.W. Bush.
George was transported to Maine by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,
which had beseeched City Crab and Seafood to allow the lobster to go

The activist group says the giant lobster may be up to 140 years old,
although conventional standards for guessing a lobster's age put it closer to
80. It had been caught off Newfoundland, Canada, and lived in the restaurant's tank for about 10 days.

PETA's release on their blog, Lobster Spends Century in Ocean to Become Seafood?

Last night we learned that City Crab and Seafood in New York City was attempting to sell a 140-year-old, 20-pound lobster to customers for dinner. We immediately contacted the restaurant and spoke with Manager Mitchell Rosen. Rosen let us know that they are unsure what their plans are for the lobster (they may keep him in his tank and "spare him" death), but have refused to hand him over to PETA to be released back into the ocean. Whatever happened to respecting your elders? And—you know—not eating them?

Because of the lobster's sophisticated nervous system and high sensitivity to pain, boiling lobsters alive is completely illegal in some cities, such as Reggio, Italy (where offenders face a $600 fine!). But, unfortunately, more than 20 million lobsters are killed and eaten every year in the U.S. alone.

Even if City Crab takes the lobster off the menu, by keeping him in captivity they are likely sentencing him to death. Because lobsters are sensitive to water quality, they easily die if too much waste is created in their environment. In order to prevent the lobsters' excrement from contaminating the tank water with ammonia, merchants normally do not feed lobsters, so the animals often starve or are reduced to attacking each other.

This lobster lived in the ocean for over a century, and we think he deserves to spend the remainder of his life in peace in his natural habitat—not in a pot of boiling water or a cramped, dirty tank. Since City Crab needs some persuading to release the supercentenarian lobster, we've contacted its parent company, Branded Restaurants USA. Hopefully the executives will show some compassion for this 140-year-old survivor!

You can check out the full letter here.

More Lobster Liberation Trivia - Most people feel uncomfortable about cooking and eating lobsters—and for good reason: Like all animals, lobsters can feel pain, and they suffer when they are cut, broiled, or boiled alive. Boiling lobsters alive is illegal in Reggio, Italy. Offenders face fines of up to $600.

Ellen DeGeneres once dedicated an entire episode of her sitcom to smuggling lobsters out of restaurants and releasing them in the ocean. An American tourist in Ireland amazed a restaurant manager when he purchased all 40 lobsters in the restaurant’s tank and set them free in the Celtic Sea.

For more on lobster release see Lobster tips

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.
Leo Tolstoy

PETA has had an impact. An article in today's newspaper Government finds 1 in 200 kids are vegetarian indicates that there are 386,000 kids that are vegetarian. The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, led by Dr. Barnard, thinks that the number is low by a factor of four. From the article by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press:

"All the time, my friends try to get me to eat meat and tell me how good it
tastes and how much bigger I would be," said Sam, who is 5 foot 10 and 170
pounds. "But for me, there's no real temptation."

Sam may feel like a vegetable vendor at a butchers' convention, but about
367,000 other kids are in the same boat, according to a recent study that
provides the government's first estimate of how many children avoid meat. That's
about 1 in 200.

Vegetarians say it's animal welfare, not health, that most often causes
kids to stop eating meat. "Compassion for animals is the major, major reason,"
said Richard Schwartz, president of Jewish Vegetarians of North

Case in point is Nicole Nightingale, 14, of Safety Harbor, Fla. In 2007,
Nicole was reading about chicken on the Internet when she came across a video on
YouTube that showed the birds being slaughtered. At the end, viewers were
invited to go to the Web site - People for the Ethical Treatment of

Nicole told her parents she was going vegan, prompting her mother to send
an angry letter to PETA. But the vegan diet is working out, and now her mother
is taking steps to become a vegetarian, too, said Nicole, an

She believes her experience is typical for a preadolescent vegetarian. "A
lot more kids are using the Internet. They're curious about stuff and trying to
become independent, and they're trying to find out who they are," she

Vegetarians are most often female, from higher-income families and living
on the East or West coasts, according to previous studies.

San Fran Chronicle

If you visit the killing floor of a slaughterhouse, it will brand your soul for life.

Howard Lyman

The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of 'real food for real people,' you'd better live real close to a real good hospital.

Neal D. Barnard, M.D., President, PCRM

See more on Dr. Barnard at Council Against Health Fraud

The world will never starve from want of wonders, but only from want of wonder.

G.K. CHESTERTON, British writer and Christian apologist, 20th century

1 comment:

  1. So... as one who had many fish tanks growing up... do lobsters take to new environments better than fish? If a fish were taken from a tank and "freed" back to the wild in a location thousands of miles from home, they would most likely die from the shock.
    I sure hope lobsters are more resiliant - for the supercentarian's sake!


You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison