To The Editor:
Two weeks ago on Sunday, I was walking along the beach in Naples, and lobsters?about 15 of them over a mile-long stretch?were coming into the shallow water and gasping, thrashing about as they ran out of oxygen or succumbed to the toxins released by the "red tide."
A family and then a couple and then a photographer all stopped at various places along the shore and all, to a person, lamented how awful it was to see them struggle like that.
It was awful, but let's also spare a thought for the lobsters, fish, and other sea animals headed for the dinner plate. Invertebrate zoologist Dr. Jaren G. Horsley reports that lobsters have a sophisticated and complex nervous system that allows them to feel pain. Because lobsters do not enter a state of shock when they are hurt, they feel every moment of their agonizingly slow death when boiled or broiled alive. Fish feel pain, too—yet their sensitive lips, which they use as we use our fingers, are impaled on hooks, and they are violently ripped out of nets, cut open, and gutted, all while still conscious.
The next time you consider eating one of these interesting living beings, please pass, and opt for an animal-friendly, vegetarian meal instead.
Ingrid E. Newkirk
President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals