Boiling lobsters alive is to be banned under new Government legislation for animal welfare called the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, which is currently going through the House of Lords but only covers animals with a backbone at the moment.
However, it seems the Bill is to be amended by the House of Lords which would mean crabs, lobsters, octopuses, squid and other invertebrates are recognised as sentient beings capable of feeling pain.
The Bill would give lobsters legal protections and stop fishmongers and chefs boiling crustaceans alive, instead they would have be stunned or chilled before boiling which is believed to be a more humane way of cooking.
I am delighted to say I have never eaten lobster and as someone whose cooking skills are limited to cheese on toast or beans on toast, I have no idea how one would tackle cooking any invertebrates from the sea and having tried to eat squid once I have to wonder why you would want do such a thing.
Shrink-wrapping live shellfish or posting them is also likely to be banned under the amendment, put forward by Baroness Hayman of Ullock and I say bravo to her as I imagine they must suffocate which can’t be a pleasant way to go, gasping for air in a plastic bag although how one would humanely dispatch a whelk I have no idea.
I am eating less meat now than I did and can see the point for animal welfare as for example, I view the rabbits that stray into our garden not as a meat product but more as a decorative item, hence the expression, “ah, look at the pretty bunny wabbits.”
It has always seemed a little harsh to kill a lobster by plunging them into boiling water but I imagine if one were to warm the water up gently there would be a tendency for them to get out once it was past comfortable bath temperature.
As for the alternatives of stunning with some sort of electric prod or frozen to death with some sort of icy blast or the older version of plunging a large sharp knife through the top of their heads, none of which seems that humane to me.
I shall leave this to the experts and shall remain happy in the knowledge that I have inflicted no pain on any of these creatures as I’m not keen on eating them, especially the ones that taste like rubber or have the consistency of snot.