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Do you believe that shellfish feel pain?

(168 Posts)
QuestionableMouse Sat 23-May-20 13:21:42

Just been talking to my mum on the phone and we got to talking about stuff from childhood including our seaside trips. She used to buy two or three live crabs and boil them when we got home.

I was always horrified by it as a child and thought it was horrible. I'm still uncomfortable with the idea as an adult.

It seems that it's recommended to kill crabs/lobsters now before cooking.

Whatiswrongwithmyface Sat 23-May-20 13:29:32

Boiling them alive is the quickest and most humane way to do it. Unless you want to stab them first before you drop them in the water.

RaininSummer Sat 23-May-20 13:45:09

I think any creature can feel pain and distress. I can't eat them for that reason.

Dreeple Sat 23-May-20 13:54:22

You could argue that they don’t feel anything except pain.

It could perhaps be claimed that they are not conscious though.

Jasmineben Sat 23-May-20 13:55:39

Humane or not, I could never bring myself to drop living creatures in boiling water.

MsMeNz Sat 23-May-20 13:56:11

Of course they feel pain. As it indicates danger or damage to self. I'm not a vegitarian but trying to cut down and my son's both announced after we watched a documentary yesterday they want to be vegitarian so I will support that. Off to stock up on meat free options later.

ArthurMrdr2 Sat 23-May-20 14:35:31

Of course they feel pain, like any other creature. A lot of people believe that sea creatures do not feel pain. In some countries fish and Octopus are eaten whilst still alive.

QuestionableMouse Sat 23-May-20 14:36:59

I eat meat but only a small amount and I get it from a butcher so its high welfare. I could never drop an animal into boiling water either!

Soubriquet Sat 23-May-20 14:37:36

Well since it’s been known that a crab actually amputated its own claw to save itself whilst in the pot, I would say yes they feel pain.

Most people freeze them first before cooking.

Beamur Sat 23-May-20 14:39:35

It has been shown that crabs learn from a painful experience and seek to avoid it happening again. I won't eat crabs, lobsters, etc.

HavelockVetinari Sat 23-May-20 14:39:48

Well, they do feel pain, but not in a conscious way. I would probably drop them straight into boiling water myself to kill them almost instantly rather than slowly heat them.

Helmlover1 Sat 23-May-20 14:40:44

Yes they do, and crabs scream when they are dropped in boiling water. But we live in a society that’s desensitised to the pain and suffering of animals and sealife.

Sparklingbrook Sat 23-May-20 14:43:22

I couldn't drop something alive into boiling water or put it in the freezer to kill it then eat it. No thanks.

I don't eat shellfish, or fish as I don't fancy doing the operating theatre experience at the dinner table and cracking something's limbs off.

Obviouspretzel Sat 23-May-20 14:43:59

I thought the common method now was the knife behind the eyes/through head? That's what I would do.

And seeking to avoid a painful experience does not prove that an animal can feel pain in the sense that we do. It simply proves that they have an instinct to self preserve, as pain can indicate chance of death.

Obviouspretzel Sat 23-May-20 14:44:40

And they do not scream. It is the sound of steam in the shell. I still wouldn't do it though.

HavelockVetinari Sat 23-May-20 14:45:45

Actually I've just googled it - apparently they DO feel pain, so it's more humane to stab them in the brain with a sharp knife just before cooking.

Sparklingbrook Sat 23-May-20 14:48:19

Stabbing a living creature in it's brain. Yummy!

CoraPirbright Sat 23-May-20 14:49:47

They don't scream - they don't have vocal chords or anything. I think the noise is air escaping from the shells. However I do think its cruel to drop them into boiling water. There is a special point somewhere where a sharp incision kills them instantly. Much better I think.

StepAwayFromGoogle Sat 23-May-20 14:52:34

Surely if science can't prove it one way or another you just assume they do and kill them the fastest and most humane way you can?
The vast majority of the pigs slaughtered in the UK are suffocated with CO2. Can't imagine that's a nice way to go but it doesn't stop people eating pork, sausages, bacon...

Poniesandgin Sat 23-May-20 14:53:02

Why would anyone think dropping a living creature into boiling water is humane sad
They do not die instantly.

Obviouspretzel Sat 23-May-20 14:55:19

@Sparklingbrook what method of dispatch for an animal would you suggest? Unless your suggestion is none, as you are vegetarian. In which case,fair enough.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sat 23-May-20 14:59:54

In some countries fish and Octopus are eaten whilst still alive.

Including the UK. Oysters are eaten alive.

Sparklingbrook Sat 23-May-20 15:01:40

I am not vegetarian (I eat chicken). I don't believe they are stabbed in the brain.

CovidicusRex Sat 23-May-20 15:05:45

I have no idea. Realistically it is impossible for us to understand how and to what extent they feel pain. To be honest it’s not something I think much about seeing as I don’t eat things with an exoskeleton as a rule.

HoldMyLobster Sat 23-May-20 15:06:07

I thought the common method now was the knife behind the eyes/through head?

I live in Maine and very very few lobsters here are killed before they're dropped in the boiling water. The tourists don't seem to care either way.

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