The ethical implications of consuming food have become quite the topic of conversation over the pat few years.
In terms of meat, many chefs and foodies want to know where it came from, what it ate, what the farmer is like personally, the conditions in which it was raised, how it was slaughtered, how long it took to bring it to the plate.
With the rise in awareness of veganism, vegetarianism, pescetarianism, and humane farming practices, it's fairly obvious that people are becoming increasingly concerned with the humane treatment of the foods they choose -- or choose not -- to eat.
It seems that animal rights organization PETA had a bone to pick with treatment of shellfish at Delray Beach's Linda Bean's Perfect Maine Lobster yesterday; demonstrators staged a protest in lobster garb in front of the Atlantic Avenue storefront yesterday.
The demonstration was staged in response to video footage released by PETA on Linda Bean's processing facility, Linda Bean Maine Lobster, in Rockland, Maine that resulted in PETA filing a cruelty complaint. In the footage, workers were found ripping the limbs and heads off live lobsters and grabs, leaving them to writhe around in bins and dumpsters conscious and alive.
The group claims that these actions violate Maine's cruelty-to-animals laws, which prohibits "intentionally ... kill[ing] ... an animal by a method that does not cause instantaneous death." According to PETA, crustaceans fall under the law.
"The investigation took place at the slaughter house where the crab and lobster for all of her [Linda Bean] crab and lobster comes from," said PETA campaigner Matt Bruce.
According to Bruce, the organization believes the best way to help crustaceans is to refrain from eating them; however, they are pushing for more humane slaughter methods in Bean's facility.
"We're trying inform people of what happens behind the scene," said Bruce. "But we're trying to encourage the company to use less cruel slaughter methods, like electric stunners like the Crustastun, which uses a saline solution to rapidly stun and kill the animals so they don't suffer for hours in dumpsters."
Bruce compares the treatment of crustaceans to that of domesticated dogs and cats.
"Numerous psychological and behavioral studies have been conducted on crustaceans indicating that lobsters and crabs feel pains just like us and any other animal, like dogs and cats," said Bruce. "If people wouldn't rip the legs off cats, there really is no justification to to that to another animal; they still suffer and feel pain."
We reached out to Linda Bean for comment, but received no response at the time of publication. We will update you as we hear more.
Here is the video:
Linda Bean's Perfect Maine Lobster is located 200 E. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-276-2502, or visit lindabeansperfectmaine.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.