Can Lobsters and Crabs Feel Pain?

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Posted September 27, 2013 by Whitney Calk

All animals—big, small, furry, and feathered—feel pain.

Just in case that didn’t sink in the first time, I will repeat:

all animals feel pain

Knowing this to be a fact, imagine our surprise when we hear from people who try to justify eating animals such as crabs and lobsters with the ol’ “crustaceans can’t feel pain” myth.

NEWSFLASH: Not only can lobsters and crabs feel pain, science also shows that they may even feel more pain than humans would in similar situations.

According to invertebrate zoologist Jaren G. Horsley:

The lobster does not have an autonomic nervous system that puts it into a state of shock when it is harmed.

Anyone who has ever witnessed the horrific act of a lobster being boiled alive knows that when dropped into scalding-hot water, lobsters whip their bodies wildly and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape. </3

Like lobsters, crabs are often thrown into pots of scalding-hot water and boiled alive. The crabs will fight so hard against a clearly painful death that their claws often break off in their struggle to escape.

So, the next time you hear someone try to justify eating these animals—or any animals—who are so clearly capable of feeling pain, share these facts with them!

Be sure to also TAKE ACTION on PETA’s latest investigation inside a Rockland, Maine, crustacean slaughterhouse, where workers were found tearing lobsters and crabs apart while they were still alive:

lobsters feel pain

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