Lobsters have feelings too.
A group of animal rights activists disrupted a lobster boiling event at Industry City to call attention to animal abuse Sunday afternoon.
Activists with Collectively Free — a pro-animal life group — protested The Great Brooklyn Lobster Boil event at Industry City by pouring fake blood on themselves, carrying signs, and addressed the crowd with messages about lobster cruelty.
In one video shared by Collectively Free, security guards tried to remove the group as they began chanting, “Her whole life, your one meal, lobsters feel, lobsters feel,” and “If you want to get some peace, let the lobster torture cease.”
Eventually, the group marched outside and continued protesting near the area where the lobster boil took place. As part of their demonstration, Collectively Free performed a reversal role skit called “Swap Speciesism.” Itfeatured two activists, one dressed as a lobster pretending to boil a human in a pot.
Collectively Free defines “speciesism” as a form of discrimination based on the presumption that humans dominate over another species.
“We hope people will stop and think about what is going on,” organizer Bobby McCullough said. “We will plant a seed in their heads about how our choices affect animals.”
McCullough said he wants people to understand that lobsters don’t go into shock like humans would and that they feel pain while being boiled to death.
The Lobster Institute in Maine reports that the lobster’s primitive nervous system is similar to the nervous system of an insect. Lobsters twitch their tails when placed in boiling water, but they don’t have complex brains that allow them to process pain they way humans and other animals do.
In 2006, Whole Foods banned the sale of live lobsters and crabs in its stores — except those in Maine — citing that transporting, storing, and cooking live animals was inhumane. PETA released a video in 2013 that showed live lobsters being ripped apart by hand at a Maine processor, and it struck a chord amongst animal activists nationwide.
While restaurants continue to serve lobsters to its customers, the species is on a decline, according to National Geographic. Factors include overfishing, particularly of clawed lobsters in Europe, and water pollution that causes their shell to rot.
“As all types of discrimination, speciesism too is unethical and unjust,” Collectively Free said in a statement. “Nothing in our DNA tells us that one species, or one race, or one gender is superior to the rest.”
We wonder if PETA approves of this protest, but in the meantime, check out 15 facts lobsters everywhere want you to know:
1. Lobsters aren’t all red. They can be many different colors, including bright blue.
2. Lobsters carry their young for nine months.
3. They can live to be 100 years old.
4. When they’re teenagers, they’re awkward, too.
5. Lobsters don’t have a central nervous system. Instead, they have bunches of nerve tissue spread throughout their bodies.
6. They go on vacation, traveling more than 100 miles each year.
7. Not all lobsters have claws.
8. Lobsters have to shed their shells in order to grow.
9. Sometimes they walk hand in hand, with older lobsters leading the young ones.
10. Females can carry live sperm for up to two years until they decide that it’s time to fertilize their eggs.
11. They chew their food in their stomach.
12. They taste with their legs.
13. Lobsters can be right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous.
14. They can’t go into shock.
15. This means that lobsters can feel everything, including when they are dismembered alive at Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster.