Well, yes, apparently it does feel pain – a lot of pain and for quite a long time too, according to the Shellfish Network’s Fact Sheet no. 4 and to a paper by Stephanie Yue, PhD for the Humane Society of the US, among others.
So I was glad to get, in my capacity as a member of the Guild of Food Writers, a letter from Crustastun, manufacturers of an electro stunning device which, hopefully, renders the lobsters or crabs insensible before they are killed so that they do not feel any pain. Not that Crustastun are expecting me to invest in a stunner for home use – they are designed for professional restaurant and catering kitchens. But they are hoping that I will tell my readers about the pain suffered by crustaceans killed by normal methods and encourage them to harass their local seafood restaurant to buy a Crustastun.
And I am very happy to encourage any of you who are reading this blog to do just that. Why should shellfish be any less worthy of our concern than intensively reared cows, battery hens or geese fat-fed to swell their livers to provide us with foie gras?