Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lucky Larry

Did you hear about Larry, the 70-plus-year-old lobster luxuriating in a tank at a seafood restaurant in Rockefeller Center? Apparently a columnist penned an article about Larry and won his release. He'll be returned to the ocean near Maine.

I think it's great that Larry's life has been spared. The 11-pounder's alternative, according to the articles, was to be eaten by a rich lawyer or banker for $275.

But it seems interesting to me that we'd spend so much time and ink on a single, old lobster. What about the younger, more sprightly and virile lobsters that have longer lives ahead of them, more reproductive power, more of a future?

The columnist wrote: "Surviving to such an age, having dodged lobster traps all his life, doesn’t he deserve some sort of 'get out of jail free' card?" But does being old, in and of itself, entitle Larry to life any more than any of the other poor clawed beasts in that aquarium?

As Dave already knows, I have a thing about cooking lobsters. I love the way they taste, but I'd free them all if I could. They just look so pathetic, stacked atop one another in those tanks, with their claws banded shut and their eyes and antenna swiveling aimlessly.

I'm no vegetarian purist -- I eat chickens and fish, and I recently ate crab legs at my Mom's house. There's nothing wrong with flexibility and an occasional luxury. But I do try to stick mostly to plant food, and I wish humans were better, as a species, at weighing our needs for survival against the lives of other creatures.

(Photo: Greenwich Village, October 2009)


  1. I agree with you Steve. I wonder how an elderly lobster will fare in the wild on his own? But then again, death on nature's terms is preferable to death by lawyer.

  2. Ha! Death by lawyer is NEVER a good thing, for any species!

  3. It does sort of break my heart to throw any living thing -- crab or lobster -- into boiling water. I can't imagine anything worse than death by boiling! I do love the taste of the pink-shelled result, but I don't want to be the murderer!

    I wonder if they will have any way of tracking what happens to Larry after he is released?

  4. You're right, Junryu, and you've inspired me to lobby for a new solution to health care reform / fiscal responsibility / famine / probably global warming, too: Eat The Old, Spare The Young!