Someone walks into a fancy seafood restaurant, he/she would usually get some sort of lobster-oriented dish. Lobster is just food to many people and those people do not think much about the fact that those lobsters that they are eating were once living creatures. “Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace talks about lobsters during the Maine Lobster Festival. PETA is also brought into the piece as they dispute the cooks who think lobsters do not feel anything while being boiled alive. Lobsters are living creatures just as humans are, but are almost only considered high class foods.
David Foster Wallace starts off “Consider the Lobster” with the Maine Lobster Festival and why it is such a big thing during the summer time. Tourism and lobsters are two of the famous things in Maine so a festival is there to expand the tourism. The MLF introduces a lot of lobster dishes to the tourists who go to Maine and discover new things. There is a special dish called the “quarter” that is one of the main dishes at the Maine Lobster Festival. There is also a giant lobster cooker at that festival that can cook multiple lobsters at the same time. The cooker is out in the public so the people can watch their lobsters boil as they wait for their dishes to be made. The Lobster Festival is obviously about lobsters, as well as eating lobsters. However, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) do not think too fondly of the festival because of the number of lobsters that are being killed and turned into lobster dishes.
In “Consider the Lobster,” Wallace continues to explain the process of cooking lobster and mentions that the creatures have pain receptors that are not a part of their brains. “Some cooks’ practice is to drive a sharp heavy knife point-first into a spot just above the midpoint between the lobster’s eyestalks (more or less where the Third Eye is in human foreheads). This is alleged either to kill the lobster instantly or to render it insensate.”1 Despite the fact that they are killing the lobster before boiling it, it does not change that lobsters can still feel the pain even after death due to the location of the location of their pain receptors. Some cooks also tend to use “another alternative which is to put the lobster in cold seawater and then very slowly bring it up to a full boil. Cooks who advocate this method are going on the analogy of a frog, which can supposedly be kept from jumping out of a boiling pot by heating the water incrementally.”1 The cooks who use this alternative to cook lobsters are practically doing the same thing as comparing a tree to a human as they are both living things but, are two completely different things. Frogs are vertebrates while lobsters are invertebrates. Comparing the two would not make sense because they are two completely different species and do not even fall under the same category of invertebrates and vertebrates.
This is also considered some sort of animal cruelty in the eyes...