It Is Now Illegal For Chefs To Do This One Thing To Lobsters While Cooking

cooking lobsters

Summer is the perfect time for seafood. But while crabs and lobsters are extra tasty (especially with herb butter), sometimes they’re not treated humanely during the cooking process. That might explain this new rule that some chefs must follow while cooking up crustaceans.

Certain chefs are now no longer allowed to throw lobsters directly in boiling water, since many argue that the lobsters feel pain. Instead, they need to make sure the shellfish are stunned beforehand. The good news is that many chefs already use this practice — otherwise, you might lose a few claws from panicked crabs and lobsters. Plus, it’s less cruel. “If stunned electrically or if the brain is destroyed mechanically, they are effectively dead,” Robert Elwood, a Queen’s University Belfast professor, said in an email to Newsweek. “They would not recover consciousness if left in an attempt to do so.”

The rule first originated in Switzerland — it was announced in January of this year, and went into effect in March. After Switzerland made the law, others felt like it was a step in the right direction.


An animal welfare organization called Crustacean Compassion created a petition that’s geared towards Michael Gove. Gove is the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


Newsweek reports that the petition gained thousands of signatures from those who feel empathy towards the worthy cause. Gove would be responsible for making boiling lobsters alive illegal in England and Wales.

Crustacean Compassion, based out of the U.K., was formed to make sure than crabs, lobsters, and other crustaceans are treated as humanely as possible. They’re not against using them as a source of food. They just feel that it’s irresponsible for them to have to suffer for no reason.


Hopefully, it will become a worldwide law to make sure lobsters are stunned prior to boiling. It’s easier on the lobsters, and easier on our hearts.

If you want to do what you can to help, visit the Crustacean Compassion website. They have more information about this issue, along with a guide on humane treatment.

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