For years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have been after President Obama to change his diet and policies promoting the eating of animals, but now they've gone soft over one of the first family's favorite luxuries, live lobster.
The group that once slapped Obama's swatting death of a housefly during a television interview is encouraging the president's chef to use a new electrocution device to kill his lobsters instead of steaming them.
In a letter to White House Chef Cristeta Comerford, PETA is encouraging the use of the high-end "Crustastun" which electrocutes crustations sitting in a pool of water and kills them within five seconds, saving them from a longer--and hotter--death spiral.
"With the Crustastun, lobsters are placed in a saline solution within the machine and in contact with an electrode sponge. The operator simply presses a button, and a strong current passes through the brain centers of the lobster, instantly interrupting the nerve function. As a result, the lobster is rendered insensate. This process takes half a second, and in five seconds, the lobster is dead," wrote PETA.
Obama served the delicacy at a 2011 state dinner dinner with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Need proof PETA has thrown Obama a bone? Just last year, the animal rights group hit the Maine Lobster Festival as cruel and even bragged that it had installed a commemorative brick that spelled out "Lobster Liberation" at Fenway Park. The group said it was "a subtle reminder to shellfish-eaters to let the naturally long-lived crustaceans live those long lives major leagues under the sea, where they belong. Just as BoSox fans should be free to watch baseball games, lobsters should be allowed to pursue their own pleasures, free from the excruciating pain of being boiled alive."
The full PETA letter to the White House:
May 30, 2013
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Ms. Comerford,
I am writing to you today on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters regarding the White House's serving of lobster, including at prominent events such as state dinners and the recent inaugural luncheon. I wanted to let you know that there is a new device available called the Crustastun that eliminates the questionable practice of boiling lobsters alive, thereby preventing their suffering. We hope that the White House will start using it immediately.
Physiological and behavioral studies of crustaceans have amply demonstrated that lobsters do indeed feel pain. They have been shown to possess considerable learning ability as well as nervous and nociceptive systems, and they share human features of the neurochemical systems used in pain perception, including opioid molecules. It is, therefore, unjustifiable to subject such sentient animals to needlessly painful deaths, such as by boiling them alive, which can take up to three excruciatingly painful minutes before they succumb.
With the Crustastun, lobsters are placed in a saline solution within the machine and in contact with an electrode sponge. The operator simply presses a button, and a strong current passes through the brain centers of the lobster, instantly interrupting the nerve function. As a result, the lobster is rendered insensate. This process takes half a second, and in five seconds, the lobster is dead. The science behind Crustastun and our knowledge of sensitivity in crustaceans is available here.
The Crustastun is now being used by a range of businesses, from Michelin-starred restaurants such as Le Manoir and Locanda Locatelli to Whole Foods Market. We respectfully ask that the White House join them.
I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience and possibly meeting with you to discuss this topic.