Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2006 / 25 Sivan, 5766

Killing men and lobsters

By Tony Blankley


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On June 12, in Hill v. McDonough, The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a death row inmate may challenge in court, via the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 USC 1983), the cruel and unusual nature of the method of execution he is about to be subjected to. In that case the method was lethal injection.

Last week (6/15), in a related case reported by the Associated Press (AP), the natural foods grocery chain Whole Foods Market ruled that they will stop selling live lobsters and soft-shelled crabs "on the grounds that it's inhumane." They will, however, "continue to sell frozen, raw and cooked lobster products." According to the AP, animal rights activists welcomed the decision.

Now admittedly the first case is from a law court and the second case is from a food court, but this may be a case of harmonic convergence to the same issue: While the right to kill either a man or a lobster is not disputed, the method of execution may now be challenged on cruelty grounds.

Actually, the human case is quite straightforward, but the matter of the lobster execution involves a more subtle analysis. Note that they will continue to sell previously, professionally murdered lobsters, but will not sell live lobsters to be murdered by their amateur customers.

The high justices at Whole Foods Market (I assume they wear aprons rather than the traditional legal robes whether they are rendering a verdict or rendering pork fat) may have a point. There are eight known ways to murder a lobster: chilling, drowning, spiking, chest spiking, splitting, tailing, freezing and boiling.

Professionals know that boiling live lobsters that are still at room temperature tends to make the meat too chewy. Of course freezing ruins both texture and appearance. Regretfully, most amateurs either murder their lobsters by boiling or buy them pre-murdered in a frozen state.

The preferred method by professional lobster hit men and cooks is to chill the live lobster almost to death and then either boil or grill the victim. Being coldblooded, the lobster responds well to surrounding temperature, and is lulled by the chilling to a calm mental state prior to the death plunge. And, being coldblooded metaphorically, the professional cook does not blanch or go weak at the knees while performing the execution.

Donate to JWR

Of course these cooking tips don't quite go to the humanitarian concerns for the lobster expressed by the high justices of Whole Foods Markets. But then, neither does science support such humanitarian concerns.

Invertebrates, such as lobsters and snails (which are also delicious), conveniently (for those of us who love to eat lobsters and snails, and also feel sympathy for animals) have simple nervous systems made up of chain ganglia — groups of neurons connected by nerve fibers. According to Professor Craig W. Stevens of Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, the chain ganglia network is so simple it doesn't require a brain. (A phenomenon that is replicated in certain higher primates, such as liberals.)

Thus, according to University of California at San Diego Professor of Anesthesiology Tony Yash (as cited by ABC News), the motor response and general squirming you observe while murdering a lobster are fully carried out by the ganglia without informing its pea brain. Indeed, if you cut off the head of the lobster, you would see the same motor responses. With the information not being sent to its brain, the lobster is never self-consciously seized of being aware of the emotional state we higher animals call pain.

Supporting this finding that lobsters feel no pain whilst being murdered, and that humans are merely projecting their emotions on to the dumb brutes, is, perhaps not surprisingly, Dr. Richard Cawthorn, Director of the Lobster Science Center at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada.

I confess that until looking into this matter I didn't even know there was a science of lobster. And I must warn the reader that I have not investigated to determine whether or not the big lobster industry has, per chance, partially funded the research at the Lobster Science Center and has thereby got its claws into the research findings. But, on balance, I would find that the ruling by the high justices at Whole Foods Market lacks merit.

It is a curiosity that when the U.S. courts consider death sentence cases of humans, a very low intelligence of the prisoner may be grounds for not executing the convicted murderer — as he is judged too feebleminded to understand the moral nature of his circumstances. And yet in the matter of the lobster, a very low intelligence is seen as an argument for going ahead with the execution.

As both lobster and man surely should stand (or squirm) as equals before the high courts of justice, this insight, taken one way, may offer a new line of argument for animal rights advocates. Of course, taken the other way, it might offer a new line of argument for human prosecutors.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Tony Blankley is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Archives


© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles