Gulf Area Fishing News responds to PETA supporters

Last Thursday, I wrote a blog called “How PETA targeted the Maine lobster industry”. I received a lot more emails than usual for the piece, which was both supportive and combative. The post has also seen some pretty lively comments threads, one of which was posted this morning by the Gulf Area Fishing News.

Here’s what GAFN had to say:

The fact that we as humans have been transitioned from hunters and fishers to consumers has put a kind of unrealistic separation between us and our food.

Lobsters, of all the protein in the grocery store, was a wild animal, humanely caught, and handled with care. They are between 8 – 45 years old by the time you pick one for dinner. What other protein can say they had that sort of life before slaughter?

Cows and pigs are about a year old, captive. Chickens just a few months. Even “free range” is just an alternative term for “tightly packed inside for their short lives”- hardly “wild”.


Is the slaughter of a lobster in a plant hard to watch? Perhaps, but when compared to the slaughter of any other animal, it is not the worst.

Of course watching mammals die for our consumption is something we can relate to more than lobster. Lobsters are more closely related to creatures we routinely spray with Raid when they are found in our houses, but a cow has those big brown eyes.


Nonetheless, slaughtering practices are not pretty, and slaughter is how beef, pig, chicken, lamb and other meats get to your plate. Lobster, is in the perhaps unenviable position of being one of the very few proteins (oysters and mussels notwithstanding) that we sometimes take home alive and still kill ourselves.


Boiled, split in two and baked, steamed, whatever your choice, yes you’re killing it. The lobster is not happy to be killed, but have we has humans become so disconnected from nature that we can no longer understand that the artificial red, ground up beef, on a sterile plastic plate, wrapped in cellophane was once a cow?

A peek inside Bean’s processing facility should not make you uncomfortable for the sake of the lobster, but more so for the sake of how we as humans have become so disconnected from the realities of our position in the food chain.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.