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In Daring Public Action, Animal Rights Activists Liberate Innocent Death Row Prisoners

May 13, 2015 by Leave a Comment

The News

On May 8th, animal rights activists in Dublin, Ireland, liberated nine lobsters from a Chinese restaurant and released them into their natural habitat, giving them the chance to live and generating widespread media attention about the cruelty of boiling live animals.

Animal rights activists scoop lobsters out of small tank in Dublin restaurant

Animal rights activists scoop lobsters out of small tank in Dublin restaurant

Activists remove rubber bands from lobster claws before releasing them into the sea. (photo: NARA)

Activists remove rubber bands from lobster claws before releasing them into the sea. (photo: NARA)

In an interview with BBC, the founder of the National Animal Rights Association (NARA), Laura Broxson, said that the activists were motivated by compassion in what was a “life or death” situation for the lobsters: “They were free and had the chance to live, rather than facing certain death by being boiled alive.”

By intentionally revealing their faces while filming the liberation (“Open Rescue”), the participants could face legal consequences, a risk that some activists take in order to show the public that they are regular, relatable people, not the mask-wearing “terrorists” portrayed in the media. The real terrorists, they argue, are those who exploit and kill animals, not those who rescue them from egregious abuse and imminent death.

In January, activists with London Vegan Actions used a different approach to advocate for lobsters – staging a loud disruption on their behalf inside of a restaurant that serves them at multiple locations. Using a megaphone, they chanted, “If you want to get some peace, make the lobster torture cease.” After being aggressively ejected from the restaurant by staff, the activists continued to chant through the bullhorn at the restaurant’s entrance.

In the United States alone, more than 20 million lobsters are consumed each year. The unthinkable end of lobsters’ lives – being boiled or torn apart while still alive – often overshadows the horrific journey they take from the ocean to the kitchen. After being caught in traps and dragged out of their homes onto boats, lobsters are transferred into restaurant or grocery store tanks where they suffer from hunger, low oxygen level, stress, confinement and overcrowding. Scientists have proven that lobsters suffer.

lobster cartoon

Rina Deych, a New York City-based activist who has spoken out against home delivery of live lobsters said, “We are quick to demonize people in other cultures for boiling puppies and kittens alive, yet in our society, people think nothing of dropping a sentient creature of another species into a pot of boiling water.”

In 2008, an Australian apparel company called Just Jeans produced a provocative commercial in which customers in Chinese restaurant make a spur of the moment decision to empty the lobster tank and release the animals into the ocean.

The Dublin liberation was conducted by the National Animal Rights Association, Direct Action for Animals and The Alliance for Animal Rights.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Xxx says:


  2. Christine Heidt says:

    People are the most cruel animals on Earth. For their pleasure they will torture and kill animals. Meat eaters, sorry to say, have very low morals.

  3. Stephan Küpper says:

    Hummer sind lebendige Wesen mit Schmerzen und Gefühlen!!!
    Genauso sollten sie auch behandelt werden wie solche!!!

  4. Haley Parlin says:

    Wow way to not release them where they will survive. Being that they are ocean floor tenants releasing them on the beach caused them an incredible amount of stress and likely resulted in their deaths before they reached the ocean floor. Really? If you are going to participate in something like this at least do your research about where the animal came from exactly and release it back in that same environment. By releasing these lobsters on the beach you deprived them of their cold water habitat on the deep ocean floor. Not to mention the fact that maybe they didn’t even come from that body of water. Geez people get an ounce of intelligence here.

  5. T vitt says:

    My heros!

  6. Terry Russo says:

    These people are wonderful! God bless them!

    I have tried to speak out and educate others for years concerning lobsters. I always tell people who are about to buy or cook lobsters-“What would it feel like to be boiled alive? Wouldn’t it be unbearably painful?” and other such sentiments. I have tried to send letters to the Pathmark chain, whose stores sell live lobsters in tanks by their deli department. So far it’s been a losing battle. I would love to be part of a team that “liberates” lobsters.

    Also, the largely uncaring public needs some more education about this. I’ve had people who eat lobsters insist to me that the lobsters don’t feel anything because of the type of species they are. Like the cartoon, they say that you only hear the air going out, that’s what the noise is when you throw them into the boiling water.

    Crabs are another unfortunate species who are boiled alive. I had the misfortune of being at a party where someone brought live crabs and boiled them. I couldn’t watch, but some one said that the crabs were trying to fight their way out of the pot. That certainly doesn’t sound like “they don’t feel anything”. I remarked to the people eating them that they were eating animals that had been tortured to death. These people were more concerned with how the crabs tasted. I can only hope that at least they had to think about the animals having been tortured, while they were eating them.

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