For a long time, it was a foregone conclusion that crustaceans did not feel any pain. Underdeveloped is their nervous system, the animals are only capable of reflexes. It would be nice if this assumption were true, considering how lobsters are boiled alive in hot water.
However, research has already produced results that point in a very different direction. For example, in experiments, the probes of shrimp were irritated with acid, whereupon the animals began to rub them. If the sensors were previously anesthetized, there was no reaction. Even with a painful injection, crabs began to rub the affected part of the body on the floor.
Most meaningful, however, was an attempt with common beach crabs. The animals were placed in the center of an enlightened aquarium, whereupon they sought shelter on the darkened sides. They did this to instinctively secure the best possible protection against predators like gulls. In the experiment, however, the animals were given surges as soon as they were in the dark areas. After two test runs, the animals had learned that the dark faced a surge and despite the strong urge to protect themselves from predators, the beach crabs remained in the light. Obviously, they found the impulse so unpleasant that they favored fear in the light. Their behavior was similar to that of vertebrates.
As invertebrates, however, lobster, crawfish and crabshave no rights whatsoever. Animal welfare regulations do not apply to them. As knowledge progresses, however, man’s attitude towards crustaceans is also changing. In Switzerland, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, it is now mandatory to stun lobster before cooking.
How far the animals go to avoid the pain is illustrated by a video that went viral in June 2018: a small crayfish cut off its own pair of scissors to escape the cooking pot.
Since the potential for suffering is obvious, the handling of crustaceans in the food industry needs to be reconsidered. Catch, storage, transport and killing are by no means species-appropriate. For lobsters alone, 250 million animals are caught every year, all in all they care about billions of crustaceans.
My comment: Why do we still have to discuss today, in the 21st century, whether we are allowed to throw a living being with feeding organs into the boiling water?
Did the cavemen not do the same thing with other animals because they were simply underdeveloped at the time, and this was the only way to deal with animals that corresponded to their culture at the time?
So the question is not whether a lobster feels pain or not, but how far that information is relevant to our current ethics and gives us the right to treat animals like lifeless objects.
My best regards, Venus