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Boiling Lobsters Alive Is an Act of Cruelty, Says Switzerland

The country’s government has banned the practice

A cooked lobster Stock

Cooks who dispatch of lobsters simply by boiling or steaming them alive are now outlaws in Switzerland. The Swiss government has passed new reforms for animal protection, according to Swissinfo, and among those are regulations in regards to how shellfish are handled.

“Live crustaceans, including the lobster, may no longer be transported on ice or in ice water,” reads the new law. “Aquatic species must always be kept in their natural environment. Crustaceans must now be stunned before they are killed.”

Swissinfo does not specify what methods may be used to stun a lobster before sending it to its ultimate demise. Common methods include putting the shellfish to sleep with some time in the freezer or executing a quick kill by plunging a knife between its eyes.

It was once thought that lobsters are essentially large bugs that feel no pain due to their simple brains and nervous systems. However, recent studies have contradicted that line of thinking. “More consideration of the treatment of these animals is needed as a potentially very large problem is being ignored,” researcher Bob Elwood said in concluding a 2013 report on the subject.

Considering this new legislation, one must take a fresh look at Amy Adams’s lobster scene in the wonderful 2011 film Julie & Julia. Adams, mortified by the idea of the stabbing method, skips that step and just throws them in the pot. The Swiss have transformed an adorable premise into a horror show.

Switzerland Bans Crustacean Cruelty [Swissinfo]