Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Whew! That's a relief

I'm not a vegetarian, but I try to buy meats that have been humanely slaughtered. The fact that lobsters and crabs -- which I like to eat -- are dumped alive into boiling water has always disturbed me. I was therefore quite relieved to see this article:

Worms squirming on a fishhook feel no pain -- nor do lobsters and crabs cooked in boiling water, a scientific study funded by the Norwegian government has found. 'The common earthworm has a very simple nervous system -- it can be cut in two and continue with its business,' Professor Wenche Farstad, who chaired the panel that drew up the report, said Monday. Norway might have considered banning the use of live worms as fish bait if the study had found they felt pain, but Farstad said 'It seems to be only reflex curling when put on the hook ... They might sense something, but it is not painful and does not compromise their well-being.' *** Farstad said most invertebrates, including lobsters and crabs boiled alive, do not feel pain because, unlike mammals, they do not have a big brain to read the signals. Some more advanced kinds of insects, such as honeybees which display social behavior and a capacity to learn and cooperate, deserve special care, she said.