Have you seen Man vs. Food, a show on the Travel Channel in which a bloke named Adam Richman goes around to different cities, showcasing their signature food joints and taking on food “challenges” such as eating that gigantic steak in Amarillo or attempting to down the world’s hottest chicken wings. Anyway, he was in Miami on Superbowl weekend and he did a feature on Joe’s Stone Crabs. Here I learned something remarkable. From the restaurant’s website:
In order to assure the continued survival of the species: Only one claw may be removed so the crab can defend itself. Egg bearing females are not allowed to be declawed.The crabs are captured in baited traps. No spears or hooks are allowed. . . . The claws make up half the weight of the whole crab, they are removed by carefully grabbing from the rear and twisting. The crab is returned to water and the claw regenerates. It takes between 12 to 24 months to reach legal size again.
So these crabs are caught, but instead of being killed, only one claw is removed. Then the animal is thrown back into the wild and then grows another claw. People can thus eat crab meat–which Adam said is delicious–without requiring the death of the animal!
OK, I realize that vegans and animal rights advocates would object to twisting the claws off but this is a “sustainable” food supply that at least some vegetarians might get past their consciences.
And yet, the thought gives me the creeps. Isn’t it better that the animal dies as a sacrifice, fulfilling the principle that all life depends on the death of other life (which holds true even if someone eats only vegetables), so that sacrifice is essential for both spiritual and physical life?