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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, everyone. First off, I'm staying with my parents for the summer. My mom's buying lobsters, tomorrow I think, from a local fisherman. She generally does so at this time of year, every year.
Don't know if everyone knows how you cook a lobster, but this is pretty much what's going to happen to them: they'll be purchased alive, dumped into a pot and boiled alive. In this house that I'm staying at, while I'm here.

I don't think there's anything I can do. My mother'd be pretty pissed off if I released them back into the ocean, and she might just go out and buy more anyway. If not for herself and my father, at least for my grandmother. I'm already feeling pretty defeated about it (it's their money, their house, their choice...), but it's making me pretty miserable. I know it's not really any different than the other animal products they eat, but there is one slight difference, in that with those other animals and their parts, it's too late to save them. These guys will be here, alive, and if I do nothing... aren't I somewhat responsible?


Why can't people understand? My mom says, "I'm sorry, I know it's kind of cruel." No, it's not kind of cruel, I tell her, it is cruel. And it's not me she owes an apology to... It bugs me that people see it that way, that they're more worried about offending me, but have no qualms about the lives they're taking, the suffering they're causing.

I can't stand this.
I'm going to look up information that might convince her not to buy them in the first place, but she's already put an order in and I'm pretty sure she's getting them tomorrow. I can't see her canceling that.
 

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Unless I was a toddler still crawling, I think I'd lay down the law hard on that one. I mean if I would have been over 5 years old and that would would have gone on in my house, I would have raised hell, vocally, at least. If I would have been in my mid-teens or older, there would have been severe threats : "boil Animals alive where I have to live, and I'll wreck all your stuff". Simple as that. I would have too. I did that for less than that, so there's not a doubt in my mind. Their TV's car, house, everything would be trashed. Of course they'd call the cops on me, but I had the cops called on me anyway. I see this as a gun barrel to the head and code red personal threat.
 

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This happened to me about 6 years ago. It did cross my mind to kidnap them and return them to the ocean. I wasn't even a vegetarian at the time, but I knew it was cruel.

I agree with Empty Shell on this one. Tell her that it is just not an option and give her an ultimatum. And try asking her why she is perfectly fine with boiling an animal alive. She probably wouldn't do that to a chicken or a pig, so why do it to a lobster?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not exactly sure what kind of ultimatum I'm supposed to give her, though. This is her house. I'm living here for the summer rent-free. I'm doing a lot of cooking for us, so they're happy to pay my groceries, too. I've got a pretty sweet living arrangement here, and nothing really to bargain with. It's not like I can say, "not in my house."
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimberlily1983 View Post

I'm not exactly sure what kind of ultimatum I'm supposed to give her, though. This is her house. I'm living here for the summer rent-free. I'm doing a lot of cooking for us, so they're happy to pay my groceries, too. I've got a pretty sweet living arrangement here, and nothing really to bargain with. It's not like I can say, "not in my house."
Hmmm...I think that in that case your only hope is to compromise. Ask her if she wouldn't mind killing the lobsters "humanely" before boiling them. I know, it still sucks
But it seems to be the only option.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

Hmmm...I think that in that case your only hope is to compromise. Ask her if she wouldn't mind killing the lobsters "humanely" before boiling them. I know, it still sucks
But it seems to be the only option.
I was going to suggest this as well. I've actually heard that boiling them alive makes the meat tougher anyway, which is something your mom might actually care about. If you tell her to google "how to kill a lobster humanely" you can find some videos. They aren't pretty, but neither is this situation.

Sorry this is happening to you.
 

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Well, before you make any decisions, let's consider all the options. Here are some of the options that I can imagine, and some options already listed above, but I'm sure other creative people can add more to this list.

- educate
- ask/ negotiate
- demand
- ignore
- take action

Educate: This is a good place to start. You could provide information about lobster sentience carefully in a way that is likely to get through to your mom. For example, print out a news article about a study that shows lobsters feel pain (from the perspective of someone who eats lobsters) and give it to her with a comment like, "Just wanted to share this with you. No pressure or anything."

Ask/ Negotiate: You could appeal to her compassion and try to get her to care about the lobster, "Will you please consider refraining from killing and eating lobsters because they feel pain and you can eat something else instead." Or you can appeal to something else: "Mom, when you kill animals in the home that really bothers me. Do you think you could skip this Summer's lobster feast just for me? I will prepare you a wonderful vegan meal instead."

Demand: This is where you might nag, whine, beg, etc.

Ignore: If you're not up to any of this, consider spending that weekend at a friend's house or going camping. Just anything to get far away from it all and try to completely ignore it.

Take action: There are a number of ways to try to prevent her from buying a lobster. Anything to make it 'too much hassle.' And then if she gets one, you could find a way to grab it and take it to the ocean or a friend's house who can care for it.
 

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Ask your parents if they brought you into the world so they can torment you. If you're old enough to buy alcohol, I would go buy a couple bottles of vodka or something (just don't drive later if you drink any) and start getting plastered right in front of them and tell them their cruel actions are what's driving you to do it. I'll probably get hell for suggesting that, but I'm serious about pulling out all the stops with something like this. I know slaughtering goes on, not far from home, any time, any place, but still....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I did pop on that morning to see what people were saying (didn't log in at the time), and I tried suggesting the "humane" (if it really is) method I saw in that video, but she wasn't really interested. I asked her to at least not just put the top on and walk away, to watch what she was doing to them, but I'm pretty sure she didn't...

I ended up going for a long walk, and when I got back home they were in the pot. I went upstairs and ignored my family for a bit... I just couldn't be around them. It upset me more than I thought it would, somehow. It's not really the fact of their own actions, and it wasn't even entirely the suffering those lobsters must have gone through. It was my own role in the whole thing, my complicity. It's different when they bring in animal products into the house: the parts of animals long gone, etc. These animals were here, alive, and I could have stopped it from happening - I was physically capable of that.
There would have been consequences, yes, but I could have faced them. I didn't. I chose to let it happen, and there's no getting around that fact.


I think in a way this is a position we are constantly in, although this one was different for me because it was in the house I'm staying at. It was right here. But if you think of it, we all have physical access to farms, to labs, etc. Might not be anywhere near as easy as rescuing lobsters about to be cooked in your own home (and when I say easy I mean in theory - there are barriers there, too, that are hard to go against, and don't think I'm not ashamed I couldn't go against those
), but you could argue that we have a moral duty to rescue those being tortured, killed, etc. that we should find a way to do it.
Being vegan = ceasing to harm. But do we have a duty to do more than just "not harm"? If you could easily steal an animal being held captive by a farmer or a scientist, are you doing something wrong if you walk away, if you say "it's not my place", "it's illegal therefore I can't", etc.?

Mods can let me know if I'm breaking rules here: I don't mean this to turn into a thread condoning illegal activities or anything like that, just meaning to stir up some philosophical discussion. It's what I do.
 

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I can kind of understand although for me it's my mom hurting another animal to help another animal, we have a snake, and it eats live rats so ya, i have to close my eyes and cover my ears when she brings one home, i always say i want to take them out and keep them as pets. I would rather just not have a snake in the house, it's kind of confusing since it's an animal that's hurting other animals, which i admittedly like the rats more more, probably because snakes are more scary to me lol. And we can't buy dead ones or anything because the snake won't eat them. I assume most veg*ns refrain from having pets like that, i'm just glad the snake isn't mine or my responsibility, i have the opposite of a snake, a rabbit, who was the one that helped me become vegetarian.
 

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Man... you're bringing me back to the early days of my vegetarianism here...

It's not easy to change your families opinions - especially if you're a younger member.
It's good to show that it upsets you. It makes them think. And even if they don't change immediately, every action you take is like hitting a stone wall with a spoon. you might not see even a dent for long time, but eventually an impact will be made. After 8 years, my family eats a little less meat, and tries to buy local and organic. When I get into arguments at meals with the extended family (which STILL happens...), my mother will even take my side, because she knows I have my facts straight.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlixJ18 View Post

I can kind of understand although for me it's my mom hurting another animal to help another animal, we have a snake, and it eats live rats so ya, i have to close my eyes and cover my ears when she brings one home, i always say i want to take them out and keep them as pets. I would rather just not have a snake in the house, it's kind of confusing since it's an animal that's hurting other animals, which i admittedly like the rats more more, probably because snakes are more scary to me lol. And we can't buy dead ones or anything because the snake won't eat them. I assume most veg*ns refrain from having pets like that, i'm just glad the snake isn't mine or my responsibility, i have the opposite of a snake, a rabbit, who was the one that helped me become vegetarian.
Sorry, this is kind of off-topic, but snakes should never be fed live prey. It's not only unecessarily cruel to the rat but it's very dangerous for the snake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlixJ18 View Post

I assume most veg*ns refrain from having pets like that, i'm just glad the snake isn't mine or my responsibility, i have the opposite of a snake, a rabbit, who was the one that helped me become vegetarian.
I've heard of a lot of people having that sort of epiphany after having rabbits as companion animals. It's different having a cat or a dog, because in our culture people don't eat them. But when you have a rabbit, it can be a bit of an eye opener, because suddenly you see that here's this animal that can be a companion, but it's also consumed as food by other people. Yes, there's the domestic vs. wild thing, but they're still the same species and they're really quite similar. The difference is more in the socialization, I think.

It's a tough choice when you've got a companion animals that needs animal products to survive or thrive.
I've got rabbits, too, Alix, and I honestly have no idea what I would do if I had a cat or a snake or other carnivorous animal. I'm not comfortable making a carnivore consume a plant-based diet, but I'm not comfortable feeding them meat, either. I've always said maybe I'd take the middle ground: with a cat, I could mix vegan cat food with regular cat food, for example. Since both options seem wrong to me, why not do a little of both? I don't know, though... I call this one a judgment call, because I really don't know what the right answer is, if there is one: I think no matter what you end up doing a little evil in this case.

It's funny, imdead-goaway, everyone now thinks I'm younger than I am because I've moved back in with my parents for the summer.
I'm actually 27, but I'm "home" for the summer, to work and hopefully save a bit of cash. No rent, don't have to pay for groceries, and in exchange they get home-cooked meals, help with housework and a bit of caring for my grandmother. Works for everyone.


They knew it upset me, with the lobsters. And they know I care a lot about this, and they definitely consume less meat than they used to, and less still with me around. They still consume eggs, and they're not ones to consume a lot of dairy. Milk... And they've tried making changes, but not all of them have stuck. Like they switched to soy milk to try it, but they don't care for it. Possibly just 'cos it's "different", and some people are weird about that sort of thing.


But overall, they're changing a little. But I worry that it's more for my sake, and also for health reasons, and that they're still not changed very much in terms of their views on AR. They're not opposed to AR, but it's just not something high on their list of priorities. Mom seemed more apologetic, for instance, about bothering me with the lobsters, not about any pain she was causing the lobsters themselves. It's something I notice a lot, that people can be quite considerate towards us; it's the animals that get no consideration.
 

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We seem to get these threads every once in a while, along the lines of " some specific Animals are going to die, give me ideas to save them" and it always ends with, " sorry, couldn't take any suggestions seriously, they're dead".
 

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well people usually want to hear what others would do. but the family situations are usually not all equal, some people could do it. others are eitherrisking to lose contact to family or they have a huge crowd ganging up on them which is hard to beat....

i most likely would release them. but i just know my parents and how it would go. it would be a fight where i am the loudest. it would be repeated several times. and at the end they would just have lobsters behind my back
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The thing is, it's easier said than done. It's easy to say what you'd do when it's not you that has to do it.

I'm not in any way defending my inaction, but I'm just saying that at least some of the people saying they'd do it probably wouldn't.
We're essentially talking about doing an ALF action here, although one unlikely to result in legal consequences, but nonetheless: technically I'd be talking about taking my parents' "property", stealing it... I don't know what they would have done, but they'd have been pretty angry.

tbh, I would think that most people here on VB would do nothing, would look away, as I did.
I guess those people are for the most part just not bothering with this thread, not bothering to comment. Some of you seem to genuinely think that other people's property should be respected, whether it's the animal that's the only property concerned or not. That laws should never be broken.

I don't feel this way, but I acted that way, I guess out of cowardice, so as to not face the social consequences.
I think saving them was the right thing to do, and yet I didn't do it.
But it's not a first, because everyday we're constantly not doing things we could be doing, and I think that's wrong, too.
This one was just a little closer to home, literally, and it gives me a stronger sense of regret.

I doubt they'd kick me out for doing something like this one time, but if it was recurring problem, they might. But it seems the right thing to do would be to take it, wouldn't it? To leave... I did the wrong thing.
 
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