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Lobster Zapper

Humane way to kill lobsters prior to broiling them
(+5, -5)
  [vote for,

Lobsters are delicious, but I rarely eat them, because the poor little things are cooked live.

So I would like a way to kill lobsters humanely before popping them in the boiling water, barbecue or microwave - say, a short, sharp electric shock. I guess the device would have certain safety features so it couldn't be used on little brothers.

DrCurry, Jan 11 2003

(???) they don't really feel pain....so melt that butter! http://www.clearwat.../clearwater/faq.asp
question about pain near bottom of page [Marassa, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Thor's Hammer Thor_27s_20Hammer
shameless self-promotion [csea, Jul 15 2007]

Frank Zapper http://images.ciao....vention__117185.jpg
[normzone, Jul 15 2007]

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       Reminds me of a Far Side. Cooks have a dunk-tank with lobster set up over the boiling pot and a softball in hand.
RayfordSteele, Jan 11 2003

       I like it: probably an efficient way to do this would be to strap the lobster into a sort of electric "chair," or whatever sort of furniture a lobster might use if it used furniture, with some manacles for it's claws and legs and a little electrically conductive lobster cap for him to wear.   

       Then, flip the switch! *sizzle* *brzzzzap!*   

       "Cool, he's smoking!" "Uh oh, he's still moving. Better give him some more juice."   

       *bzzrzzrzrz!* etc.   


snarfyguy, Jan 11 2003

       Just throw the toaster [plugged in] into the water before the lobster...
Cedar Park, Jan 12 2003

       <Green Mile>And always wet the sponge.</gm>
RayfordSteele, Jan 12 2003

       "Dead Astacidea Nephropoidea walking!"
X2Entendre, Jan 12 2003

       I think an anaesthetic is called for. perhaps laughing gas - the phrase "happy meal" would take on a whole new meaning.
po, Jan 12 2003

       // I guess the device would have certain safety features so it couldn't be used on little brothers. //   

       Er ..... why ? Where's the benefit in that ?
8th of 7, Jan 12 2003

       po: Ha hah haha!
snarfyguy, Jan 12 2003

       The way we do it is put them in fresh water and their brain hemorages and they die. Incedently I just finished a crayfish sandwich with mayo and pepper mmmm mmmm they are a dime a dozen here.
Gulherme, Jan 13 2003

       I guess if you put them in boiled salted water that had been allowed to cool, they would die of anoxia since the water is deoxygenated.   

       Not surprisingly, humans die rapidly in an inert atmosphere e.g. 100% Nitrogen, but feel no discomfort as they are free to expire CO2 which gives rise to the breathe reflex and the sensation of suffocation. So I presume a lobster in deoxygenated water would die just as rapidly, but with no sensation of discomfort as they are free to expire accumulated CO2 to the water.   

       I'm probably extrapolating incorrectly from a non-analagous model here but it seems reasonable. Any thoughts, anyone ?   

       [Goorberphat] - sounds very reasonable.
8th of 7, Jan 13 2003

       Couldn't they be persuaded to feel no pain by the use of hypnosis?

"Your claws feel heavy. You can feel your eyestalks drooping. You are feeling drowsier and drowsier..."
DrBob, Jan 13 2003

       Sounds like a Victorian Music Hall act or Circus Sideshow. "Roll up, roll up ! Come and see Dr. Bob, the world-famous lobster hypnotist ! Marvel at his mesmeric powers over the creatures of the deep !"   

8th of 7, Jan 13 2003

       <insert sound of lobster barking like a dog here>
8th of 7, Jan 13 2003

       Ha! Love [DrBob]'s anno. : )   

       If [Marassa]'s link is correct they don't really feel pain (but actually the paragraph never said they didn't feel the pain it just said they feel "less" pain and that they also die very quickly despite what the tail is doing).
k_sra, Nov 07 2003

       guest: "Was this lobster boiled or electrocuted?"   

       waiter: "Actually, it was subdued with soft music."
Letsbuildafort, Nov 07 2003

       I heard that putting them in iced water sort of puts them to sleep, although my brother once tried this with a goldfish, he put it in a bowl of water and popped it in the freezer, several hours later it was still swimming aroung in the nearly frozen water, but hey presto! next morning, totally encapsulated in its own frozen ice coffin.
Micky Dread, Nov 09 2003

       I've just come back from Cuba where lobster is very plentiful and extremely good. The local fishermen store their catch on ice and this has the effect of sending the lobster to sleep. To kill them they use a sharp knife into the brain at the back of the head, where the cross indentation is in the shell. They give it a quick tap with a hammer going forward into the head. et voila - 1 instantly very dead lobster - ie no wriggling. I guess it's easy to describe but probably very hard to do cleanly. The only time they squirm is when you pick them up by the feelers - but then wouldn't you?   

       BTW you can have too much lobster. I think I've proven it.
boffin, Nov 10 2003

       Reading this reminds me of why I went vegetarian in the first place. In my opinion, searching for a 'humane' way to kill an animal is missing the point - would you eat human babies as long as they were killed quickly and didn't suffer? No (I hope). Of course I am still glad if people want to avoid both killing AND torturing an animal but in my humble opinion focussing on the issue of how you murder them is just a distraction from the greater wrong. Of course I would never seek to prevent you from eating animals - it’s your choice, but the fact that you feel sorry enough for them not to want to hurt them means you must still have some compassion left for them. Perhaps you would consider why you think they should be spared pain but denied life?
dobtabulous, Nov 10 2003

       That is a reasonable point, but we have addressed it at length elsewhere: down the road, when we can grow all our food on trees, be it apples or steaks, we can cease using animals as a food source. Until that time, as humans, we are left with little choice in our diets: somebody somewhere has to kill something so we can eat it. If we are to be compassionate, we should do everything in our power to make the animal's death stress and pain free.
DrCurry, Nov 10 2003

       I agree Dr Curry about having dealt with this elsewhere so this will be my last word on the subject. I wouldn't have bothered if it weren't for the fact that you state right from the start that your motivation for this idea is to avoid causing pain to the lobster via live-boiling. Assuming that your objection was due to compassion and not because it impaired their flavour I think it is relevant to comment on the validity or otherwise of your motive. And incidentally, as a vegan, nobody anywhere kills any animal so that I can eat it (or wear it).
dobtabulous, Nov 10 2003

       A lobster tazer?   

       A lobster carapace is either going to be highly resistive, or mildly conductive - either way, it should prove to dull the effectiveness of death by electric-shock to the brain.   

       Perhaps electrifying the lobster's feelers might be a way of directing current into the brain, but this seems almost as cruel (and certainly more unusual) than plain old boiling water.
zen_tom, Aug 01 2006

       Big knife, point first, just behind the head. The crustacean equivalent of the bolt-gun.
angel, Aug 01 2006

       Why not kill them with barbituates? It would make for a relaxing meal...
wagster, Aug 01 2006

       Alcohol would probably be quite easy and effective. Hmm...unless you got it wrong...then you'd have to deal with a drunken, angry lobster.
Frankx, Aug 01 2006

       ...even worse if a stray spark were to set the poor thing on fire.
zen_tom, Aug 01 2006

       Haaa! A drunken, angry, flaming lobster...you don't see those very often.
Frankx, Aug 01 2006

       By slightly altering [wagster]'s suggestion (to give lobsters a soothing barbituate coctail), we could get ourselves to a position where we are facing a drunken, angry, flaming lobster...on crack!
zen_tom, Aug 01 2006

       //And incidentally, as a vegan, nobody anywhere kills any animal so that I can eat it (or wear it).//   

       You might want to think that through a little more clearly.
nomocrow, Jul 13 2007

       (barbaric spearfisher entry here) I can't get much excited about the east coast lobsters with claws, my knowledge is of west coast lobsters with the large yummy tail.   

       And there's so little to eat in the head that we twist the body off behind the head and cook just the body. Difficult to tell how the lobsters feel about it. It definitely kills them.   

       I've heard soak them in red wine, but that sounds as cruel as anything.
normzone, Jul 14 2007

       I stopped eating lobster for quite a while. One day, I just looked into the eyes of this magnificent, majestic creature as I dropped it in the pan, and I just thought "This is wrong." To a lobster, being dropped into boiling water is as incomprehensible as it is agonising. I decided, then and there, that no creature should have to suffer that fate just for my culinary whims.

Imagine my relief, then, when I found that I can dispatch a live lobster quickly and painlessly, by inserting (just behind its "head") the broad, flat blade of my special foie-gras knife.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 14 2007

       This might have the nice side effect of tenderizing the critters [link]. +
csea, Jul 15 2007

       Thanks, [MaxB], that was great!
baconbrain, Jul 16 2007


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