seafood surprise

Guests at a fund-raising dinner on Cape Cod, Mass., were a bit surprised when one of the guests decided to “rescue” portions of the menu. “I went by the pot where they had the lobsters,” said Arlene Ellis. “They were saying, ‘Take me back to the beach’.” She grabbed several and ran to her car, chased by the caterers. She got away, drove to the shore, and released the lobsters into the surf. She later returned and tried to buy shellfish from the plates of other diners. “She was yelling, ‘I’m saving the lobsters, I’m saving the lobsters’,” said one witness. “Her husband Tom was sitting at a table with about 10 people eating his lobster and pretending nothing was going on.” Ellis said later that “anyone who saw those poor creatures would have done the same thing.” (Boston Herald) …Apparently her husband was eating with his eyes closed.

(Excerpted with permission of the author from This Is True by Randy Cassingham.)


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  1. I think that I know someone that she can date :P

    Comment by Tammie on September 14, 2002 @ 8:44 am
  2. Okay, so she’s a little wacky, but can you really fault somebody for being concerned about the welfare of other living creatures?

    Personally I think we should only kill animals for food with methods that we wouldn’t object to having used on ourselves. Sure, nobody wants to be executed. But if you had to you’d opt for quick and painless, not excruciating death by boiling (unless you’re retarded).

    Quite frankly it sounds like she was the sanest person in the room. It was a fund-raiser, so the guests were there to raise cash for something, probably something that made them feel all civic-minded and confident that they were good people. But Lobster Mamma was the only one who wasn’t willing to torture her dinner so the media mocks her rather than the hypocrisy of the others? Meh.

    Comment by Erynn on September 17, 2002 @ 12:00 pm
  3. Erynn,

    That’s certainly a different perspective on the story, but it wasn’t just that she wasn’t willing to torture her own dinner. She stole the caterer’s lobsters. It would have been fine if she had asked for something to eat besides lobster and shellfish, but her actions were not lawful.

    Comment by dan on September 17, 2002 @ 2:30 pm
  4. First of all, let me make clear that I’m only pursuing this argument for the sake of a fun debate. I’m not interested in being a comment troll, and all you have to do is tell me that you’re not interested in this discussion and I will be gone. [/disclaimer]

    As a vegetarian (but not vegan, because tofu is pure eeeevil) myself I can hazard a guess at her line of thinking. While stealing the lobsters was against the law, allowing animals to be tortured due to her lack of action would have been unethical. When it comes down to choosing between the laws of man and the laws of one’s conscience or deity you usually find God as the winner. (Yes, the laws of nature dictate that animals eat other animals, but very few of them torment their meals first.)

    Yeah, devil’s advocate. I wonder if I could get that printed on a business card?

    Comment by Erynn on September 19, 2002 @ 9:55 am
  5. Don’t worry about it. I always enjoy a good debate too and will often play devil’s advocate in order to do so. Since you’re almost a card-carrying devil’s advocate though, I’ll take the other side for a change.

    If she had paid for the lobsters and then let them go, no one would have minded (including her husband, who wouldn’t have minded if she was dancing a jig on the table.) The law would have been satisfied along with her own conscience. The way she chose to deal with it was not only unlawful, but it made her appear rather daft. If if you were to ask for the opinion of the caterers who were chasing after her that night, I don’t think any of them would have told you she was a smart, lucid woman. Words like crazy and lunatic would probably be more common.

    I’m not familiar enough with aquatic life to know the predators of a lobster, but I doubt they make a point of being nice when they kill their food. It’s not that they’re torturing the lobster, just crunching the little fella until it no longer moves. I’ll admit it’s not too pleasant, but nor are a lot of things in the wild. Plus, haven’t you ever had a dip in a hot tub? I’ll bet someone could boil me alive in one of those things.

    Comment by dan on September 19, 2002 @ 11:14 am

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