The Book “Consider the Lobster” by David Wallace

David Wallace’s Consider the Lobster captures his Maine Lobster Festival experience in 2003 at Rockland, Maine. Over 2500 fresh lobsters are caught, prepared, and made available at this festival in several dishes, including lobster sauté, dumplings, turnovers, rolls, salad, deep-fried, and ravioli (Wallace). These varying dishes are prepared to relish Maine Lobster Festival participants. Despite this hedonistic festival being blissful, Wallace questions the ethics and morality behind lobster consumption. Wallace investigates the implications of the preparation methods of these animals. Instead of addressing everything happening at the Main Lobster Festival, David Wallace questions the validity of boiling lobsters in his essay for his audience to consider. He asks, “is it all right to boil a sentient creature alive for our gustatory pleasure?” (Wallace). This quote best represents my primary thought regarding boiling lobsters alive, and in my perspective, the outright answer would be no. This essay is based on Wallace’s fundamental question, and additionally, it will address my stance against boiling these creatures.

Before reading Consider the Lobster, I was into the idea that the “traditional” method of boiling live lobsters is the best method to prepare these creatures. However, Wallace’s arguments changed my stand, and I can reason with him that boiling these animals while still alive is unethical and goes against “animal rights.” Lobsters’ fanatics should consider that these animals are significantly sensitive, intelligent, and emotional. As humans, we must act in their best interest to accolade them with some respect while handling them (PETA). Preparing lobsters, in my stance, should be more humane considering they are animals, just like cows, fish, and many more.

Additionally, I am against the practice of boiling lobsters alive for our gastronomic pleasure because these creatures feel pain just like any other animal or humans. Lobsters, opposed to what seafood vendors assert, perceive pain, thus consequently suffer whenever they are sliced, grilled, or cooked alive. Lobster lovers would contend that these animals’ brains lack a sense of pain, making them defiant to pain. This assertion is not true since most experts conclude that their nervous structure is highly complex and that they are capable of feeling pain (PETA). Anytime a lobster is thrown in boiling water, it thrashes its body frantically and scratches frying pan edges in a frantic bid to escape.

Besides, in a sincere opinion, it is never morally acceptable for a person to intentionally boil a living creature. However, countless people continue to boil these animals for their personal “gustatory gratification.” Lobsters neither produce nor consume organic opioids, rendering dealing with severe pain extremely challenging. As a result, they are incredibly pain-sensitive. Therefore, why would we subject these poor creatures to boiling merely to fulfill our gustatory pleasure? As long as we have a gluttonous appetite for lobsters, it is better if they are handled and prepared in the best way possible.

I have never consumed lobsters, and I am sure I will not try any soon. Despite seafood vendors’ prominence claim of the nutritional benefits of lobsters, to my best interest, I am against the idea of using these animals as food because the mode of preparation is not acceptable, and even Christianity condemns the act of eating them. According to Bower, Leviticus, 11:9-12 indicate, “Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales. However, you are to detest all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales — whether among all the swarming things or among the other living creatures in the water. Moreover, since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat.” I can campaign against the abhorrent practice of boiling these creatures while alive in a strong stance. As many people would expect, a lobster cannot be killed compassionately.

Besides being cooked alive, lobsters’ tails and heads are ripped off with sharp knives, their claws removed, and bodies stabbed by all manner of sharp items to incapacitate them. Different people will have varied views and reasons for or against eating lobsters, but mine is based on their preparation method. I believe these animals deserve respect during handling and preparation. Several individuals would feel “all right” with what is going on in Wallace’s Consider the Lobster since they lack belief in animal cruelty and want to satisfy their appetite.

In reaction to David Wallace’s essay, Wallace expresses his thoughts in the best way possible. He criticizes the festivals and the abhorrent nature of preparing lobsters. Wallace is bold in his approach, citing examples and facts regarding lobsters. In my understanding, I agree with Wallace’s big question idea that we should not boil these animals just because we want to satisfy our gastronomic pleasure (Wallace). Before reading Consider the Lobster, I thought boiling these creatures was the best way to prepare them, even though I do not consume lobsters. However, following my reading, I am contemplating the ethics of cooking lobsters. Practically, some people will still feed on these animals, but they should adopt more humane ways of preparing them.


Bower, Chris. “What the Bible Says … About Lobster.” VC Star, 2008, Web.

PETA. “What is the Most Humane Way to Cook Lobsters—Boiling Them or Steaming Them in the Microwave? | PETA.” PETA, Web.

Wallace, David Foster. “Consider the Lobster.” Gourmet.Com.S3-Website-Us-East-1.Amazonaws.Com, 2004, Web.

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