June 13, 2006

WHAT is in the water in Austin?!?

From Statesman.com:

Shut up and walk your lobster
Tuesday, June 13, 2006

No wonder people think this town is goofy. The Whole Foods Market chain headquartered here in Austin is thinking about stopping the sale of live lobsters because it could be cruel to the lobsters.

"We're reviewing the entire process literally from boat to plate to see if we can make some significant improvement in that whole supply process," Whole Foods spokeswoman Kate Lowery said.

One way Whole Foods could make some significant improvement would be to release all the lobsters into Town Lake. That way I could collect them and eat them.

Still, on Thursday the Whole Foods leadership will discuss whether to discontinue marketing live lobsters because the lobsters may not be getting humane treatment. At issue here is what people do with the lobsters when they take them home — that is, boil them and dip them in drawn butter. "It's ultimately how they're handled by the consumer after they go home that's a concern," Lowery said.

What are we supposed to do? Give them names like Larry the Lobster and take them for a walk?

Then there's the problem of the lobster's in-store living conditions. Whole Foods would like the lobsters to have an environment similar to their natural habitat.

"They like dark areas, and they like solitary," Lowery said. "You can imagine how they would go and kind of burrow into rocks, creating their own space." I think I went drinking once in a place like that in the Warehouse District.

Lowery added that at some point Whole Foods will also address the ticklish issue of selling live clams.

Are you concerned about clams' feelings? Have you ever had a conversation with a clam? Wait. Let me rephrase that. Have you ever had a conversation with a clam when you weren't on acid?

If the answer is yes, get a job at Whole Foods.

Another concern is the way children bother the lobsters by tapping on the lobster tank glass. I don't care about that. But I wish science could figure a way to put children on mute and vibrate, like with a cell phone. Now there's a concept that would sell.

Anyway, I went over to the Whole Foods store to see if the live lobsters are getting a bum deal in the seafood section. Actually, the lobsters are getting off easy. They're still kickin'. It's the tilapia and salmon that are getting screwed. The tilapia have been hacked to pieces, and the wild salmon have been mushed up with spinach and feta cheese and turned into burgers.

Ain't a vet in town could bring these salmon back. And you're telling me the lobsters have a bum deal?

One of the problems, said the guy working at the Whole Foods fish counter, is that they can't feed the lobsters in the tank. "When you eat, you then poop, and this creates a dirty tank," he said. Yeah, I've noticed that connection. Maybe Whole Foods could hand the lobsters some bum wad.

Another problem, the seafood counter guy said, is the way lobsters are transported to the store. "They're put in a box and wrapped tightly with wet newspaper over the lobster," he said.

So Whole Foods could pick up the lobster in a limo. At the prices they charge, they could afford it.

They are "concerned with what the customers buying lobsters do with them at home"?!?! I don't know just WHAT is in the water consumed in Austin, but I pray that it isn't spreading to other towns.....

Posted by Delftsman3 at June 13, 2006 06:38 PM | TrackBack

Nope. Still sane up here in Round Rock.

The best thing about living in Round Rock is being able to watch the carnival that is Austinistan without actually having to experience it.

Posted by: the Humble Devildog at June 13, 2006 07:44 PM

I reckon the humane thing to do is put these little ear plugs on the lobsters so they will not hear the others ones scream when they are dropped alive into the boiling water.

Posted by: GUYK at June 13, 2006 08:07 PM
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