A video secretly shot by an undercover member of PETA allegedly exposes a Maine lobster processing facility's grisly, illegal methods in killing their crustaceans, and the controversial animal rights organization is outraged, the Portland Press Herald reports.
PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, released the footage at noon today, shot earlier this year by an employee who claims to have briefly worked at Linda Bean's Maine Lobster in Rockland, ME. The footage is quite graphic, depicting live lobsters being torn apart by hand, their shells removed from their bodies, workers exposing their organs while they are still alive.
"Crabs are suffering, too, as they are slammed against sharp metal spikes to break off their top shells, and then their exposed internal organs are violently scrubbed off with spinning brushes," PETA wrote in their press release. "Still alive, they are then slowly lowered into a vat of boiling water."
PETA condemned the processing practices as "a primitive and painful killing method." According to the organization, one of the workers at Linda Bean's Maine Lobster allegedly acknowledged that the animals often remained alive for hours after being ripped apart.
Maine laws prohibit processing facilities from killing animals using methods that do not end their lives right away, and PETA argues that lobsters and crabs do feel pain, as they have "ganglia, or masses of nervous tissue, spread throughout their bodies."
Dan Paden, evidence analysis manager at PETA, told the Portland Press Herald that he and his organization are confident the footage accurately depicts what happens behind-the-scenes at Linda Bean's Maine Lobster.
Stephen Hayes, an Augusta attorney who represents Linda Bean, however, wrote in an email to the Portland Press Herald that although he could not comment specifically on the video, he could defend Linda Bean, pointing out that the facility is subject to numerous federal and state inspections.
"As the supplier of lobster to the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, perhaps it is predictable that we would be the target of another publicity gimmick," Hayes wrote. "But our practices and procedures with regard to the handling of lobster are no different than others within the industry and probably far safer and kinder than those practiced by Maine citizens in their own kitchens and backyards, as they enjoy this iconic Maine food."
Linda Bean, granddaughter of L.L. Bean, one of the state's most iconic names in the sporting goods industry, runs the processing facility, as well as "commercial waterfront property in Port Clyde and has five lobster buying stations so far, in addition to several lobster-themed restaurants," the Press Herald reports.
WARNING: The following footage from PETA is graphic and may be upsetting to viewers. Discretion is advised.