The Americans are invading England… and the British like it, sort of. But Before the Beefeaters become Crawfisheaters you should know that the English government introduced the big-clawed American Signal Crawfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) to the island nation in the 1960s to supply crawfish for the Swedish market. Only one problem…the American crustacean has taken over. But Crayfish Bob has the solution…”let’s eat ’em,” he suggested. Here’s an interesting story from The Guardian about Crayfish Bob and the British Crawfish Boil. I wonder if they need us to send Louisiana newspapers to cover their picnic tables. I also wonder what he means by “flavour-enhanced Chinese crawfish tail meat?” READ THE STORY
Addendum 2014-07-27 Crayfish Bob on boiling crawfish and other means to dispatch crustaceans:
Crayfish Bob’s response:
Dropping into boiling water is pretty instantaneous death.
Legally, being pests, you can treat them as roughly as you like. They have no protection under animal welfare rules.
So it is just down to who decides what is ethical, as opposed to legal.
I have seen academic experts frustratedly following guidelines set by committees that, somehow, know even more about the animal than the experts themselves!
There are so many different opinions too.
I take crayfish to a lab for experiments. They chill them in ice and chop slices out of their heads and put the slices in test tubes. An hour later there are bin liners full of revived crayfish, crawling about as normal, but with a quarter of themselves missing.
“When you hook a fish it fights. If it could feel pain it would not pull so hard. We don’t believe crayfish feel pain, either.”
But meanwhile, others in the same department now use a crusta-stun machine to electrocute them.
Oxford University Ethics Committee insisted that they had to be “humanely frozen” in a chest freezer.
Meanwhile the zoo folk at BIAZA were saying freezing was wrong but pithing (stabbing in back of head) was ok.
Good old Hugh Fearnley Duckingstool showed how to do this pithing on t.v., using a knife in the back of the head. Same way as you top lobsters.
As they lay as half crayfish, covered with a hazel nut sauce, he said, “don’t worry about the legs twitching: it’s just nerves.”
Next day I tried it. I sank the knife into the right place, and continued to cut the beast almost in two, but one half still went for me and drew blood. Quite intelligent nerves, I thought!
Crayfish frequently eat bits off each other, but don’t seem aware of the fact that they are being devoured. They don’t fight and wriggle to get away.
So my personal feeling is that no one has much of a realistic clue. There are just various ways to die.
From this day hence, Beefeaters shall be known as Crawfisheaters in this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England – Elizabeth II