With Christmas taking place during the heat of the Australian summer, many families prefer a seafood feast on Christmas Day, instead of the more traditional turkey or ham. But before you brave the chaos of the local fish market, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind to ensure your meal is as humane as possible.
When it comes to eating crustaceans like lobsters and crabs, our message is simple (and quite blunt): Buy them dead.
This might seem like both a strange and obvious thing to say. But we cannot stress this enough – when it comes to serving crustaceans, please don’t DIY the preparations.
You might have heard about or seen people preparing crab or lobster by putting it in the freezer before dropping it into boiling water. Please don’t do this. Research has shown that crustaceans have multiple nerve centres running through their bodies – meaning that if they’re killed without first being stunned, they’ll suffer.
Trust us; it’s far kinder for trained personnel to humanely deal with these crustaceans rather than attempting it yourself. Most Australians are lucky enough to have ready access to fresh, high-quality seafood so you don’t have to risk the creature’s welfare by trying to kill it yourself.
The RSPCA has developed a guide on the humane killing of crustaceans for human consumption to be used by chefs, seafood sellers and others working in the seafood industry. If you frequent a local seafood shop or market that you think should hear about this guide, please let them know!