A seafood restaurant has begun sedating lobsters with marijuana as a more humane way to get the crustacean to the dinner plate, instead of boiling them alive.
The owner of a restaurant in the US state of Maine adapted the unusual preparation method, by pumping marijuana smoke into the lobster’s tank water to get it high, so it apparently feels less pain while being steamed to eat.
“The animal is already going to be killed. It is far more humane to make it a kinder passage,” Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in the island town of Southwest Harbor, told The Independent.
After experimenting with the technique this year Ms Gill, who holds a licence to grow medical marijuana, says she now has the technique perfected.
Ms Gill told the Mount Desert Islander website she hoped all customers will now opt for “stoned and steamed” over boiled lobsters.
“I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” Ms Gill said.
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“It’s a unique place and you get to do such unique things but at the expense of this little creature. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to make it better.”
Boiling lobsters alive is illegal in some places, including New Zealand, Switzerland, so the creature is either electrocuted or stabbed through the brain ahead of cooking.
“These are both horrible options – if we’re going to take a life we have a responsibility to do it as humanely as possible,” she said.
Ms Gill added that a happier lobster was a tastier lobster.