Importantly, though, despite scores of evidence to show that these animals feel pain when they are hurt, there is virtually no legislation to protect them.
"Early on in my career I realized that when the law speaks of animals, it does not mean invertebrates," Antoine Goetschel, an international animal law and ethics consultant based in Zurich, told the Post. "As long as the common opinion is that invertebrates do not suffer, they are out of the game."
As Gawker points out, David Foster Wallace brought up this point in his famous piece "Consider the Lobster" for Gourmet Magazine, in which he deconstructs the ethical and moral debate about whether lobsters feel pain -- and whether we should care about that.
While he acknowledges that a lobster's pain may be a much different type of pain than a human's, Foster Wallace notes that this still may not be an argument for causing them to suffer:
Why is a primitive, inarticulate form of suffering less urgent or uncomfortable for the person who's helping to inflict it by paying for the food it results in? I'm not trying to give you a PETA-like screed here-at least I don't think so. I'm trying, rather, to work out and articulate some of the troubling questions that arise amid all the laughter and saltation and community pride of the Maine Lobster Festival.