Crabs Remember Pain

March 27, 2009

This news seems so unsurprising to me that I wasn’t going to blog about it, but people keep writing in to tell me about it, so I guess most people find this story more interesting than I do.

Researchers have applied electric shocks to hermit crabs and determined that these shocks change the crabs’ future behavior. The conclusion is that they not just feel pain, but actually remember it, and take steps to avoid future shocks.

It’s pretty easy to imagine these findings are relevant to lobsters and to the crab species that people eat. And if so, that’s another piece of evidence that there’s potentially something profoundly immoral about boiling these animals alive. Link.

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