If you are a lobster lover then you might have faced this dilemma. Can the lobster be cooked a little more gently and humanely? Do lobster recipes require the lobster to be cooked so inhumanely?
Most Cooks and Chefs admit that the Lobster is generally alive until cooking commences. That is why the Lobster is one among the modern cooking ingredients that we should buy alive and then kill it to cook it. Of course, no one really knows is the lobster is feeling pain. And animal right activists also have a debate when this issue is raised. Some of the people feel that it should be cooked alive for the best taste of the shellfish. The rest believe that it is cruel and an inhuman act to cook a live lobster.
It is unfortunate that lobsters cannot talk and we do not know their feelings, but the very though to tossing a live one animal into searing hot water gives me goose pimples. When a Lobster is tossed into the boiling water it does squeal and thrash around for a few minutes. It surely would be quite disturbing for a “first time” cook who would have to cook a Lobster.
Lobster classicists assert that the thrashing of the Lobster is a mere reflex action and the Lobster does not have a cerebral cortex or central nervous system so it cannot feel any pain. But animal rights activists and advocates argue that since the Lobster thrashes, its definite that it is in pain. This could be our own feelings too, because humans are emotional but why cause pain and hurt the animal? Why take a chance?
Now chefs are suggesting that the trashing of the Lobster when tossed into the water, stresses the Lobster and toughens the meat. So whether pain or not chefs are telling, why not take a middle stance and kill the Lobster humanely just before the cooking process. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Just for an hour before you start cooking you can place the lobster in to the freezer. The second method is to thrust a knife, just behind the eyes, straight down. The third option is to keep the shellfish for a short time in the freezer and then dump for cooking. You can then proceed to cut the Lobster along the length in half (laying the Lobster on its back). Then the Lobster is put in the boiling water for the cooking process.
Another method is to place the Lobster in a pan of cool water and boil (heat) the water gradually. But be careful as you may overcook the Lobster accidentally and your recipe may go for a toss. With all the above choices available you can think of starting your cooking either the traditional (live) method or the ones discussed above. You are the one to decide.