Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Save the Lobster

You might have read the story about the Emperor being shot. No not some foreign country's head of state but a red deer that for the last 12 years has been running wild on Exmoor. He was believed by some to be the biggest wild land animal in the UK. He was 9 feet tall and had been photographed many times in his long life. Twelve is a good age for a wild deer. The name was given to him by one of the people who photographed him though it is doubtful the stag actually answered to his name. And the claim to be the biggest is in some doubt as well. Anyway he was shot, probably by a trophy hunter, right in the middle of the rutting season which was a bit unsporting if you ask me and people are up in arms about it. Him being shot that is. Now I should point out a couple or three things; if his name had been Snotty of Exmoor or Breaks Wind Easily of Exmoor no one would have heard a thing about his death. Shooting deer is an everyday thing. Thousands are shot every year, either for trophies or for culling. With out culling we would have the sight of elderly deer starving to death in quiet corners of moor land Britain. Deer, once they get beyond a certain age and their teeth wear down, don't have an NHS to look after then, younger deer don't take pity on them. They don't think, "That could be my dad", or "There but for the grace of God", and chew grass till it is nice and soft and mushy and walk up to the old deer and feed then mouth to mouth. Nature isn't like that, nature used to provide predators like wolves and bears to come along and 'take care' of the sick, lame and old. But we, people that is, got rid of the wolves and bears so we have to do the job, either in the form of trophy hunters or gamekeepers.

An other thing to think about if the shooting of the Emperor bothers you, when you drive down a country lane and see a herd of cattle or sheep, do you point to one of the cows and say to the kids "Look, there's Daisy. One day soon we could be eating part of her. in the meanwhile who fancies a Big Mac?" No, we don't think twice (well vegetarians do) about eating beef, chicken, lamb, pork or fish. We just do it. And why not? We'd soon run out of interesting things to eat otherwise.

If you want to get all gooey about one animal that is killed regularly but isn't on the diet of most people because a) it's too expensive and b) it's hardly worth eating for it's nutritional value then spare a thought for the poor lobster. Eaten mostly in expensive restaurants as a 'show off' dish but lobsters can easily live for well over 100 years. I mean would you go to the Galapagos Islands and eat a tortoise that could well have meet Charles Darwin? No. But people eat lobsters. Could it be because they aren't so well connected.

PS To those few who came across The Emperor of Exmoor regularly I can understand why you are sorry he is dead. If you get to know an animal quiet well it is always sad when they go. But all the rest who have just heard about it on the news; sorry I don't understand what all the fuss is about.


Anonymous said...

Great post David

Lord Hutton said...

Cant say that I have ever eaten venison or lobster.

Pat said...

Have tried venison but didn't really like it. I much prefer a good lobster.

Malcolm said...

The average eating lobster is around 7 - 10 years old. Large lobsters are tough and therefore not prized - a lobster's age is approximately it's weight multiplied by 4, plus 3 years. So, a 100 year old lobster would weigh in around 24lbs (11kgs) and be as tough as the sole of your shoe.

David said...

Thanks for that info Malcolm. I still think they should be allowed the chance to live to be a hundred and get to be as tough as old boots.