Would you eat an animal that's seven decades old?
I've never given much consideration to the age of an animal that ends up on my plate. But Ryan Sutton's story has me thinking twice. He writes about an elderly lobster currently living out his twilight years in the fish tank at Oceana—and available as an off-the-menu special. Seventy years old, eleven pounds, and yours, for $275.
There's something deeply unsettling—logic and science aside—about feasting on a creature so long-lived. Surviving to such an age, having dodged lobster traps all his life, doesn't he deserve some sort of "get out of jail free" card?
I'm inclined to agree. Although it's really not rational, as Sutton acknowledges, this lobster that pulls on my heartstrings. If their estimates of his age are correct, this lobster survived the Second World War. He may well be a product of the Great Depression. Who am I to end all that for one dinner, however tasty?
But is that just sentimentality, or rationalization? I'm not sure. What about you? Would you eat a 70-year-old lobster?
UPDATE: The NYDN announces that this lobster is in the clear: "The giant 11-pound crustacean got a last-minute reprieve from a Manhattan restaurant that scrapped plans to charge $275 to cook him. The creature, nicknamed Peter by staff at Oceana in Rockefeller Center, can thank patrons who bombarded the eatery with calls. It is unclear what will happen to the crustacean, but he apparently won't be eaten."