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Britain recognizes lobsters, octopuses and crabs as sentient beings. She won’t cook alive anymore.

Lobsters, octopuses, crabs and other marine life are receiving new protection in the UK after a government-commissioned report found that cephalopods and decapods have the ability to feel pain. The report was compiled by the London School of Economics and Political Science, where researchers examined 300 scientific studies to determine that these animals are sentient beings. In view of the results, the sea creatures will now be included in the upcoming animal welfare law (Sentience).

“Britain has always been at the forefront of animal welfare and our animal welfare action plan goes further by setting out our plans to introduce some of the world’s strongest protection measures for pets, farm animals and wildlife,” said Animal Welfare Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith in a statement. “The Animal Welfare Bill is an essential part of ensuring that animal welfare is properly considered in the development of new laws. Science is now clear that decipedes and cephalopods can feel pain and so it is only right that they should be governed by this important law. “

Outside the UK, cooking lobsters is illegal in other regions of the world, including Switzerland, New Zealand, and the United States.

Saving lobster, squid and crab with vegan seafood

While reducing the pain sentient beings feel when they are killed is a step in the right direction, choosing vegan seafood negates the need to kill them in the first place. Fortunately, this sector of the plant-based food industry has grown exponentially and offers many options around the world.

Seafood alternatives abound in the UK, with VBites fish fillets available as a seamless replacement for traditional fish and chips. In Europe, the food giant Nestlé has just launched vegan konjac-based shrimp under its Garden Gourmet brand, which Sensational Vuna (vegan tuna) was already selling in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In Hong Kong, OmniFoods – known for its popular pork alternatives – is also entering the vegan seafood business with the launch of its OmniSeafood line. Earlier this month, Starbucks began serving the brand’s Omni Crab Cakes as part of a salad at its 170 Hong Kong locations. This is the first time that the coffee giant has vegan seafood on its menu.

In the US, vegan brand Good Catch has expanded the presence of its plant-based seafood products, which are made from a proprietary blend of six beans and legumes. While Good Catch’s seafood products – including tuna bags, crab cakes and fish fillets – have been on retail shelves since 2019, this year the brand is making its way onto the menus of restaurants, including traditional fish chains like Long John Silvers.


In addition to plant-based seafood alternatives, new developments in cellular aquaculture make it possible to produce real fish, crab and lobster meat without the need to slaughter marine animals. In Singapore, Shiok Foods grows real crab meat from a small amount of animal cells in a nutrient-rich environment (similar to a greenhouse). In September, the startup held its first public tasting at the local Kubaya restaurant, where diners tasted cell-based shrimp in a tom yum soup and cell-based lobster in lobster potato chips – all without the need to kill living things by boiling them alive or otherwise.

For more information on fish-free seafood, visit:

Bumble Bee’s new company is making vegan seafood widely available
TIME names vegan tuna one of the 100 best inventions of 2021

Trader Joe’s works on vegan seafood

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