October 6, 2013

Letters to the editor: State should not tolerate lobsters’ pain

Live crustaceans should not be torn apart.

Having grown up in the beautiful state of Maine, I often think back longingly to the endless days I spent on the coast watching lobstermen pull up their traps amidst the gorgeous coastal setting.

Perhaps this imagery is why it’s such a surprise to me that the Maine Department of Marine Resources has not condemned the cruelty depicted in a recent undercover video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which shows live lobsters and crabs being torn apart and mutilated at a facility in Rockland.

The footage shows workers ripping apart the bodies of conscious lobsters, slamming live crabs face first onto spikes and forcing their exposed organs against spinning bristles.

Why are state officials shrugging off live dismemberment, as if ripping live animals apart is just business as usual?

I’d expect a department charged with promoting this industry to distance itself from such horrific torture. Several scientific studies have shown that crustaceans can feel pain.

The very least the industry can do is stun the animals before they are killed. Is that too much to ask?

Emmy Bernard


Lobster defenders should rethink their priorities

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has lost touch with humanity. Where is its outrage for the poor and homeless all over the world who lack the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and medicine?

Has PETA really turned its outrage to the “mistreatment” of lobsters? Can this be for real? The group’s priorities need to change and help those of us in real need.

Richard Davis


Barney Frank invents new constitutional principles

Thank you for the Sunday column (“Taking the government hostage,” Sept. 30) from that well-known constitutional scholar, Barney Frank.

He doesn’t think it is legitimate for the Republicans in the House of Representatives to take action to continue the operation of our government and, at the same time, put a halt to the disaster that is Obamacare.

I cannot find any reference in the Constitution that says that this tactic is not permitted.

We must remember that Mr. Frank is such an expert on the Constitution, that I am sure he can find specific support for gay marriage, abortion and any other liberal program that he and his ilk endorse.

Paul Anderson


South Portland vote would deal setback to tar sands

I was disappointed with the lack of extensive coverage on the recent tar sands protest on the Casco Bay Bridge and all throughout North America (“Maine groups rally against tar sands,” Sept. 21).

However, I see a much bigger story in the paper about the Working Waterfront Coalition (“S. Portland waterfront zone change called a job killer,” Sept. 24). This front group for the oil companies is trying to shove this poison from Canada down our throats without regard for the devastating environmental costs.

On the same page, Gov. LePage’s aides were reported going to Alberta, the site of this scourge, “to foster new economic and trade opportunities” (“LePage cancels Canada trip after running into delay”).

They all have their heads buried in the sand about the dire consequences from this preposterous petroleum project which may spell profits for them, but may spell doom for the planet.

Don Kimball

South Portland 

Wind power’s flaws not in Cutler’s energy policy

Candidate Eliot Cutler has written a book that claims to have detailed plans for shaping Maine’s future, but it is largely silent on the issue of energy.

His two remarks state that Maine has substantial wind energy sources and that wind energy sources are “increasingly cost-competitive in life-cycle terms.”


Almost everyone knows that wind power cannot compete with cheap natural gas and hydro and that that is the reason the Legislature’s wind advocates passed a law that all but bans cheap hydro from Canada.

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