It is interesting to note that Linda Bean’s only defense of the sickening cruelty that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals documented at her slaughterhouse – including ripping off the legs, heads and/or shells of fully conscious lobsters (“Linda Bean responds to PETA’s allegations of cruelty,” July 11) – is that “everybody else does it.”

But even this weak excuse isn’t valid. Several other companies use less cruel slaughter methods, such as high-pressure processing and electric stunning, including processors in Maine, New Hampshire, Canada and elsewhere.

For the record, I wasn’t the one who called high-pressure processing more “humane.” It was Linda Bean herself – which makes it all the more puzzling that she has so far refused to switch to this method.

We’ve known that crustaceans can feel pain since at least 2009, when Dr. Robert W. Elwood, a professor of animal behavior at Queen’s University Belfast, published papers on this issue in the journals Animal Behavior and Applied Animal Behavior Science.

Maine’s cruelty-to-animals statute applies to all sentient animals – including lobsters and crabs, which should be protected from such egregious, illegal cruelty. Just because the law is not being enforced doesn’t mean Linda Bean doesn’t have a duty to treat these animals better.

David Byer

senior corporate liaison, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

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