Consider The Lobster, written by David Foster Wallace in 2004, is an exploration into the morality behind boiling a lobster alive and eating it. This essay examines the implications of animal cruelty and asks whether or not humans are obligated to consider the pain that lobsters feel when they are boiled alive for consumption. The essay begins with Wallace discussing his experiences at Maine’s Lobster Festival where he witnesses thousands of people eating cooked lobsters. He reflects on how these individuals seem to be unaware of what goes into making their meal”namely, that live lobsters have been boiled to death in order to provide them with food. As such, Wallace questions whether this lack of acknowledgement is indicative of a moral issue; if so, should we as humans consider the lobster’s suffering before consuming it? Wallace then dives deeper into this topic by discussing scientific research on crustaceans and their ability to experience pain. He cites studies which suggest that some forms of invertebrates do indeed possess rudimentary nervous systems capable of producing sensations akin to those experienced by mammals during painful stimuli. Thus, Wallace argues that there is potential justification for considering their plight despite lacking more complex thought processes like those found in higher-order animals (like cats and dogs). In conclusion, while many may argue that our current culinary practices regarding seafood are morally acceptable due to the supposedly low level of awareness possessed by these creatures”as evidenced throughout Consider The Lobster”it is important for us all as human beings to acknowledge any potential suffering caused by our actions and strive towards ethical alternatives whenever possible.

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