Sticky question from a vegetarian friend

Hi, everyone! I’ve never been here, but I have an issue that just came up. I’m vegan myself and have been vegan for years. I have a vegetarian friend that eats the byproducts of animals who has an issue with killing an animal to eat it but doesn’t have, at least through her diet, a problem with the suffering animals go through for their byproducts. I don’t proselytize nor do I want to, but she came to me with a question I don’t know how to answer because I’m vegan and consider all animal byproducts off-limits.

She was telling me about stone crabs and I researched them as well. Stone crab claws are “harvested” by fisherman under Florida laws which are incredibly stringent. The laws are as follow: “Florida law specifies the length a claw must reach before it may be taken to ensure the best chance of regrowth and dictates that any egg-bearing female be thrown back unmolested. Declawed or not, every crab must be immediately returned to the water, or held in a shaded place and wetted down every half hour before being thrown back. It is illegal for fisherman to possess a whole stone crab, dead or alive, and illegal to fish at night. [For fear of cheating by the fisherman] To safeguard the breeding cycle, fishing is forbidden outside the fishing season.” [Corby Kummer, The Pleasures of Slow Food]

Now here’s the thing that threw me for a loop with my vegetarian friend. Adult crabs regenerate claws, whether we take them or not, as they continually grow new shells and molt. The claw must be neatly punctured at the joint, at which point the crab contracts its muscles and cleanly lets go of its own claw.

She asked me if stone crab claws would be vegetarian, since they aren’t killing the crabs and the crabs grow new claws, to be reharvested when the crab is next caught in a net. Evidently some crabs are handled many times in a fisherman’s lifetime.

I had no answer for her because I’m vegan. So I thought I’d ask your opinions as to how this is different from the suffering we put our dairy cows and egg-laying chickens through.

Thanks for your help,

Jim, I’m vegan too, but eating meat of any kind regardless of whether it kills the animal or not, is not vegetarian. Crab claws are not vegetarian…
Good luck with your friend…

I’m sure that breaking crab claws is quite painful…

I suppose it’s like pulling out human nails… :unamused: They will grow back, but man this is f*%$*@! painful.

Ditto! It is still flesh - which is not vegetarian!

Why does your friend feel the need to eat crab meat? There is so much variety out there without the need to harm/cause distress to animals!

Take care!


What if meat would grow by itself in special labs? Like bacteria?
After all, vegans eat nutritional yeast…

Well, I agree is not vegetarian or vegan. It’s like, if some one were to come to u in a pair of siccors and say “hey, i m gonna cut ur hair, because i want it”. Doesnt gif them the right to do so IMO.

LAb grown meat… still needs its cells taken from an animal b4 they can be cultured. Besides, there are many culture medias used which contain animal products. Even if they dun, it is still a waste of resources and $ to do that… they might well use the $ to find a cure for some disease then to come up witth something to satisfy someone’s palate imo.

I wonder what state the muscle is in when a crab naturally molts his claw.

I’m not sure if it would be as tempting.

Eating snake, (I’ve done it before. My stepdad was a butcher by trade), can be tasty but you don’t seek to eat the skin. Which is why hunters of old probably found better uses for snake-skin than dinner.

Crab is a living thing right? Then eating its claw is not vegan i think… :smiley: