When people care more about the pain inflicted on a lobster than the unborn

Jul 23, 2021 by

by Lynda Rose, Christian Today:

Under pressure from animal welfare campaigners, the government is now apparently considering a ban on the boiling of live lobsters during cooking. It’s a cruel and inhumane practice, campaigners have argued – supported by Mr Johnson’s own wife, Carrie.

There’s compelling scientific evidence that they feel pain. They must be protected from such cold-blooded and heartless brutality! And our Prime Minister has reportedly heard these cries, because Boris Johnson has now promised that for the future, when drawing up policy and regulations, all government departments will be required to consider, by law, the safeguarding of creatures’ physical wellbeing and feelings.

Accordingly, a clause is under consideration to be inserted into the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill, currently making its way through the House of Lords. At the moment the Bill covers vertebrates – animals with a backbone. But, if the amendment is accepted, it will be extended to include shellfish and cephalopod molluscs such as lobsters, crabs, octopuses, squid, cuttlefish, and any other invertebrates capable of feeling pain.

This is groundbreaking, and surely to be welcomed. We should never inflict mindless cruelty, be it raising a calf in isolation and darkness before cutting its throat, or boiling a live lobster. But, for consistency’s sake, should we not extend the same protections to our own species – which, after all, has both a backbone and is sentient? In which case, should there not now be a radical change of policy towards our treatment of the unborn?

Under UK law, very broadly, abortion up to 24 weeks is permitted where there is a risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the mother, or to any existing children of the family. Beyond that, abortion up to term is allowed where the mother’s life is in grave danger, or there is substantial risk that the child, if born, will suffer such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

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