There are plentiful puns to deploy at the news that one Maine restaurant kindly—how do I say this?—smokes out their lobsters before boiling them alive so that plump customers can enjoy the juicy, tasty crustaceans. Should I make a “lobster bake” joke? Or should I invoke the late David Foster Wallace with something like, “Consider the (Stoned) Lobster?”
You need more information, I know. Charlotte Gill is the owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound, but it is also a “long-time animal rights supporter who has two pet goats on the premises” of her restaurant. That’s why, as the Mount Desert Islander so eloquently writes, she wanted a “more humane way of executing lobsters.”
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Her solution: Lobsters are “placed for a few minutes in a covered box with about two inches of water at the bottom. Marijuana smoke [is] then blown into the water at the bottom of the box.” Correct us if we’re wrong, but that sounds like the lobsters are getting hot boxed. Gill believes this makes the death of being boiled alive less “traumatic” for the lobsters.
“I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” Gill said. “It’s a unique place and you get to do such unique things but at the expense of this little creature. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to make it better.”
Gill, who is a licensed medical marijuana caregiver, has established an outdoor station to sedate lobsters with marijuana, at the customer’s request. Otherwise they can have their lobsters cooked in the more traditional method. Gill hopes that next year all lobsters will be sedated in this manner before being cooked.
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This story likely begs the question if this humane sedating process infuses the lobsters with THC. According to Gill, the answer is no. “I’m not selling an edible,” she attests. Gill explained to the Islander why she’s confident in making such a statement.
“For this new process though, in order to alleviate any and all concern about residual effect, as we will be dealing with the chemical compound THC, we will use a different method,” Gill said over email. “THC breaks down completely by 392 degrees, therefore we will use both steam as well as a heat process that will expose the meat to 420 degree extended temperature, in order to ensure there is no possibility of carryover effect (even though the likelihood of such would be literally impossible).”
What’s perhaps most exciting to carnivores and pescatarians alike is that Gill argues her sedation process actually makes the meat taste better. ““The difference it makes within the meat itself is unbelievable,” she said. “Everything you put into your body is energy.”