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An Incredible & Edible “Bug” May 14, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Nature, Poetry.

I am not an insect, but . . . like insects, I’m an arthropod
As an invertebrate, I have an exoskeleton for a bod
In order to grow, I shed my shell in a process known as molting
I hide until my shell grows back (but not because I look revolting)
Instead, I’m very vulnerable without my protective shield
So I hide in rocky crevices until my body’s fully healed
Unlike insects, winged and not, classified as insecta
With several other sea creatures, I’m in the class crustacea
Like spiders, ticks, and tiny mites, I have flexible joints and limbs
With both swimmerets and legs, I’m able  to crawl, walk, and swim
Like millipedes or centipedes, I have more than two left feet
But my real claim to fame is being a “bug” that people eat
If you are dared to eat a bug, that’s a bet you ought to take
In fact, many prefer eating me over a perfectly cooked steak
If I’m not caught and eaten, I can live for a hundred years
Growing larger and stronger, evading capture and disease
Although I’m not inclined to brag, and I would never, ever boast
The largest weighed 44 pounds, when caught off Nova Scotia’s coast
Symmetrical bilaterally, my head is fused with my thorax
This cephalothorax combo is covered by my carapace
My head includes antennae and because my vision is poor
My antennae are my sensors as I roam the murky ocean floor
When I sense danger looming and decide that I must flee
I curl and uncurl my abdomen and swim backwards rapidly
At five meters per second, I swim faster than you can walk
That’s eleven miles per hour ~ do the math, and then we’ll talk
I boast many colors: red, green, yellow, purple, blue & deep magenta
Have you guessed my secret identity? 

In New England, they call me “lobsta”

Related posts: Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Red * Red (Inspiration) * Bug-ologist (Kate Shrewsday) * Red (Creating Magic)


1. Tilly Bud - May 14, 2011

I nearly didn’t read on when I saw the title. I don’t like bugs.

I don’t like the way lobsters are eaten, either. Screaming food is not a pleasant thought.

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

I agree with you, Tilly. I used to have a lobster pot but I could not bear to toss the live lobsters into it. I had to leave the kitchen while BFF dropped them in.

“They” said, “Lobsters can’t feel pain.”
At the time, I believed them.
Now, I don’t.
If they didn’t feel pain, they wouldn’t have tried to climb out.

I no longer have a lobster pot and rarely eat lobster. Since our last trip to Maine in 2004, I believe I’ve only ordered lobster twice.

But I would eat lobster before eating steak or hamburger. The lobster has a good life followed by a few bad days at the end. Many cows have a lousy life from birth to death . . . and they scream at slaughter too.

We’re just not there to hear them.

2. Piglet in Portugal - May 14, 2011

A lobster! I wondered what on earth you were describing.
No tilly, I could not cook something while it was still alive, let alone listen to it scream and then eat it! 😦
Bugs fascinate me 🙂

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

I expect you would enjoy Kate’s piece ~ Bugologist. It’s in the links above. It even includes a review of a man morphed into an insect.

Not wanting to add to the suffering of animals is one of the reasons I became a vegetarian.

If we’re not there to hear animals scream at slaughter . . . do THEY suffer any less? Or is it only our suffering we avoid?

3. Maggie - May 14, 2011

It’s been a long time since I had lobster (so expensive), and I would never actually cook it myself. It’s strange how we meat-eaters hate the thought of actually killing something, but when it’s cooked on the plate in front of us, we’re too hungry to think much about how the poor thing died.

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

So true, Maggie. I do expect that crabs and lobsters do not feel pain the way that cows, pigs, sheep, and chicken do . . . since their nervous system is not as developed.

Nevertheless, we are so removed from the food we eat that we get squeamish about dropping a lobster into a pot . . . but we don’t hesitate to order something that has been killed for us.

BTW: Discussing that hypocrisy had nothing to do with why I posted this piece. I found the “red” photo that fit the theme, and remembered this poem I’d written for a nature project on WEbook. And put them together without planning it as a “Go Vegetarian” piece.

The comments changed the focus from humor to serious social commentary. Funny how that happens.

oldancestor - May 14, 2011

This is an area that I’ve wrestled with morally.

I belive nature is amoral and that it’s eat or be eaten. That’s the way it’s always been. However, humans have developed something called a conscience. I’m pretty confident that if most of us here went to a slaughterhouse and watched pigs get slaughtered, we’d never eat bacon again.

So do I let me conscience guide me, or does my conscience get in the way?

I may do a post on this topic. A serious one (if that’s possible).

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

I am happiest when what I think, feel, say, and do are in alignment. My conscience reminds me to be true to my values.

It’s easy to forget the suffering involved in producing our meat-oriented diets. I’ve been in a chicken processing plant and it’s not a pretty site. Likewise, I’ve been in chicken houses and am not interested in consuming chickens as a result.

Seeing calves confined in crates so small they can’t turn around turned me off veal. Knowing that geese are force fed to produce foie gras would have turned me off goose livers (if they’d ever turned me on).

Anyway, if you write it, I’ll read it! If you don’t feel the article fits on The Anvil or Pure Film Creative, let me know. Maybe you could do it as a guest post on SLTW?

No photos of naked men, though. 😀

oldancestor - May 15, 2011

I’m thinking of expanding the Anvil, content-wise. It will always be funny, but I need to branch out.

I’ve been a full vegetarian in the past, and these days I’m avoiding mammals, though I still eat chicken. No cows or pigs for me.

Re: PFC. James has absolutely no filter whatsoever, in his words or actions. Sometime it results in borderline pornographic images. If he lost 99% of his audience, he’d just shrug and keep posting. I have no control over the images that are not attached to my posts, obviously, but I’m sorry if you were scarred. I was.

My next post, if he decides to run it, will be pretty controversial. Not for it’s art images but for my thesis. To the point that I’m debating whether I should even announce it on my blog. It’ll probably be up late tonight if you want to take a look. Coincidentally and indirectly, it relates to a certain controversy that arose here last week. I was going to do this story anyway, so fear not that somehow you or SLTW will be in any way mentioned.

nrhatch - May 15, 2011

Not scarred by the photos, but a bit flabbergasted. They were rather “jaw dropping” and made me gag . . . just a bit. 😉

I’m intrigued by your coming post on PFC and by the changes in store for the Anvil.

Write on!

oldancestor - May 16, 2011

Turns out I don’t have control over the images on my stories either. James is out to “puncture” America’s hypocritical, puritanical belief systems. Who am I to stand in the way of that?

nrhatch - May 16, 2011

Whenever we exceed the boundaries that society sets to hem us in . . . we are in danger of stepping on toes.

And ruffling feathers.

‘Tis the cost of being a blogologist. 😉

4. carldagostino - May 14, 2011

Talk about multiple personality…

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

They are amazing creatures . . . and tasty too.

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

Or did you mean me?
Am I becoming schizophrenic in your eyes? 😉

5. Paula Tohline Calhoun - May 14, 2011

If it’s any help, I’ve heard that puttting the live lobsters in a bucket filled with champagne or any wine, drunkens them enough they don’t care if they’re dropped in a pot of boiling water! (It also helps if they are put in the boiling water head first!)

However, as much as I would like to eat them on occasion, whenever I’ve had the chance to “choose my lobster” from the tank, I fall in love with them and ask if I can take them home instead of eating them. Of course, my home would not be the best environment for a lobster!

My family used to go crabbing and then Dad would make a huge pot of crab gumbo for dinner that night! I don’t remember being in the kitchen when the crabs were sacrificed, but I do know that a couple I would have gladly boiled myself – they seemed to think my toe was bait! 😀

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

Oops. Forgot to respond to this before rushing out the door this morning. I have heard that getting them drunk helps ~ which is great for crab boils when you’re using beer to cook them in anyway.

I’ve also found it helps if I get drunk. 😉

Mostly, I keep my consumption of seafood to a minimum ~ maybe once a month, if that. It’s easier for me to justify eating wild seafood than cows, pigs, or chicken that are raised in confinement and slaughtered inhumanely.

Cindy - May 14, 2011

Drunkens? Okey dokey 🙂

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

That’s the ticket!

Either give the lobsters a glass of wine . . . or drink a couple glasses yourself. 😉

Joanne - May 15, 2011

That’s pretty much how I eat… So, is there a proper term for a vegan who occasionally eats seafood…?

nrhatch - May 15, 2011

I’m not up on all the latest labels. I know I’ve heard the term, Pesci-Vegetarian.


So, maybe, Pesci-vegan? Or just Pescetarian?


Not to be confused with Presbyterian. 😉

6. Paula Tohline Calhoun - May 14, 2011

That’s “they’re” not “their”. . .a mistake that is one of my pet peeves, and I make it! I really must be tired!

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

Fixed. Sorry you’re so tired.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - May 14, 2011

Explanation coming in today’s post. . .

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

I left you a suggestion ~ my weekly planner keeps me on track with just a quick glance each morning to see what’s coming up.

7. Rosa - May 14, 2011

I was trying to guess what ‘bug’ you were talking about and my guess was crab until about half way through! I never knew lobsters shed their shell! And I haven’t eaten one in years, but they sure are tasty!!

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

Lobsters molt once a year (or so). Unlike crabs, I’ve never seen “soft shell lobster” on the menu.

My “last meal” would include lobster roll with butter for dipping. Other faves: lobster newburg, lobster chowder, lobster alfredo.

8. Booksphotographsandartwork - May 14, 2011

I don’t want to eat anything that has eyeballs! In my book if you have eyeballs, no wait then I would be in trouble for killing flys which I hate with a passion. Hmmm. Well scary creey things don’t count but I don’t want to eat anything with eyes because they can look at me and they must have a soul. They care of they wouldn’t scream.

nrhatch - May 14, 2011

I’m with you, Linda. I rarely eat anything but fruit, veggies, beans, and grains.

Fortunately “chocolate” does not have eyes. 😉

9. viewfromtheside - May 15, 2011

i’m not that fond of lobster, give me a lovely tasty sole instead (or some salmon)

nrhatch - May 15, 2011

I rarely eat fish, but a piece of grilled salmon, on occasion, is just the ticket.

10. Samyak - May 15, 2011

bugs are certainly a no no for me!

nrhatch - May 15, 2011

If Andrew Zimmern ever invites you to dinner . . . do not let him order for you! 😉


11. eof737 - May 15, 2011

Urghhh… Did you see Food Inc? I had nightmares over that one and this bug is about to trip my stomach up. ;-(

nrhatch - May 15, 2011

I have seen Food Inc. (and King Corn). The way we produce food in this country disgusts me ~ especially the way the horrors are so cleverly disguised in pristine supermarket packages. Ack.

12. Sandra Bell Kirchman - May 15, 2011

I thought you were referring to crab as well, although the “bug” reference confused me.

I am afraid I am a hypocrite. I eat meat and lobster and all sorts of sea food, yet I deplore the way all of it is killed. I rather like the Jewish Kosher way where they bless the animals and kill them gently so there is no fear in the meat. If all meat were killed that way I would be happy.

Very clever rhyming, btw, Nancy. I enjoyed it.

nrhatch - May 15, 2011

Thanks, Sandra.

Lobsters aren’t really “bugs” . . . but they are closely related arthropods. I couldn’t find a link, but recall that they are called “bugs” in N.E. at times.

Kosher killing is a step in the right direction, but it’s not just the killing that bothers me . . . it’s the way that livestock are treated from birth to death:

Calves torn from their mothers and shoved in veal crates.
Chickens debeaked and living in squalid conditions.
Pigs stuck in gestation crates where they can’t turn around.
Cattle kept in feed lots instead of wandering the range.

Our appetite for CHEAP meat comes at a HIGH PRICE . . . and it’s paid by the animals.

Sandra Bell Kirchman - May 15, 2011

Yes, I have to agree with you there. However, I do believe the cruelty to animals will come to an end, forced not by compassion but by the almighty dollar.

I have heard that meat producers are coming up with either tainted meat or funny-tasting meat. They haven’t learned that pain and suffering runs through the entire body and it’s bound to leave a taste.

Free range animals, from cattle to chickens, are proven to be better tasting and generally healthier than the other kind. Yes, they are more expensive, but people like them and many seek that kind of meat out.

I read some time back about a whole HUGE herd of cattle kept in terrible conditions yielded tainted meat and nobody could figure out why. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure it out.

nrhatch - May 15, 2011

We are what we eat . . .
Especially if it’s tainted meat.

13. Greg Camp - May 16, 2011

Having been raised a vegetarian–dairy and eggs o.k., but not flesh of anything that once had a face–I’m yet to get over my revulsion of the smell of seafood. Then there’s the notion that lobster and shrimp are the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner. These are aesthetic choices, though, as I have no moral qualms about eating lobsters.

About what makes something kosher, lobsters aren’t on the list and never can be. Kosher seafood must come from a creature with scales and fins–in other words, only certain species of fish.

nrhatch - May 16, 2011

It’s fascinating how our beliefs are shaped by our upbringing.

To many, the smell of seafood or bacon is a tantalizing aroma. To others, it’s a nauseating odor.

When we examine our beliefs, we see how much of life is influenced by “opinions we hold” rather than facts we can prove.

Thanks, Greg!

14. Tokeloshe - May 16, 2011

Great post! Love the photo 😉

nrhatch - May 16, 2011

That’s my cousin’s wife . . . with a two-fisted ice cream lover. 😀

15. crumbl - August 22, 2011

In Maine, they may call them lobsta … here, I call them breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pass the bib, please. 🙂

nrhatch - August 22, 2011

One of the best meals, eva! 😀

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