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Photos by Brian Snyder/Reuters
When you love animals but live in a world where the majority are objectified and treated with cruelty, you have a distinctly different point of view. For example, I do my best to avoid lobster tanks in supermarkets because seeing the creatures bound and imprisoned, languishing until they are butchered or boiled alive really upsets me ― unless I can do something about it. On several occasions, I have purchased crabs and lobsters and driven up to coastal Maine with friends to set them free. Knowing they could be trapped and shipped back again, we always chose the most remote areas to help increase the odds in their favor. But, like these Buddhist monks and the animal lovers that accompanied them, the exhilaration of setting them free (even if only for a few weeks or months), and the desire to spare their suffering always made the effort worthwhile.
Thanks to these folks, 534 lobsters were liberated (on a whale watching boat at dusk). Were they astonished and grateful to find themselves unfettered and back in their natural element again? You bet. Lobsters are sentient creatures that can live 100 years and, like us, carry their young for nine months. To learn more about lobsters, click here.
One of the participants involved in this event said it all when she said, "Their happiness is as important as your happiness, their suffering is as important as your suffering."
Three cheers for everyone who helped carry out this compassionate mission. You don't have to be Buddhist or vegetarian to save animals from unnecessary suffering; you only have to care.