Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bubba the Lobster

Sometimes, I feel downright bad, ashamed that I am part of this higher species that is homo sapiens. I feel that way right now concerning the Bubba the Lobster and the fiasco that led to his fate.

You know about Bubba, don't you? He's the 22 pound, 100 year-old lobster pulled from the water off Nantucket. With claws bound, he was put in an aquarium in a fish market in Pittsburgh. Reportedly, he was perhaps destined to be auctioned on EBay to the highest bidder? Can you picture such a buyer inviting all of his friends over and gleefully heaving Big Bubba into a huge, boiling pot?

But this big guy's days are numbered. Wholey's is keeping him on display until someone can't resist taking him home.

The price is about $500 bucks.   (ABC News Channel 6 Pittsburgh)

What is wrong with us? If you pulled up such a creature, why wouldn't you recognize that you were dealing with special and unique living thing? Why wouldn't you return him to the depths to finish out his days, whether they be long or short? Failing that, why would you bind him and put him in a squidgy glass box to display as a freak curiosity? Even then, how could you even consider selling off such a magnificent old man of the sea in order to become the main highlight of some rich man's dinner party? To be fair, his "owner" (what a concept — owner!) says that he never truly considered that to be an option.

After Bubba was bound and displayed to the masses, it was decided that he should be moved to, get this folks, "an aquarium at a Ripley's Believe It or Not museum" (Excite News). There, he would live out his remaining years, no doubt providing wondrous entertainment for the gaping masses — not to mention gate receipts for Ripley's. Pardon me if I remain unimpressed.

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium officials picked up Bubba on Tuesday afternoon. Next week, they will send him to his new home at Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach,S.C.                                                       (The Pittsburgh Channel)

Too late. Bubba died. Perhaps his time was simply up; perhaps that's why he was caught. We'll never know. What I do know is that this is symptomatic of humankind's far-too-cavalier attitude toward the environment and the myriad life forms within it.

What is it about our species that enables us to claim the right to pluck such an venerable creature from the sea and then ponder at our leisure the next course of action? I don't understand this. I don't understand not hearing one negative comment from the press. I don't understand why Bubba's fate was almost a lighthearted media joke, which is the only way that I can read this subtitle from ABC News: "Bubba, the 22-Pound Leviathon of a Lobster, Won't Be Boiled and Buttered." Even National Geographic, of all organizations, joined in the levity: " Don't bother trying to butter up Bubba. He's already got it made. (National Geographic Website)

Not funny at all. Rather pathetic if you ask me. Which you didn't.



AJ said...

Poor Bubba. Us human beings have no shame. I have faith that there are other Bubba's though - more conniving & much cleverer than the one that was caught... maybe they were all huddled together, daring one of their huge friends to get into the net... "C'mon! Bet you get sent to Ripley's! What are you, chicken?" I can't look at the lobsters in the little tanks at the grocery store for too long, it always breaks my heart a little.

Iona said...

Couldn't agree with you more. We 'humans' just don't have any respect for living creatures, no matter how weird, extraordinary, funny or plain normal they are.

Only the Buddist monks can be cleared from all blame. Their religion states that every creature is holy, whether it's huge, small or seemingly insignificant. They respect all living things and won't harm them.

Reminds me of George Harrison's words;
It's easier to tell a lie, than it is to tell the truth... It's easier to kill a fly, than it is to turn it lose.
(or perhaps it was the other way around, I don't remember anymore)

Anyway, I think in this case, everybody should convert to Buddism!

LK said...

Good post. That Bubba was quite a remarkable creature, pity I had to write 'was'.

Christi said...

I think it was kinda cool that a lobster lived to be 100 years old. I thought it was better that he was being sent to an aquarium than to be eaten, though (of course it could be b/c I live in SC, and plan to go to that exact aquarium in the near future!). We have to realize, though, that God made humans this way. We are supposed to eat other animals. I don't feel bad when a young lobster is caught to eat. This one just happened to not get caught for a long time. I would think it would be cool to be able to see a hundred year old lobster, and if they made his home comfortable for him and a safer place than the sea he was in, then I don't see the problem. That's just me, though.

swamp4me said...

Well said Anvilcloud. It would have been much better if the lobster had been returned to the sea immediately. Anything that venerable deserves at least that much respect.

Melodee said...

I just have to award you fifty points for using the word "squidgy" so effectively in a sentence! ;)

-epm said...

Poor Bubba: He lived for 100 years and now he's just a shell of his former self...

(I'm sure I'm not the first to make this miserably lame pun, but I resisted as long as I could)

Jennifer Swanepoel said...

Hmm. I've seen several people blog about Bubba the Lobster. How come I haven't heard of this in any other medium?

Very weird, our fascination with all things unusual.