Crustaceans are the collective term to lobsters (they are blue in the water), crabs (who communicate by waving and drumming to each other), scampi (Italian for ‘small lobster’), barnacles and sand hoppers.
- Read your child Clem & Crab. This is a nice story about a kind child, who rescues and becomes friends with a crab, who she finds with a claw trapped in a plastic bag.
- Fishing for scampi also by-catches other creatures like sea turtles and dolphins. If you eat it, Marine Conservation Society says only buy from companies that guarantee they use no by-catch methods.
- Read the open letter by Crustacean Compassion, asking government to recognise crustaceans as sentient beings. They want better welfare in tanks and certificates of competence for chefs (they also campaign against eating live octupuses abroad).
Try some plant-based alternatives to lobster, crab & scampi:
- Bonsan Jackfruit ‘Crab Cakes’
- Vegan Lobster Rolls
- Vegan Crab Cakes
- Vegan Scampi in Lemon Wine Sauce
- Vegan Prawn Cocktail
The Oddly Fabulous Octopus
Otherwise known as ‘squid’, the octopus (the plural is octopuses, even though it sounds like bad grammar) is one of earth’s most fascinating creatures. Yet suffers terrible abuse from fishing (fun-loving octopuses often use nets as trampolines) and in some countries, they are eaten alive. They mostly crawl because although they have three hearts, it stops beating when they swim, so makes them exhausted. And if you think that some creatures like oysters and shellfish don’t feel pain, know that even after an octopus arm has been severed, it still jerks away in pain if pinched. See this recipe for vegan calamari (made with oyster mushrooms, keep away from pets).
- Other Minds takes us into the oceans, to see what can we learn from creatures we never see. The octopus is the closest we will ever get to an intelligent alien, so what can we learn from this amazing creature? Peter Godfrey-Smith (a science philosopher and scuba diver) explores how this solitary creature with little social life, become so smart. What’s it like to have tentacles so packed with neurons, they are virtually think for themselves? Did you know that octopuses have such a sense of fun, they have been known to use
- The Soul of An Octopus tells of Sy Montgomery’s fascination with this deeply intelligent species. They are able to bounce objects in the ocean, and love to run around the floor on eight arms. It has a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake and a tongue covered with teeth! They can also change colour and are now ranked in intelligence with dogs, birds and chimpanzees.