Support the Café
Search our site

PETA petitions the Presiding Bishop over lobster dinners

PETA petitions the Presiding Bishop over lobster dinners

PETA’s new Christian outreach division has set its sights on Episcopal lobster dinners as a tradition ripe for reform.

The organization, whose full name is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, asking him to put a stop to lobster dinners in the church, according to the Washington Post.

“Most of us grew up believing that killing lobsters and other animals for food is what must be done, but if we contemplate it, all killing requires conquering, violence, and separating ourselves from the rest of creation,” PETA wrote to the bishop. “God designed humans to be caretakers, not killers.”

The letter cited both the Old and New Testaments and the writer David Foster Wallace, who examined the practice of boiling lobsters alive for consumption in his well-known essay “Consider the Lobster.” PETA described the practice as “cruelty that I know doesn’t reflect the tenets of the Episcopal Church.”

Ben Williamson, a spokesman for PETA, said he didn’t know if there was any particular link between Episcopalians and lobsters, and several Episcopal church leaders whom The Washington Post asked about the connection didn’t have an answer either. But PETA staff noticed a pattern of lobster dinners as church fundraisers, and decided to look into it. They identified 28 Episcopal congregations advertising lobster fundraisers in more than 10 different states.

A spokesperson for PB Curry said that he was on vacation and had no further response to the PETA request. The Washington Post reported that many of its own inquiries to Episcopal Churches advertising lobster dinners went unanswered, although at least one rector was prepared to consider the concerns raised by PETA.

At St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Springfield, Va., the Rev. Peter Ackerman said that his church would continue its lobster dinner, but “PETA raises a thoughtful point. I have shared this with our church board in the hopes that we can respond in a way that keeps the annual celebratory dinner gathering intact but also brings forth our awareness and sensitivity to how we interact with God’s creatures.” That sort of reflection, he said, would be in line with the church’s social action activities like offering free physicals and school supplies to local children.

Read more about the link between lobsters, PETA, and the Episcopal Church at the Washington Post.

Featured illustration: By U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric – Transferred from lb.wikipedia, Public Domain

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JEFF COX

Looking forward to a response on this. As a vegetarian, they are right. We can do better.

Like (2)
Dislike (0)
Michael Thorne

OMG lobsters are the cockroaches of the ocean floor. they come in pretty packaging. And turn that vibrant read/orange when cooked. They are sustainable. They are fished by independent fisherman.

Like (1)
Dislike (1)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café