The Swiss are worried about lobsters.
They are concerned that lobsters are sentient and can feel pain. So, if you want to eat a lobster in Switzerland, you can’t drop it, live, into a pot of boiling water, which is the preferred cooking method in Maine and other lobster-loving states. Instead, according to this article in USA Today, you need to either electrocute the lobster, or lull it into an insensate state by dipping it in salt water — and then stabbing it in the brain. I’m not sure, frankly, why those methods are viewed as more humane than the classic drop into a pot of boiling water approach, but we’ll just have to take the word of the Swiss — who don’t eat many lobsters in any event — that the lobsters would prefer the electric chair or a knife to the brain.
Switzerland’s constitution apparently has an “animal dignity” provision, and Switzerland is a leader in the animal rights movement. Swiss laws enacted in furtherance of that constitutional protection say that dogs can’t be punished for barking and that anyone who flushes an unwanted goldfish down the toilet violates the law.
The logical extension of this movement is to prevent humans from eating any animals, or for that matter domesticating them, breeding them, and preventing them from roaming free and impairing their liberty. And if humans can’t eat other animals, the “animal dignity” provision presumably would prevent one animal species from gobbling up another animal species, too. Why should humans be restrained, when other animals get off scot free? Bears shouldn’t be able to eat fish, for example, and hawks and eagles can’t snatch up eat mice or voles, and wolves and coyotes should be barred from eating chickens, rabbits, or your neighbor’s annoying little yapper dog.
This seems like a pretty confusing approach to the food chain. Me, I think I’ll still enjoy freshly boiled lobster.