British Rowing Prompted by PETA to Have Compassion for Crustaceans

British Rowing Prompted by PETA to Have Compassion for Crustaceans

London – Ahead of rowing season, which begins in May, PETA sent a letter to British Rowing asking the sport’s governing body to retire the term “catch a crab” – used to describe a rower losing control of an oar – and instead adopt the animal-friendly phrase “liberate a lobster” to help eradicate language that normalises cruelty.

“Crabs … feel pain and fear, care attentively for their young, keep their homes clean, and sometimes greet each other by waving their claws,” writes PETA Vice President of Programmes Elisa Allen. “These animals deserve to be protected, not persecuted, and using the phrase ‘liberate a lobster’ would surely inspire the public to spare countless crustaceans a trip to the boiling pot.”

Captured crabs endure agony when their legs are damaged or torn off by workers ripping them from fishing nets. Some mutilated crabs – who need their claws to feed and defend themselves – are tossed back into the ocean, where they suffer and die. Others end up in pots of scalding-hot water to be boiled or steamed alive.

PETA points out that “catch a crab” and other phrases perpetuating violence against animals are rooted in speciesism, which is the misguided belief that other animals are inferior to humans so it’s acceptable to cause them suffering. Just as racist and sexist words are now recognised as harmful, language that’s degrading towards animals should also be phased out.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way”. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]