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How to Boil a Lobser

How to Boil a Lobster

1 1-2lb Lobster
1 large pot boiling water

Bring water to boil. Immerse live lobster for 12-15 minutes. Serve with melted butter.


A lot of people think that lobsters mate for life. They don’t. The dominant male forms a monogamous bond with each of the females for a about two weeks. After molting, the female sheds her exoskeleton—like undressing for sex. While she’s “nude,” the male deposits his sperm. Then, her new shell forms. Once it’s hardened, she leaves the male’s den, creating a vacancy that another she-crustacean can fill.


There’s something about humans that makes us anthropomorphize animals. We like to look at them, imagine they have human characteristics, and empathize with their supposed emotions. I guess that’s a good thing when it encourages us treat animals with compassion. It’s probably why we talk our pets and why we love watching cat videos.


Unfortunately, anthropomorphizing can also be a bad thing. More often than not, folks try to use the behavior of animals to rationalize problematic cultural norms. Especially when it comes to gender, we like to say that things are “natural.” We get caught up in fallacy, believing that the troublesome characteristics of other species lend validity to our own bad patriarchal habits.


“Biology is an interesting and fascinating subject,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote in her book offering advice on raising a feminist daughter, but “never accept it as justification for any social norm. Because social norms are created by human beings, and there is no social norm that cannot be changed.” A feminist dad knows this is true. He also recognizes how easy it is for a father figure’s behavior to inadvertently reinforce the presumption that oppressive gender conventions are grounded in natural law. Dads, you can do better.


If you want more information on how to avoid the “Lobster Trap,” look at Emily Willingham’s excellent book, Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis. Most of the points I make in this video come directly from there.


Oh…and for the record, I do feel bad when cooking lobsters—but until I’m ready to go vegan, I have to live with the fact that much of what I eat entails slaughter.

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