Lobsters Essay

Lobsters Essay

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Plato's allegory of the cave depicted people that are chained to a bench facing the wall watching the shadow reflected from the fire behind them. They are unable to escape the cave to venture outside to bask in the sun. These people spent their whole lives watching the shadows, believing that the shadow is the truth and only truth. One day, a person managed to escape the chain and ventured outside the cave. He experienced new and enlighten views and ideas about the world. He then returned to the cave to spread the knowledge he gained, but his peers rejected him and refused to listen. They are resistant to all changes or different point of views that are introduced to them. In “Consider the Lobster”, David Foster Wallace poses the morality questions of, it is right to eat lobsters? What allow the people who eats lobster to forget about the whole moral issue? Finally, what conflicting views regarding animal consumption are represented.

The question regarding the morality involving eating lobster is brought up through several stages. First David Foster Wallace points out that lobsters do in fact feel pain, they “have nociceptors, as well as invertebrate versions of the prostaglandins and major neurotransmitters via which our own brain register pain”(Wallace, 7). This point challenges the view of many lobster-enthusiasts about how “there's a part of the brain in people and animal that lets us feel pain, and lobsters' brains don't have this part”(Wallace, 4). Although this defense is a valid mitigating factor for some people, one cannot help but believe that most lobster-enthusiasts are well aware that the lobsters do feel pain, from the fact that during the preparation process, “some cooks … leave the kitchen .. and wa...


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... (Wallace, 8). They realized that considering animals as less important is morally wrong, but still want to keep eating them. This third groups struggle among setting themselves free from the cave, venturing outside and experience uncharted worlds or stay in the cave with the majority and safety of familiarity.

David Foster Wallace presented evidences for his questions regarding lobsters consumption through disproving the theory that lobster do not feel pains by providing scientific and observable proofs about lobsters' anatomy and behaviors. He discussed why people chose to ignore the moral questions of animal consumption by showing that people prefer familiarity over uncertainty and they do not like to discuss uncomfortable issues. Finally, he defined the roles of the three sides involving animal consumption and related them to Plato's allegory of the cave.

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