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8 Completely different Crab Species and How Folks Eat Them

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Do you know that there are greater than 4,500 distinct species of crabs? From the long-legged spider crab to the minuscule pea crab, all have their very own distinctive traits. People dismember, kill, and eat many of those species. In Florida, staff rip the claws off dwell stone crabs, then throw them again into the water—an excruciatingly painful course of that leaves them unable to defend or feed themselves. All crabs expertise ache and—like all animals—ought to be revered and left alone to dwell as they select.

Listed below are among the crab species that people generally catch, kill, and eat.

Blue Crab

Blue crabs are generally discovered on the East Coast of the U.S., the place people catch, kill, and tear them aside in an effort to eat the flesh hidden beneath their exoskeletons. Of their pure atmosphere, blue crabs are defensive scavengers who worth their territory and aren’t afraid to guard it. They’ve nice imaginative and prescient, and so they can talk with one another from a distance utilizing each visible and chemical cues.

When people drag blue crabs from their marine houses, they’re tossed collectively and saved alive whereas being transported and bought—a particularly irritating expertise for a territorial species. They’re then usually stacked on high of each other in giant pots and steamed alive. After this terrifying and painful loss of life, people dissect their carcasses. The exoskeleton that advanced to guard blue crabs from predators is hard to get via—so people rip off their claws, legs, gills, and different physique elements earlier than snapping their total physique in half and choosing out the flesh.

blue crabs piled into a cardboard box

Dungeness Crab

Discovered residing alongside the sandy sea flooring from Alaska to Baja, Mexico, Dungeness crabs aren’t simple to catch. Nonetheless, the crab business not solely kills numerous crabs annually but additionally kills and injures different marine animals. In 2016 alone, 71 whales had been caught in Dungeness crab pots off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

dungeness crabs in trash cans

People usually prepare dinner Dungeness crabs alive by dropping them into boiling water. People’ justification for boiling crabs alive is that after they die, their flesh instantly begins to rot and change into poisonous. Sometimes, cooks kill them simply earlier than cooking by inserting a pointy knife or screwdriver into their nerve facilities. That is additionally a painful course of, for the reason that nerve bundles are extraordinarily delicate. There isn’t a humane approach to kill a crab. As soon as they’re useless and cooked, their flesh is pulled from their claws, legs, and our bodies.

King Crab

King crabs are giant animals who can weigh as much as 25 kilos. Solely 1 / 4 of their physique is eaten by people—principally their claws and legs. These exceptional animals use their legs emigrate annually and may stroll as much as 100 miles alongside the ocean flooring, touring a mile every day. People tear their legs and claws off earlier than pulling the flesh from their damaged exoskeletons.

red king crab

Stone Crab

Within the Florida stone crab business, solely the claws of stone crabs are bought to be eaten by people. This “prized delicacy” comes on the expense of those delicate animals—in a PETA video, an eyewitness documented that staff tore off their claws and tossed the animals again into the ocean. Eradicating even one claw compromises crabs’ potential to defend themselves towards predators and discover meals, however fishers usually take each claws. Many crabs bleed out. One examine discovered that roughly 41% of stone crabs died when one claw was torn off and that almost two-thirds died when each claws had been eliminated. Different marine animals additionally endure on this business. PETA’s investigation discovered {that a} employee killed a number of fish with a hammer so their physique elements could possibly be used as bait. One other employee repeatedly slammed a shark towards the facet of a ship and apparently carved off chunks of the animal’s flesh to make use of as bait.

Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe crabs are fascinating and resilient animals. They’re generally known as “residing fossils” as a result of proof of their existence has been discovered from at the very least 445 million years in the past. They’re additionally not technically crabs and are literally extra carefully associated to spiders.

horseshoe crab on sandy beach

Sometimes, solely horseshoe crabs’ eggs are eaten by people. They’re extra generally exploited for his or her blue blood, which the pharmaceutical business makes use of to check for contaminants in vaccines and medical gadgets. In laboratories, the crabs are bled alive, and in the event that they survive the method and are launched, they usually battle to get well and reproduce. Because of this, horseshoe crab populations alongside the Atlantic Coast are experiencing critical declines which have had cascading destructive results all through the ecosystem—together with on birds who depend on horseshoe crab eggs for sustenance throughout lengthy migrations. After surviving for a whole bunch of tens of millions of years, via mass species extinctions and ice ages, horseshoe crabs are actually at risk of extinction simply because people need their blood.

Peekytoe Crab

Often known as sand crabs, mud crabs, or rock crabs, peekytoe crabs had been thought of a throwaway byproduct of the lobster business—till a seafood firm modified their identify and commenced persuading eating places to promote their our bodies. Now people pay high greenback for the flesh beneath these crabs’ shells. As an alternative of having fun with their lives within the sea and sand, peekytoe crabs are trapped in cages to be killed, picked aside, and eaten.

peekytoe crab

Spider Crab

Spider crabs have the most important leg spans of all of the arthropods, reaching as much as 12 toes from claw to claw. They’re recognized to be “mild giants” who’ve calm personalities, solely utilizing their claws defensively or to seek out meals. Regardless of being one of the vital troublesome crabs to kill and prepare dinner due to their large dimension, spider crabs are nonetheless eaten by people.

Gentle-Shell Crab

This isn’t a definite species of crab however a time period for crabs who’ve just lately molted, so their new exoskeletons haven’t but hardened. In North America, soft-shell crabs are mostly blue crabs. As a result of the exoskeleton is mushy, people prepare dinner and eat your entire physique, aside from the gills, mouthpart, and stomach.

*****

Similar to all animals, crabs expertise ache and worry. There isn’t a humane approach to eat or use a crab of any species. The perfect factor you are able to do to assist these animals is to go vegan and depart them and all different sea animals off your plate. These vegan crab recipes will enable you make the change (psst … Previous Bay Seasoning is vegan!):

13 Vegan Crab Recipes to Serve Up This Summer time

Take motion for stone crabs and different sea animals:

Assist Change Florida Laws to Cease Stone Crab Mutilation



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