Food & Drink Miami News

Joe’s Stone Crabs Ridiculed by PETA Over Live Dismemberment

PETA and Joe’s Stone Crabs came head to head last week at a demonstration against dismemberment practices at the eatery

Joe’s Stone Crabs is undoubtedly one of Miami’s most popular eateries, known for their world-famous stone crabs that are considered a seasonal delicacy. However, the restaurant has recently come under fire for its ethically dubious and horrifying practice of live dismemberment. PETA demonstrators have taken to the streets to raise awareness about this.

A person dressed as a stone crab lays on the ground in protest.

What is live dismemberment, and why is it so harmful?

Live dismemberment is a practice in the $30 million-a-year stone crab industry that requires workers to rip off the claws from live stone crabs before throwing them back in the water. These crabs experience agonizing pain and are left unable to fend for themselves or feed, and reports suggest that half of them die within 24 hours of being mutilated.

This practice is commonplace in the industry and has been mandated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) but would otherwise be illegal under Florida’s cruelty-to-animals law.

The practice leaves hundreds of thousands of stone crabs dismembered and maimed each year, unable to survive the pain or become victim to predatory attacks while not being able to fend for themselves without their claws.

A sign held up by two demonstrators from PETA, highlighting the importance of going vegan.

How did PETA activists demonstrate, and what are their demands?

Demonstrators protested outside the restaurant using signs and placards and models painted like crabs, to have a jarring effect on bystanders and to generate shock value.

PETA is filing a suit that states FWC is allowing the industry to operate illegally, having presented a large volume of evidence showing repeated acts of cruelty against marine animals, including stone crabs, sharks, octopi, and more.

They have already filed a criminal complaint with the FWC regarding many workers on the vessel where the footage was gathered.

More recently, PETA’s efforts have also brought hope for Miami Seaquarium’s resident whale, Lolita. Learn more about this here.

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