Now that they’ve foiled our foie gras fixation, animal rights groups have a new target. Patch reports that the L.A. wing of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is boiling mad over the presence of a game called "Lobster Zone" at the L.A. County Fair. The game is exactly like one of those rigged set-ups in which kids waste parents money to try and snatch a plush doll with a metal claw, under the naive assumption that the world is fair and honest and not filled with hucksters who would actually steal a quarter from a baby. Only in Lobster Zone, you get to catch a real live lobster, though it’s unclear whether someone then cooks it for you or you just get to take it home and call it Snuggles.
In any case, S.P.C.A. is urging fair officials to ditch the machine, citing cruel (and we must add, definitely pretty unusual) treatment of critters. In 2008, the game was removed from Redondo Beach’s Kilkenny’s, which closed last year following Jon Taffer’s best efforts to turn it into Breakwater on Bar Rescue, with the group claiming credit for ending the fun practice.
The animal protection organization’s president insists, "An exhibit like this conveys a message to adults and children alike that it is OK to torment food animals before they are eaten…that it is OK to torment animals for amusement and entertainment."
Currently, there’s no word on the S.P.C.A.’s position on such other cruel carnival practices as lobbing ping pong balls at goldfish and shooting clowns in the mouth with water-guns. In any case, wouldn’t the S.P.C.A. be doing more to punish the people playing this game if they just went ahead and let them eat a lobster from a machine sitting in the stifling heat of the Pomona Fairgrounds anyway?