Should this story have an "Animal Abuse" content warning?

Hey all!

We published this story about a customer damaging some lobsters from a seafood section of a grocery story.

As these are animals that are going to be cooked and eaten anyway, the editor didn’t put a content warning on the story. However, should we have since these are still living animals being harmed?

What do you all think?

Definitely. Animals which are killed to be eaten are arguably the most abused animals on the planet. This was a very upsetting read.

Crustaceans definitely experience pain - read more here


Many cows are ultimately farmed for human consumption. Had the story been about someone breaking a cow’s leg rather than a lobster’s shell I think there wouldn’t be any question about the animal cruelty tag’s relevance.

Im not criticising because I honestly didn’t notice the absence of the tag until your question pointed it out. However once prompted it seems like an easy answer to me.

I did also find myself wondering what happened to the lobsters with the broken shells if they were unfit for sale.


It honestly should.

Regardless of the intended fate of a living creature we should still strive to make their time alive as good as possible.

If someone took their dog to the vet to be put down, and they were then observed punching the dog in the face, would that somehow NOT be animal abuse because the dog is going to be dead soon anyway?


There should absolutely 100% be a content warning on the story. It’s been proven that lobsters, crabs, and octopi can feel pain. Just because we’re going to kill something doesn’t mean we shouldn’t treat it humanely in the time it has on the planet.

Here is a link that canadaduck provided in the comments on that story.

Here is a link I provided on that same story.


As a person who eats meat but still has pets and a love for animals, yes, there should be content warning.

Just because an animal is going to end up on your plate does not mean that mistreating it beforehand gets a pass. As others have said, abusing a cow would still set most people off, myself included.


Just because an animal is going to become food, it still shouldn’t suffer.


“We are as gods to beasts of the field. We order the time of their birth and the time of their death. Between times, we have a duty.”

― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men


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