The Lobster Tank

While on our weekly grocery-shopping trip, I happened by the lobster tank in the seafood section. The tank is transparent so customers can pick their lobster; this has always been troubling to me. Seeing these creatures so packed in the tank that they cannot move, not understanding that this is where they will die, overcomes me with a sadness that I find difficult to put into words. Where once they crawled the ocean floor, now they rest in a prison from which they will never leave. I accept that they do not understand life as we do and do not suffer as we would, but that sidesteps the issue of doing it. Life is precious, a gift from God, and no creature should be so subjected to this treatment.

However, although I have a concern for the proper treatment of all creatures, that is not why I am writing today. What I also saw in that lobster tank was myself. Whereas the lobster is put into the tank against its will, I voluntarily build around me my own tank of safety, my comfort zone. As humans, we need a comfort zone so we can focus on the many tasks we face. Otherwise, we lose our ability to achieve even minor results in our life. My challenge in expanding my comfort zone has been listening to other points of view and seeking new ideas while also protecting private areas of my world. As an introvert, finding that balance has always been difficult, frequently causing misunderstandings with others which then creates additional challenges. We can survive alone, but a meaningful life is more than surviving. And meaningful requires bringing others into our world. I will continue to work at this and have found that sharing my struggle with others is proving the road forward.

But I still worry for those lobsters. Thankfully, I have read that a number of grocery chains have stopped this practice.