News / Winnipeg

Vegans ship lobster from Winnipeg to Halifax and freedom

"Lobby Joe" the lobster was rescued from a small grocery store, driven to Winnipeg, and then shipped east to Halifax.

Lobby Joe's escape pod, properly labelled.

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Lobby Joe's escape pod, properly labelled.

A lobster bound for somebody's plate just had the trip of his life, going from the ocean to a small Ontario town, then to Winnipeg, and finally back home again.

Christine Loughead and her partner met the crustacean they named Lobby Joe at a grocery store in Redwood, Ont.

“As vegans, being in the meat section is obviously, just, visually... a lot of dead animals and blood and carnage, but there’s this one live animal just sitting there,” Loughead said. “He was waiting for someone to boil him alive, and we just took him; we bought him.”

Lobby Joe.

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Lobby Joe.

They’ve received some criticism from others who don’t consume animal products that by paying for Lobby Joe they supported the lobster industry.

“It is true. But I also had a live being that was in front of me that had a 100 per cent change of dying,” Loughead said.

Now, she said he has a chance to live.

Lobby Joe spent a few days living in a salt water tank in Loughead’s basement.

Then on May 24, Loughead and her partner made the six hour drive to Winnipeg where the closest UPS store that ships live animals is located.

“They were very kind to us and they made a container that they punched holes into,” said Loughead. 

They wrote notes that said “live lobster” and “pet” on the box, letting anyone handling the precious package know that a loved creature was inside, Loughead said.

On May 25, Lobby Joe arrived in Halifax where he was picked up by a woman Loughead connected with through an online vegan group.

Now, he’s back home in the ocean.

Loughead is always on the look out for animals who she can help, but she doesn’t see anymore lobster rescues in her future.

“I’m trying to avoid that store,” Loughead said, adding she's not sure what she'd do if she saw a group of 20 live lobsters or more.

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