BRUNSWICK, ME (WGME/CNN) – When a truck carrying nearly 70 crates of lobsters rolled over, several of the creatures lost their lives, so People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to build a tombstone to honor them.
Hundreds of lobsters ended up on a Maine highway when a Cozy Harbor Seafood Truck rolled over last week. Dozens were trapped beneath the truck, and several died in the crash, police say.
"It was certainly something I've never seen before," said Detective William Moir with the Brunswick Police. "Some lobsters were loose on the ground from being spilled over, and we just kind of went to work and tried to do as much as we could to save the ones we could."
Now, PETA wants to memorialize the lobsters lost – with a 5-foot, permanent tombstone. The design picked would have a graphic of a lobster with the quote: "In memory of the lobsters who suffered and died in this spot. Try vegan."
PETA says the memorial would honor the lobsters and remind truck drivers of the importance of their cargo. It would also remind people not to eat lobsters or other animals.
"I love lobsters. They're one of my favorite foods," resident Timothy Smith said. "It just seems a little extreme to me. I mean, I am all for animal rights, but I just don't understand putting up a tombstone for some lobsters. I'm sorry."
A letter from PETA's director to the Maine Department of Transportation highlighted the "agonizing death" experienced by the "sensitive crustaceans."
But many Maine residents say lobsters belong on the dinner table, and they don't agree with a memorial.
"We don't even put monuments up for people who die," resident Janie Roy said. "What's the difference between them falling on the road and dying or being thrown in boiling hot water? And we eat them every single day. Either way, they're dead lobsters."
PETA calls lobsters "intelligent individuals who use complex signals to establish social relationships." The letter noted they were "individuals who didn't want to die."
Cozy Harbor is unsure how many lobsters died in the crash because they're weighed in crates and not counted.