The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

PETA Calls on Forest Park Bar to Stop Using 'Lobster Zone' Machine

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 2, 2010 3:20PM

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on Forest Park pub Doc Ryan's to stop using the Lobster Zone novelty machine. Similar to the game you might find in an arcade, where players compete for stuffed animals and other cheap prizes using a hand-operated claw, Lobster Zone lets customers try and catch a live lobster for dinner with a mechanical claw. The lobster is then cooked and served for dinner. PETA says that it was made aware of the game in Forest Park after upset bar patrons contacted the animal welfare organization. PETA has asked Doc Ryan's to get rid of the machine, but recieved no reply. "We hope Doc Ryan's will please everyone by serving up drinks and ditching the nasty 'Lobster Zone' device," says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. "Studies show that lobsters are social animals who lead complex lives in the wild. In this economic climate, the decision to get rid of the machine makes good business sense because more and more people are choosing to patronize animal-friendly businesses."

While PETA is taking the matter seriously, Lobster Zone has said that it prefers to "not respond to PETA protests, opting instead to allow the negative publicity to disappear quickly. In those few cases in which the company is directly attacked, it will issue a press release that dismisses 'misrepresented facts' about the machines and lobsters. 'We have found that more than 85% of online bloggers responding to recent stories have favored the machine and would love to play it,'" says Nick Pappas, marketing vice-president of the Lobster Zone Inc., on their website.