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Buddhists Buy, Release Over 500 Live Lobsters Back To The Sea

Buddhist Lobster Release

First Posted: 08/11/11 11:35 AM ET Updated: 10/11/11 06:12 AM ET

Last week, 30 Tibetan Buddhists in Gloucester, Massachusetts purchased 534 lobsters (600 pounds) from a seafood wholesaler and then released them into the sea. The group "sprayed the lobsters with blessed water, clipped the bands binding their dangerous claws and released them one by one," reports Reuters.

The group was observing Chokhor Duchen, or Wheel Turning Day, the anniversary of Buddha's first sermon.

The Boston Globe originally reported that after the ceremony, lobsterman visited the site and re-hauled all the lobsters that were set free. The Globe got its information from the blog Good Morning Gloucester but the blog author admitted it was a joke. He explained:

I was wrong to assume that because I predominantly write our hyperlocal blog for our Cape Ann residents that people would understand how preposterous the notion that you could have time to move all the lobster gear even if they knew where the lobsters were released and to set it and for those lobsters which were probably miles away from that location would ever get caught.

This morning, Good Morning Gloucester posted an entry from an organizer in the "lobster liberation" event. The participant has no hard feelings, even if the lobstermen did actually re-catch the released lobsters:

Whether in good taste or not, there is no offense on our part from the joke the Degelyse crew members and others put out there with the YouTube video. We urge everyone to maintain hearts of compassion and love, and not harbor any ill will toward each other. Anger and similar negative minds are destructive, and don’t ever accomplish anything substantial or lasting. We offered the ceremony last week not just for the benefit of the lobsters involved, but also for the benefit of all beings. There is always a ripple effect to our actions, and when the intention is pure and good, small actions of putting kindness and love out into the world affect more than just those immediately involved. We want everyone to realize happiness, true, unending happiness… the lobsters and the lobstermen!

So now it seems like everyone is happy, though we don't know what actually became of the lobsters.

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Filed by Carey Polis  |