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A tale of lobsters, PETA and Sea Dogs

Portland Sea DogsIt’s been a few days of drama for the Portland Sea Dogs (Class AA; Eastern League), whose business decision to drop a lobster vendor led to some misinterpretation of the act by PETA.

PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has had Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster in its sights for months. Linda Bean, the granddaughter of L.L. Bean and an entrepreneur in her own right, was the subject of an undercover PETA investigation showing cruelty to lobsters in her packing plan in Rockland, Maine. You can find Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster throughout the state in places like Portland International Jetport and in Freeport, where L.L. Bean is headquartered.

But not Hadlock Field, home of the Sea Dogs, in 2015. The fact that Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster isn’t returning to the ballpark was heralded by PETA yesterday in a press release, saying that the Sea Dogs management saw the light and was halting the sale of Linda Bean lobster because of the ethical issues involved.

Not so fast. The Sea Dogs issued a press statement this morning, saying that lobster would indeed be sold at Hadlock Field this season — just not Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster:

Yesterday, without our knowledge or input, PETA issued a press release about the Sea Dogs ending our relationship with Linda Bean’s Lobster. While it is true that we will no longer be working with Linda Bean’s, we reached this decision based on business reasons, not in response to pressure from PETA.  We are also in the process of finalizing a new provider of Maine lobster for this season.

While we would normally not comment on a business decision of this sort, we wanted to set the record straight in light of PETA’s misleading press release.

Maine and lobster are pretty much synonymous, so it’s no surprise the Sea Dogs front office would want to continue offering it at Hadlock Field. It was a clumsy attempt by PETA to take credit for the Sea Dogs’ decision and may have backfired: it’s one thing to attack how lobsters are processed, but it’s another thing to take on an institution like Maine lobster.

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