As a paraplegic and a recreational scuba diver, I was sickened last night when I watched the documentary “My Village, My Lobster”. Fast Food Nation was a compelling read, but words on a page are not nearly as provocative as images on a screen, and the footage of men working (and dying) in the commercial lobster diving business has left me with a new perspective, a million questions, a sense of gratitude coupled with a whole lot of guilt.
Along the Miskito Coast of Honduras and Nicaragua, young men risk their lives diving for lobster (90% of which is shipped to restaurants in the United States). With no scuba diving training, minimal equipment, and no regulations governing their safety, these men live in squalid conditions on boats for up to two weeks at a time. They dive to depths exceeding 100’. And they may do that fifteen times a day. To hunt lobster. This is not something anyone with a conscience should condone.
Without proper training and equipment, the divers frequently suffer from decompression sickness, also known as the bends. And the effects are horrific. Some men die from the illness. Many more end up paralyzed and unable to work, and life for a paraplegic in a village in Nicaragua is nothing like life for a paraplegic in Fairfax County, Virginia. Some of the injured ultimately succumb to urinary tract infections and pressure sores, but only after terrible suffering. So I can eat lobster? Never again.
Follow the link below to learn more about the film and ways to take action. http://www.thelobsterfilm.com/