It's a question that has bothered food lovers throughout the ages: do lobsters feel pain? Anybody who has ever plunged one into a pot of boiling water knows they thrash about wildly; some people have even said they've heard the invertebrates scream (a claim that has been debunked because they don't have vocal cords). Lobster catchers and some chefs believe the lobster's actions are a reflex and they don't actually feel pain; others, who are more doubtful, prefer to plunge a knife through the lobster's head before cooking it (or they give up eating lobster altogether). The most recent report, by a scientist from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in Oslo, supports an earlier study by the University of Maine (a state in the United States famous for its lobsters) that says we can boil the lobsters without guilt because their reactions are primitive avoidance behaviour, or an escape mechanism, rather than a response to pain. Of course, there are just as many conflicting reports saying lobsters do feel pain. If you're not entirely convinced, a quick option is to drive the tip of a sharp, heavy chef's knife through the lobster's head, between the eyes, and make a downward cut with the rest of the blade, which slices the brain in half.