Even the most devoted seafood lover has to admit, there is something oddly touching about 30 bald Buddhist monks dropping what must have been some serious cash to rescue 534 temperamental, snapping creatures from a boiling, watery grave with butter.
A group of Tibetan Buddhists flanked the sides of a whale-watching boat at dusk on Wednesday, sprayed the lobsters with blessed water, clipped the bands binding their dangerous claws and released them one by one into the deep water below.
The 30 Buddhists of all ages trekked to this northern Massachusetts fishing hub to buy 600 pounds of lobster from a seafood wholesaler and save the critters from imminent death.
The lobster liberation was scheduled for August 3, which is Wheel Turning Day on this year's Tibetan lunar calendar, the anniversary of the first sermon Buddha taught. On this holiday, the merit for positive actions is multiplied many times.
"Even if they get captured again, they've had a longer life," said Wendy Cook, former director at the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies in Medford, north of Boston.