End the Plight of the Hermit Crabs!

Hermit crabs are complex animals who can live over 30 years in their wild natural habitat, the tropical seashore. As social beings, they thrive in large colonies, where they often sleep piled up together. 

Every single land hermit crab sold in souvenir shops -- thousands upon thousands every year -- has been caught from the wild, as these animals do not readily breed in captivity. After purchase, most do not live for more than a few months to a year. They spend their short captive lives in tiny, barren, arid cages, usually slowly perishing from suffocation because their modified gills require high humidity to breathe. These crabs also need deep substrate to molt and grow; without it, their bodies will halt the molting process until their death. Many are slowly poisoned by chlorinated tap water and the toxic paint adorning their shells. Hermit crabs don't care if they're pink or purple, but they pay with their lives because we do. 

In 2014, I started up a new program, www.PlightoftheHermies.org, to inform people about this cruel trade. Over the last few years, we've made some incredible strides: Over 50,000 people have signed our petition to get beach chain Sunsations to stop selling hermit crabs. We saw the end of the Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge, a terrifying annual "race." We've gotten media coverage in The Virginian-Pilot and Lady Freethinker and an op-ed in One Green Planet. We helped PETA release the first undercover investigation of this cruel industry, opening millions of eyes. We've shown countless people around the world that crustaceans are sentient, intelligent animals, not souvenirs.

These efforts are all volunteer-run, and they cost money! We are out on the front lines in Virginia Beach for hermit crabs every summer, and organizing behind the scenes all year long. To save hermit crabs by the thousands, we need a lot of funding, and that's where you come in!

Every dollar counts, and will help us save lives. Please find it in your heart to speak up for these animals who are so often regarded as simple trinkets and tossed aside. Thank you for your generosity.

NEW SPECIAL OFFER FOR DONORS: Contribute $25 or more and receive a FREE "Hermit Crab Freedom" tank top! Available in sizes XS-XL. Forward your proof of donation, address, and size to [email redacted] and we'll get back to you within 2 business days to confirm. Thanks again for your support!

  • Raylene Swinock 
    • 25 $ 
    • 17 mos
  • Colin Tischler 
    • 25 $ 
    • 17 mos
  • Dana Craig 
    • 10 $ 
    • 20 mos
  • Colin Tischler 
    • 40 $ 
    • 21 mos
  • Colin Tischler 
    • 30 $ 
    • 22 mos
See all


Laura Lee Cascada 
Norfolk, VA
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