In an attempt to consider the lobster and its welfare, Switzerland has banned the practice of boiling them alive. According to USA Today, the new law stems from research indicating lobsters do feel pain, which makes death by boiling especially cruel. (This is a fair take.)
There are two Swiss-approved methods of killing the sentient sea bug: electrocution - which is not very practical for the home cook - and "sedating the lobster by dipping it into saltwater and then thrusting a knife into its brain."
Instead of dying over a manner of minutes - which probably seems quite long when you're being boiled to death - the crustacean is killed instantly. (Switzerland does not, however, recommend freezing to numb them first; in fact they have also banned transporting the animals on ice.)
If you're not sure how to go about this, the above video can walk you through it. Just place your lobster on a cutting board and firmly insert the tip of a sharp knife into the base of the head (where the shell comes into a point) slicing down to cut the head in half. The lobster is now dead and ready for cooking. (You may notice a little leg and claw movement, but don't worry, that's just a nervous system response.)
[Via USA Today]