Updated March 26, 2021:
Thank you to everyone who contacted Sik Gaek restaurant in Queens, New York, to ask it to stop serving live octopuses and lobsters. Before disabling its Facebook page, the restaurant posted, “Sikgaek is no longer available for live octopus. We decided not to serve octopus and lobster alive.” We hope this is the truth and that this abject cruelty won’t simply be available “off menu.” Rest assured, we’ll be watching, and we hope you will, too.
The intelligence of octopuses is well known, but did you know that they have been observed decorating their homes with pretty bits of glass, shells, and bottle tops? They’ve also been seen using tools and playing games! Octopuses have extremely sensitive skin for both touch sensation and chemical recognition. Their suckers are the equivalent of a tongue or fingertip, and the linings are regularly shed to maintain sensitivity to touch and taste. These brilliant beings are like us in so many ways that for most people, the thought of eating one alive is unimaginable.
However, Sik Gaek in Queens, New York, has for years insisted on serving octopuses and lobsters—another complex, misunderstood species also known to have the ability to experience great pain—still squirming on dinner plates, to those customers who find slowly hacking apart living, suffering animals to be appetizing. The restaurant even brags about this horrific practice on its website.
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