PETA served up ample food for thought in a letter sent to the National Restaurant Association calling on CEO Dawn Sweeney to urge association members to drop octopus from their restaurant menus in light of a joint study by the University of Chicago and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. The study reveals that octopuses are far more complex and intelligent than previously known and that they’re capable of forming intricate social bonds. Research now proves that the animals possess 10,000 more genes than human beings, were on Earth long before man, kiss and cuddle with their lovers, and use tools in innovative ways—such as gathering coconut shells to use for protection.
“The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien,” says University of Chicago researcher Dr. Clifton Ragsdale. “In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.”
PETA believes that the National Restaurant Association could follow up its successful “Green Restaurant Revolution”—which educated restaurant owners on how to make their establishments more eco-friendly—and jump-start an “Ethical Restaurant Revolution” by asking association restaurants to start an animal-protection initiative by eliminating octopus from their menus.
Cephalopods have sophisticated nervous systems that are rich with pain receptors, making them perhaps more sensitive than human children to pain. PETA encourages all caring people to leave octopuses off their plates.