A Chinese video blogger became an internet mockery after she wrestled with an octopus she’d tried to eat alive and who’d become stuck on her face.
The video blogger—who goes by “Seaside Girl Little Seven” on the Chinese social media platform Kuaishou—attempted to eat the live sensitive, feeling octopus simply to gain social media followers. In the video, she can be heard screaming in agony as the octopus takes hold of her face. The vlogger pulls so hard that her cheek is seen bleeding by the end of the video. Octopuses are known for using their powerful tentacles and suckers to catch prey and, as in this case, defend themselves from danger.
In a cringe-worthy effort to seem more interesting, Seaside Girl has filmed herself playing with live octopuses and eating large amounts of dead sea animals. She allegedly claimed that she doesn’t know why she’s not more popular. No one wants to watch someone torment and eat animals for “likes”—go figure.
Unfortunately, self-centered clout-chasers aren’t the only people eating living animals.
In September 2016, PETA went inside restaurants in Los Angeles that mutilate and serve live animals. At T Equals Fish, our observers watched in horror as chefs held down an octopus—nicknamed “Pearl” by an observer—and cut off her sensitive limbs with a butcher knife. The severed limbs, which continued to move and react to stimuli, were served, squirming, to diners.
Imagine being pulled from a tank, flung onto a table, and pinned down as your arms and legs are cut off.
When it comes to experiencing pain, cephalopod expert Dr. Jennifer Mather explains that octopuses “can anticipate a painful, difficult, stressful situation—they can remember it. There is absolutely no doubt that they feel pain.”
Octopuses are so intelligent that they’re sometimes referred to as “primates of the sea.” You may remember Inky, an octopus at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, who made international headlines in April 2016 after he climbed out of a tank, traversed the aquarium floor, and slid down a 164-foot pipe to freedom. Like chimpanzees, crows, dolphins, and humans, octopuses also use tools. Veined octopuses carry coconut shells across the ocean floor before meticulously placing two halves together and climbing inside to hide. Blanket octopuses snatch poisonous tentacles from the Portuguese man o’ war and wield them like swords. And mimic octopuses impersonate more than 15 other species.
In short, every octopus alive right now is more interesting and more skilled than any blundering vlogger.
Here’s how you can save octopuses from being eaten alive:
If you live in California or New York, urge lawmakers to ban animals from being mutilated, “prepared,” and served alive. If you don’t live in those states, you can still help by signing the pledge below!