Slaughtering animals for food is bad enough, but eating them while they are still alive? It’s the stuff of nightmares. In this disturbing video, a live octopus is pinned on a grill and stabbed repeatedly by diners, who appear to carry on a conversation and even laugh as the animal struggles for his or her life. The diners hold down the animal’s tentacles on the hot surface, and one person digs his hand into the octopus’s head, tearing it open.
Octopuses can feel pain, just like all animals. Of eating an octopus alive, Dr. Jennifer Mather, an expert on cephalopods and a psychology professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, says the following:
“[T]he octopus, which you’ve been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. It’s just as painful as if it were a hog, a fish, or a rabbit, if you chopped a rabbit’s leg off piece by piece. So it’s a barbaric thing to do to the animal.”
However, eating live octopus is not uncommon in parts of the world. In South Korea, there are entire restaurants that center around eating the animal live.
In this video, diners laugh as a small octopus tries to get away:
In other videos like this, the animal is repeatedly dropped and slammed to the ground, causing even more suffering before he or she is ultimately eaten.
Octopuses are playful, resourceful, and inquisitive. Some species cuddle with each other, while others have been known to bond with humans. They use tools, are masterful escape artists, and can pass personality traits on to their offspring.
And like all animals, they don’t want to die.
What You Can Do
Plant-based foods can be found in supermarkets and on the menus of many chain restaurants. Since eating vegan is easier than ever, there’s simply no reason for any animals to end up on our plates, live or otherwise. Order your free vegan starter kit below, and check out our guide to eating vegan.