PETA Octopus billboard

The Arrogance and Ignorance of ‘Extreme Eating’

Issue 3|Summer 2023

Revealed by PETA Exposés

People who dine on dishes that are considered “delicacies” – such as Wagyu beef, bulls’ testicles, or baby ducks’ tongues – may think they’re showing off their affluence or adventurousness. However, much like trophy hunters or bullfighters, what they’re really putting on display is their obliviousness of who animals are and their inability to empathize with the suffering their choices cause.

What’s Wrong With Wagyu

Wagyu beef is known as much for its high price as for its high fat content. But eyewitness footage released by PETA Asia reveals the true cost of this display of human gluttony for the sensitive beings who are killed for it.

Native to Japan, Wagyu cows are bright, curious, emotional animals. But those killed for Wagyu beef undergo a grueling feeding process that can last up to three years, causing them to grow so large that as much as 50% of their weight is fat – leading to joint and hoof damage, liver issues, and other painful conditions.

This terrified calf struggles under the weight of workers who sit on her while searing her sensitive horn tissue.

And then there’s the cruelty no one knew about until PETA Asia exposed it. Video recorded at Japan’s Ibaraki Prefectural Livestock Research Center – a publicly funded facility that raises cows for Wagyu beef and dairy and uses them as research subjects for these industries – shows workers plunging a smoking iron into a calf’s head to burn off horn tissue. The baby screams in pain, struggling, with her eyes bugging out of her head in fear, and loses control of her bowels while workers sit on her.

Workers whack mother cows on their sensitive udders with wooden rods to hurry them along, punch them in their sides, kick and slap their heads, and stomp on their legs and backs. Even when workers aren’t assaulting them, the cows have no relief. They are shown in waste-filled paddocks, with the sun beating down but no shade, in temperatures as high as 104°F/40°C.

Cows used for Wagyu beef languish under the sweltering sun, mired in their own waste.

Live Octopuses’ Arms Sliced Off for Sannakji

For this dish, live octopuses – who have pain receptors in every part of their body – are cut apart limb by limb. PETA’s investigation into restaurants serving it revealed diners laughing and poking at the animals as they tried to escape. But PETA’s billboards and protests outside the eateries showed that eating these brilliant animals – who use tools, learn complicated tasks by mere observation, and execute daring aquarium escapes – is shameful, not shareworthy. Bombarded with complaints, New York restaurant Sik Gaek pulled sannakji from its menu.

a peta billboard with an octopus on it that says im me not meat

Other atrocities PETA has exposed:

Kopi Luwak

Few people knew that civet cats are factory farmed for this coffee, another product of extreme misery, until PETA Asia exposed the cruelty. In Indonesia and the Philippines, these sensitive wild animals are confined to small, barren wire cages and forced to eat a physically damaging number of coffee cherries. Sometimes it’s all they are given to eat, causing them to lose their hair, suffer from malnutrition, and even starve to death. Coffee beans are picked out of the animals’ feces and sold. PETA entities’ global efforts have compelled numerous coffee shops to stop selling this bad brew.

Civet cats exploited for kopi luwak, including that sold by Volcanica Coffee and Bacha Coffee, are forced to eat a physically damaging number of coffee beans.

Foie Gras

Thanks to PETA entities’ investigative footage and exposés of ducks and geese being force-fed until their livers were swollen and diseased, faux gras is replacing this “torture in a tin.” Fifteen countries and California now ban the production of foie gras; it’s illegal to import or sell it in India; King Charles and the Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander banished it from royal menus; and numerous stores, restaurants, food service companies, and airlines – as well as Walt Disney World – have banned it, too.

The feathers of ducks caged for foie gras are left caked with food from multiple force-feedings.

Be Part of It!

When you see cruelly produced items on a menu, complain! PETA entities often hear from supporters who have had dishes pulled by e-mailing restaurants, sharing investigative videos, and making their wishes known.

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