An American animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is petitioning to take live octopus off the menu at restaurants in California and New York.
On November 15, PETA released a video that shows restaurants serving live seafood dishes, namely sannakji and sashimi of live prawns and lobsters.
Along with the released video, PETA shared their experience at a seafood restaurant in Los Angeles Koreatown: “PETA’s 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 moving and reacting to stimuli, were served, squirming, to diners.”
Quoting cephalopod expert Dr Jennifer Mather, PETA writes that chopped octopuses feel the pain “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.”
PETA points out that animals slaughtered for eating are not covered in the Cruelty to Animals statue and that live seafood, such as sannakji and sashimi, are allowed to be kept and served at restaurants, calling on lawmakers to introduce legislation that prohibits animals from being mutilated, prepared, and served alive.
While others support PETA, some people say that banning culinary culture of other countries is ridiculous, arguing that oyster bars should be out of businesses as well under such legislation.
Original article by Jin Sung-chul
Translated and edited by Heewon Kim