Ethics of Eating

PETA Will Protest ‘Live Octopus’ Tonight (Plus: ‘Save Foie Gras!’)

Will Sushi Uo be next?
Will Sushi Uo be next? Photo: Jenny Miller

Having already penned a letter to district attorneys complaining about the practice of serving “live” octopus, PETA has announced a protest outside of Flushing’s East Seafood Restaurant tonight at 6 p.m. An e-mail sent to Grub Street earlier today indicated that Sik Gaek would also be targeted, but an update on PETA’s web page indicates that those plans may have been abandoned (and there’s no mention of another target, Sushi Uo). Ponder PETA’s specific complaints in the release below.

Carrying signs reading, “Octopus Dismembered Alive” and “Animals Steamed Alive,” PETA supporters will demonstrate outside two New York restaurants, alerting dinnertime visitors to the restaurants’ practice of serving octopuses to patrons while the animals are still alive and even cutting off the animals’ tentacles at the table.
At East Seafood Restaurant and other restaurants Queens, some octopuses’ tentacles and upper bodies are cut into small pieces with scissors while the animals’ hearts are still beating. The animals writhe in pain on a plate before slowly dying in front of diners. At Sik Gaek in Flushing, the animals are snipped to bits or are slowly steamed alive in front of customers. Cephalopods have sophisticated nervous systems that are rich with pain receptors—they are able to experience pain just as other animals do.

“Octopuses feel pain when they are cut up while they’re still alive—and the law prohibits this kind of cruelty. But until the restaurant is charged with a crime, it is up to patrons to vote with their feet,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “We are asking customers to stay away from restaurants that serve live octopuses, and we are appealing to the management of these restaurants to stop this cruelty.”

Speaking of animal cruelty, Alex Renton, in the Times of London, discusses Roger Moore and Kate Winslet’s crusade against foie gras and reveals he’s started a Facebook group, “Save foie gras - make make paté out of Roger Moore and Kate Winslet.” His motto: “Liver and let die!”

PETA Will Protest ‘Live Octopus’ Tonight (Plus: ‘Save Foie