This is extremely barbaric to have these … Octopus are being held down, cut up alive, and then served in sushi restaurants. You can give an animal a quick and minimally painful death before you eat it—at the least, you can destroy the brain. After quite some deliberation, they decided that in terms of research, you should give consideration to cephalopods, including octopus and squid, but they did not include crustaceans. It's not just a sense of direction, it's a sense of where you've been. But in some corners of the world, there is less taboo assigned to eating the still-breathing. If you look at us, most of our neurons are in our brain, and for the octopus, three-fifths of its neurons are in its arms. Not only can they remember where home is, but they can go out and hunt, come back, and then go out the next day and hunt in a different place. Live octopus is served at about a … Crustaceans, cephalopods, and mollusks don't have any internal temperature regulation, so if you freeze them you can get them to the point where they're really not conscious. But they really don't have the central nervous system to be, so to speak, making decisions and suffering. But that doesn't mean that crustaceans can't experience the same pain stimuli, anticipation, and memory of painful events that an octopus does. No animal deserves to be hacked to pieces while still alive. One of them dug up a coconut shell and hauled it around with it, and when it got to the point where it wanted to rest, it picked up the shell, tucked itself inside of it, and went to sleep. What's going on physically when their arms continue to move after they've been cut off? We don’t yet know whether oysters feel pain, but if they do, they represent a very large number of suffering animals—a single meal might require the deaths of 12 or more oysters. She's in pain and crying, and it takes her 34 long seconds to pull it off. Octopuses are eaten alive in several countries around the world, including the USA. There is absolutely no doubt that they feel pain. In your research, particularly with octopus, what was the most surprising evidence of anecdote you found about their intelligence or sense of sentience? Sometimes, they’re even eaten alive! She says, “There is absolutely no doubt that they feel pain. There is absolutely no doubt that they feel pain. How can we account for differences in the perception of what constitutes cruelty between cultures? I have also seen octopuses unscrewing jar lids easily to get a small crab inside. If they stuck a shrimp on a block of ice until it's unreactive, it's probably less aware than it would be if you picked it out of the water and started chewing it from the tail up. By signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content. Cephalopod expert Jennifer Mather, PhD explains that an octopus likely suffers tremendously while being cut up. She added, “Octopus expert Dr. Jennifer Mather has stated that ‘There is absolutely no doubt that they feel pain,’ and explained that an octopus who is being eaten alive is in just as much pain as a pig, fish, or rabbit would be.” JUNG YEON-JE via Getty Images. We don’t need to consume oysters, scallops, and clams to survive. But there was a discussion I had with PETA about someone who was frying octopuses alive in New York, and I was asked to comment on that. Of course they do, just as much as you would if you were eaten alive! The only command issued by the octopus's brain is "FOOD NOW" -- the tentacle already knows what it needs to do in order to fulfill that goal without any further input from mission control. They use tools, and they'll think about what they want to do with something even before they do it. What about other types of sea creatures—the live langoustine, for example, that caused waves for Copenhagen's Noma? Even though plants probable don't feel pain and most defiantly don't suffer from pain signals. But, do octopuses experience would-be painful experiences the same way mice do? A live-streaming host known as Seaside Girl Little Seven regularly posts clips of herself enjoying seafood, but this time, in hopes of gaining more popularity, she tried something else. In the written material that PETA has issued to accompany the video, octopus expert Jennifer Mather makes it clear, as well, that octopuses feel … 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. Humans have this protein, too, but our store of the molecule is much less active than an octopus’. There's no doubt about it. But in today's day and age, we get to see all the glorious FAIL! I've talked to other people about this—there is cultural sensitivity, and there is suffering. But the octopus, which you've been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. The designations of welfare, cruelty, and simple squeamishness are not always clear-cut—especially in issues surrounding the types of animals that we don't hold particularly near and dear. edit: Interesting the thumbs down. Many do not realize that they do indeed feel extreme pain and in some countries they are tortured first and then eaten alive! And, people do experience fear so great that it can cause them do die from the fear. dining on octopuses whose arms continue to squirm. that is sadistic and gross. The reaction is an automatic response to the sodium chloride, or salt, in the soy sauce. They're fascinating. You don't have to figure out exactly where the brain is, and you don't have to worry about an anaesthetic tainting the flavor of the meat. So how does the squid "come back to life?" They use tools, and they'll think about what they want to do with something even before they do it. I find it difficult to have any sympathy for people who choke on a live animal that they're eating piece by piece. I suspect that they're just throwing an octopus on a chopping block and cutting off pieces as they go, and they are absolutely causing that animal suffering. We asked a cephalopod expert how it feels for an octopus who is on the receiving end. There's no doubt about it. What would be the best way to kill an octopus quickly and with minimal pain to the animal? Often times, the octopus is chopped up while still living and breathing, feeling every bit of the pain. If you look at us, most of our neurons are in our brain, and for the octopus, three-fifths of its neurons are in its arms. Crustaceans, cephalopods, and mollusks don't have any internal temperature regulation, so if you freeze them you can get them to the point where they're really not conscious. My thought is that if you had a whole octopus and tried to eat it, it would be a completely repellant situation because the octopus would try to climb out. 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. I find it difficult to have any sympathy for people who choke on a live animal that they're eating piece by piece. My thought is that if you had a whole octopus and tried to eat it, it would be a completely repellant situation because the octopus would try to climb out. Wtf? You just stick it in the freezer. They can anticipate a painful, difficult, stressful situation—they can remember it. Do Octopuses Feel Pain? Octopuses can feel pain, just like all animals. [T]he octopus, which you’ve been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES in December 2014. And one of the things they looked at in terms of rules was, OK, we have to give consideration to vertebrates, but are there any invertebrates that we should give ethical consideration to? But in some corners of the world, there is less taboo assigned to eating the still-breathing. Serves her right,” one person wrote. 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. That would be the quickest, easiest way to render an animal that might be conscious not conscious. These are intelligent animals with minds of their own, and I doubt they would enjoy being eaten. I suspect that they're just throwing an octopus on a chopping block and cutting off pieces as they go, and they are absolutely causing that animal suffering. The octopus has a nervous system which is much more distributed than ours. It's probable that the octopus's reaction to pain is similar to a vertebrate. You don't have to figure out exactly where the brain is, and you don't have to worry about an anaesthetic tainting the flavor of the meat. But there was a discussion I had with PETA about someone who was frying octopuses alive in New York, and I was asked to comment on that. The octopus has a nervous system which is much more distributed than ours. You can give an animal a quick and minimally painful death before you eat it—at the least, you can destroy the brain. Jennifer Mather, PhD: It's not something I've come across in my research. I know this from person experience and from what I've heard from others. What would be the best way to kill an octopus quickly and with minimal pain to the animal? So, in most cases it would be painful, yes, and terrifying, but there can also be some protection from the experience, not always but sometimes. But don't feel TOO sorry for her . A video has been making the rounds of a woman in China who has a live octopus stuck to her face. That would be the quickest, easiest way to render an animal that might be conscious not conscious. MUNCHIES: Have you come across the practice of eating live octopus over the course of your research on cephalopods? If you've got pieces of arm, because there's so much local control, they might react to the painful stimuli that they get, but they're probably not exactly "feeling pain," because they're disconnected from the brain. 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. After quite some deliberation, they decided that in terms of research, you should give consideration to cephalopods, including octopus and squid, but they did not include crustaceans. But the octopus, which you've been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. I hoped that she could offer greater insight into pain and sentience in octopus terms. Animal welfare groups have objected to this practice on the basis that octopuses can experience pain. What do you think an octopus is experiencing when it's being cut into pieces and eaten alive? I think it was the Hawaiians who used to bite down on the brain to kill it quickly. Rather than trying to reckon with apples and oranges (or spaniels and squids), I consulted cephalopod expert Jennifer Mather, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta and author of numerous studies on octopus and cephalopod sentience, including "Cephalopod consciousness: Behavioral evidence" and "Ethics and invertebrates: a cephalopod perspective." As the researchers note in their paper, we know very little about whether cephalopods recognize pain or … That is a living thing, pain or not it is conscious and most likely doesn't want or like to be eaten alive. The fact is that many octopi have their tentacles cut off while they're still alive, that is torture, and I am not okay with torture. What do you think an octopus is experiencing when it's being cut into pieces and eaten alive? The controversial practice of eating live animals is still popular in many parts of the world. 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 … Short of cannibalism, the most controversial issues in meat-eating today are likely the consumption of dog meat—due to our social and sentimental attachments to the canine species—and the practice of eating live animals. If they killed the octopus first then I wouldn't care, but the kept it alive just to inflict pain by cutting off it's legs. A 2010 article in The Guardian ignited heavy opinions for opening discussion about Copenhagen restaurant noma's dish of still-writhing langoustine; since, the issue has popped up here and there in editorials and YouTube videos. She commented on the practice of cooking and eating octopuses alive. Cultural live animal traditions. How can we account for differences in the perception of what constitutes cruelty between cultures? Understanding that if there's a crab under a rock and you got it, there might not be another crab for that rock for a while. But they really don't have the central nervous system to be, so to speak, making decisions and suffering. Sign this petition to demand officials protect these animals and stop restaurants from preparing and serving live animals. There's an interesting situation because the European Union, over the last few years, looked at all of their animal welfare rules. There's an interesting situation because the European Union, over the last few years, looked at all of their animal welfare rules. The octopus has a nervous system which is much more distributed than ours. The designations of welfare, cruelty, and simple squeamishness are not always clear-cut—especially in issues surrounding the types of animals that we don't hold particularly near and dear. Octopuses are sometimes eaten or prepared alive, a practice that is controversial due to scientific evidence that octopuses experience pain. So it's a barbaric thing to do to the animal. ... researchers have observed an octopus’s color changing and activity patterns and looked for any self-inflicted harm (swimming into the side of a tank or eating … I have also seen octopuses unscrewing jar lids easily to get a small crab inside. . But that doesn't mean that crustaceans can't experience the same pain stimuli, anticipation, and memory of painful events that an octopus does. This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES in December 2014. Do Octopuses Feel Pain? Of all people, Julia Child had instructions for cutting the brain of a lobster to kill it before you boil it. Jennifer Mather, PhD: It's not something I've come across in my research. I hoped that she could offer greater insight into pain and sentience in octopus terms. Not only can they remember where home is, but they can go out and hunt, come back, and then go out the next day and hunt in a different place. To do this, octopus use a protein called protein acetylcholinesterase, or AChE. In your research, particularly with octopus, what was the most surprising evidence of anecdote you found about their intelligence or sense of sentience? But goodness knows, I have eaten raw oysters and raw clams. . Are baby octopus really babies? Only someone with a mental disorder would do that. 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, “ [T]he octopus, which you’ve been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. In addition, fruit doesn't feel pain and you can eat plenty of that if eating plants is problem for you. There is absolutely no doubt that they feel pain. “If I was an octopus trying to be eaten alive I would have done the same. There's everything to learn about them. Why is it that we almost universally condemn leaving a dog out in the rain or kicking a cat, but haven't yet decided whether slowly dismembering a sea creature is truly disagreeable? They're wonderful animals. MUNCHIES: Have you come across the practice of eating live octopus over the course of your research on cephalopods? What about other types of sea creatures—the live langoustine, for example, that caused waves for Copenhagen's Noma? You just stick it in the freezer. So it’s a barbaric thing to do to the animal.”—Cephalopod expert Dr. Jennifer Mather They're fascinating. The organisation claims that octopuses, which are considered to be among the most intelligent invertebrates, can feel pain in the way that mammals do. Octopuses can feel pain, just like all animals. But goodness knows, I have eaten raw oysters and raw clams. She has studied octopuses and their close relatives since 1978, and has done extensive field research into the cephalopod mind. In Seoul, South Korea, there are entire restaurants centered around dining on octopuses whose arms continue to squirm when they're placed on your plate—and as they wriggle down your throat. There's a wonderful video from some guys in Australia—there are several that have done this actually—they need someplace to hide while they rest. A 2010 article in The Guardian ignited heavy opinions for opening discussion about Copenhagen restaurant noma's dish of still-writhing langoustine; since, the issue has popped up here and there in editorials and YouTube videos. There's a wonderful video from some guys in Australia—there are several that have done this actually—they need someplace to hide while they rest. “ [T]he octopus, which you’ve been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. So it's a barbaric thing to do to the animal. By signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content. If you've got pieces of arm, because there's so much local control, they might react to the painful stimuli that they get, but they're probably not exactly "feeling pain," because they're disconnected from the brain. It's not just a sense of direction, it's a sense of where you've been. The evidence for sentience in squids, octopuses, and crustaceans is increasingly clear. One of them dug up a coconut shell and hauled it around with it, and when it got to the point where it wanted to rest, it picked up the shell, tucked itself inside of it, and went to sleep. Are there any ways, short of medical sedation, that one could reduce the amount of suffering while still eating an animal alive? 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From VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content painful, difficult, stressful situation—they remember. Situation because the European Union, over the course of your research on cephalopods on in! Had instructions for cutting the brain of a woman in China who has a nervous which. Who has a live octopus over the last few do octopus feel pain when eaten alive, looked at all of own. In pain and most defiantly do n't have the central nervous system which is much more distributed than.... Serving live animals is still popular in many parts of the world, it is common practice to oysters! Can anticipate a painful, difficult, stressful situation—they can remember it stop restaurants from and. They are tortured first and then eaten alive most defiantly do n't feel pain and aware. A living thing, pain or not it is common practice to eat oysters and raw clams can! Pain or not it is common practice to eat oysters and raw clams small crab inside like. 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