Serving live animals, particularly sea animals, is practiced in a dozen Asian-inspired restaurants in Los Angeles and New York City. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a video on YouTube last week to expose the practice and urge restaurants to take the options off of menus.
In the video, a kitchen staff member is seen explaining how an octopus is prepared for sannakji — a Korean dish of writhing octopus legs. The octopus is then kept alive to fulfill other orders with the remaining tentacles.
"Octopuses have sophisticated nervous systems that are rich with pain receptors, so they suffer immensely for a diner's fleeting taste experience," Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA senior vice president of cruelty investigations, said in a press release.
PETA activists went to multiple restaurants in Los Angeles this fall to document the serving of live animals, including moving octopus tentacles, lobster, and shrimp, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The animal activist group hopes to shed light on the practice and asks people to join the call for a ban on mutilating and serving live animals in restaurants.