By Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Showing cruelty of gastronomical proportions, restaurants in Manhattan (Sushi Uo) and Queens (Sik Gaek and East Seafood Restaurant) are chopping up and serving live octopuses to customers. Octopuses have their tentacles cut off while they are still conscious and are then served, writhing, while their hearts are still beating. Others are slowly steamed alive in front of customers before their tentacles and upper bodies are cut into small pieces with scissors.
Since we can't "release the Kraken" on these animal abusers, we're unleashing our legal team on the district attorneys of each jurisdiction—calling on the DAs to file cruelty charges against the restaurants. Because octopuses have sophisticated nervous systems and feel pain just as acutely as mammals do, we feel that the restaurants' practices clearly violate the state's anti-cruelty statute.
Recently, octopuses were observed carrying around coconut shells to use as shelter—making these complex cephalopods the first known invertebrate animals to use tools. These "deep" thinkers are also fond of decorating. They decorate their dens with bottle caps, stones, and other objects that they find on the ocean floor. They are so smart that they can also learn how to do things such as unscrew jars by watching someone else do it—once!
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Let's hope that the district attorneys in this case are just as smart and sentient. You can call or fax the New York County District Attorney's Office for Manhattan and the Queens County District Attorney's Office and politely ask that they take action against these restaurateurs. We'll keep you posted. Until then, take this octopus-inspired poll.