octos at salwaterfish.com

Fini

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I'm sure that a proper census of cephalopods is quite difficult. I was just reading an article about the Humboldt Squid population along the Pacific Ocean in the west and they estimate huge numbers exist, even though no one ever sees them. While I doubt the same holds true for octopus, we can only hope that there are populations that remain unfound or protected.

While I really love sushi, I think the Japanese really go to extremes with the whole fresh (living) fish thing. I've heard tale of many a creature being carved up alive and in some cases, just carved on, and then thrown back into the water until the next serving! I recently watched a video on Google or a like place of some guy eating what appeared to be the freshly cut tentacles of an octopus. They were writhing around on the plate like a bunch angry worms. That made me ill.:yuck:

Let's hope that more efforts are made to educate the public about cephalopod and their unique intelligence.
 
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Fini said:
I'm sure that a proper census of cephalopods is quite difficult. I was just reading an article about the Humboldt Squid population along the Pacific Ocean in the west and they estimate huge numbers exist, even though no one ever sees them. While I doubt the same holds true for octopus, we can only hope that there are populations that remain unfound or protected.

While I really love sushi, I think the Japanese really go to extremes with the whole fresh (living) fish thing. I've heard tale of many a creature being carved up alive and in some cases, just carved on, and then thrown back into the water until the next serving! I recently watched a video on Google or a like place of some guy eating what appeared to be the freshly cut tentacles of an octopus. They were writhing around on the plate like a bunch angry worms. That made me ill.:yuck:

Let's hope that more efforts are made to educate the public about cephalopod and their unique intelligence.

You've only seen 1 video? Just incase up ahead...your gonna see more. I found over 20 videos on "YouTube" which has been a super popular site now according to the news and they have various videos of octopus being eaten alive. They film it in a tank in Korea, and then cutting them up. The worst one I saw was this korean women in her house with a "skinned" octopus in her hand whole...and still alive. Skinned meaning the chromatophore layer of skin wasnt on and just the white flesh underneath was present. She took it and just left it in a garbage bag.
 

Tako_Poke

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Dear god! Americans too now? Im so disgusted. Dont animal cruelty laws apply to fish to? It seems that with each passing day people become more and more inhuman and cruel. Especially those in Asia, who video tape heinous acts of violence such as a woman on high heels killing a puppy or kitten by stepping on it in high heels. Where is the justice?!?
 

monty

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animal cruelty hypocrisy

The other day, I was in a Whole Foods market, where they carry squids and several octopus salads and such. Because I was curious if the squid were locally caught (e.g. L. Opalscens) or Atlantic squids shipped frozen or something, I asked some random hippy-girl employee if she knew anything about them. She said that she didn't know, but she was sure they were "humanely caught" because they have now stopped carrying live lobsters because it's cruel (probably this is related to PETA's push for not boiling lobsters). I mentioned that I thought it was rather dubious to question boiling an animal known to have a pretty simplistic nervous system, yet chopping up an animal that's about as smart as a cat and putting it in a salad.

I'm not really all that picky about killing animals and eating them, and I'm even a bit dubious about "how much they suffer as they die" arguments, since I actually think it's worse to subject animals to long-term suffering than it is to subject them to quick-and-painful death, although I'd prefer to aim for "quick and painless."

Googling for information about lobster nervous systems, there appears to be a lot of posturing and very little actual data on the web (or maybe it's just that the "top" results are only PETA propoganda, lobster fishing industry propoganda, and very specific scientific papers that don't say much about "awareness of pain" or whatever.) I knew some people who worked on lobster stomatogastric ganglia as simple CPG (central pattern generator) models, and they seemed pretty convinced that lobsters were really, really dumb, and I don't think they had any compunctions about boiling and eating them. I know stomatopods (and maybe arguably bees) show that some arthropods have a fair bit of intelligence, but I don't see much evidence that lobsters deserve better treatment than cephs.

I'm not really intending to take a position on killing animals for food, mostly pointing out that it's a stupid argument that it somehow is less ethical to boil a lobster or crab than it is to kill fish and cephs by pulling them out of the water and asphyxiating them, and I suspect that cephs and fish, since if nothing else they've been shown to be able to learn, have an experiential rather than merely reacationary interpretation of the world.

I have some friends who think it builds character to raise their own rabbits and kill them for food, since buying a steak at the supermarket insulates people from the reality of where the food comes from. Personally, I find that I'm aware enough without that, but they make a good point... if you're going to live by eating the flesh of other animals, it's a little weird to be squeemish about it. The octopus is dead whether it was caught on a fishing boat, chopped up, and thrown into a salad, or it was impaled on a chopstick and stuffed into your mouth, right? And it's not as if cephalopods show much mercy to their lunch... Although cephalotoxin probably makes any awareness that crustaceans have go away pretty much immediately. On the other hand, a blue-ring eating a fish would probably cause paralysis without impacting awareness as in humans, since the TTX doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier into the CNS (I don't think crustaceans have a blood-brain barrier, so this wouldn't apply to them)

I guess the essential issue for me is that I think that animals that are demonstrably self-aware should not be made to suffer if it's avoidable, so I have little problem with eating live oysters or plants, which I consider to be pretty much certainly unaware, but I think cows and octopuses and chickens should be given some quality of life and quick-and-painless death. Lobsters are in a grey area, as far as I'm concerned-- I'm curious if Neogonodactylus thinks lobsters deserve the same treatment based on his stomatopod research?

In fact, I'm curious if stomatopods have a central brain, or just a bunch of distributed ganglia like a lot of inverts. I was under the impression that most arthropods have no brain per se at all, and just have a bunch of ganglia that do local computation. Whether this means they don't deserve to be considered "aware of suffering" or not is an open question, though...

I suspect that many of the people who worry about how much a lobster suffers in boiling water aren't too concerned about stepping on cockroaches, swatting flies, killing spiders, and whatnot, so a lot of this argument seems pretty questionable...
 

Tako_Poke

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Wow. You sure do your research. As much as I hate peta for being lying manipulative scum sucking propoganda machines (even though I used to be a vegetarian and a member) maybe we should consider mailing them a plee for help on the whole octopus cruelty thing. After all they are pretty much the driving force in animal rights activism. If they can get people thinking about the ethics of boiling a lobster im sure they can do it for eating an octo alive.
 

DHyslop

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Monty, you make good points. This is a good discussion, though it might be heading in an off-topic direction.

I remember hearing an author interviewed on NPR talking about Whole Foods and their "stories." You walk into the store, and every isle and sign tells you the story of the happy free range chicken who lived a long healthy life on his own terms in a free environment where he could roam and explore as he pleased. He started visiting the suppliers and found the free-range chickens didn't live in any better conditions than conventional chickens, with respect to cleanliness or population density. But the story is so good, everyone buys into it and is ready to drop twice as much cash as the would at the regular supermarket.

I'm a vegetarian so it isn't really an issue for me. I'm not one for moral reasons, but rather just because I'm picky :smile:

Dan
 

monty

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DHyslop said:
Monty, you make good points. This is a good discussion, though it might be heading in an off-topic direction.

Yeah, I thought about moving that post to the off-topic supporters or somewhere more appropriate than "marketplace," but I couldn't think of where to put it... (and I don't think Roy's a supporter, so I wanted to not miss my chance at learning more about stomatopods...)
 

Nancy

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I wanted to make a point about what the girl at Whole Foods told Monty about the lobsters.

The other day, I was in a Whole Foods market, where they carry squids and several octopus salads and such. Because I was curious if the squid were locally caught (e.g. L. Opalscens) or Atlantic squids shipped frozen or something, I asked some random hippy-girl employee if she knew anything about them. She said that she didn't know, but she was sure they were "humanely caught" because they have now stopped carrying live lobsters because it's cruel (probably this is related to PETA's push for not boiling lobsters).

This employee was way off - the reason Whole Foods stopped carrying live lobsters was because they felt they couldn't care for them properly. It had nothing to do with PETA or boiling lobsters.

Nancy
 

monty

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Nancy said:
I wanted to make a point about what the girl at Whole Foods told Monty about the lobsters.

This employee was way off - the reason Whole Foods stopped carrying live lobsters was because they felt they couldn't care for them properly. It had nothing to do with PETA or boiling lobsters.

Nancy

Thanks for clarifying; that makes more sense, at least...

I suppose I should also mention that Whole Foods does some things which I find pretty appealing: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/06/whole_foods_mak.php

(no, I don't normally frequent "treehugger.com")
 

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