SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Some California restaurants are under fire from PETA over serving the marine delicacy — octopus — while it’s still alive and moving.

A video shot by a PETA member shows a chef cutting up a live octopus.

PETA wants to ban the consumption of live animals, but it’s a big draw for restaurants like Santa Clara’s Crab House where a traditional Korean dish featuring live octopus is served.

The assembly member in that district says it’s a cultural tradition and he doesn’t want to interfere.

Animal rights activists are petitioning California lawmakers to prohibit restaurants from serving live octopus, shrimp and other marine life.

PETA released the petition on Tuesday, along with a video of an octopus writhing as its limbs are severed by a chef at T Equals Fish, a Koreatown sushi restaurant in Los Angeles.

About a dozen restaurants in California and New York serve live octopus, according to PETA. Live octopus is most commonly used in a dish comprised of moving octopus tentacles, called “sannakji,” PETA said.

PETA says octopuses, which are considered among the most intelligent invertebrates, are capable of feeling pain just as a pig or rabbit would.

“Octopuses have sophisticated nervous systems that are rich with pain receptors, so they suffer immensely for a diner’s fleeting taste experience,” PETA vice president of cruelty investigations Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement. “PETA is calling for an end to this disgusting, uncivilized, grossly inhumane, and gruesome practice of hacking up and serving live, sensitive animals.”

T Equals Fish could not immediately be reached for comment.

Comments (34)
  1. Alabam Deb says:

    I have no respect for PETA because of a lot of their terrorist methods, but I have to agree with this one. No animal deserves to be hacked to pieces while still alive. Yes, I eat meat and yes, I know animals have to die for me to do this, but there are humane ways to kill animals for meat and this is most definitely not one.

    1. Wait … what? Throwing that word around carelessly – and calling an animal protection charity “terrorist” is careless, to say the least – is reckless and inflammatory. Words DO matter.

  2. Paula Renee says:

    PETA may be provocative, but they work only peacefully and legally to eliminate violence against all species, including animals. The real “terrorists” are people who think it’s OK to mutilate live animals for food.

  3. This is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe it’s still legal to eat animals alive. It’s like something out of a horror movie. California needs to ban this abomination as soon as possible. They banned shark fin soup and they can–and should–ban this.

  4. Kim Marie says:

    I am completely against live-animal dishes. They are barbaric, immoral, and encourage violence against animals. Simple as that.

  5. This is sick. Must we eat our way through the animal kingdom? It’s cruel enough to eat dead sea animals; eating live ones is even more barbaric. Octopus are smart, sentient beings. Let’s have compassion!

  6. Debbie Rowe says:

    DAMN!…This is Disturbing and Disgusting!! These beautiful creatures are living, feeling beings…I really hate that this ugly and hideous practice takes place in North America…it’s bad enough that it’s “normal” over in Asia…a lot of the Asian population have no respect for animals of any kind, they feel no remorse in torturing, killing and eating many animals, dead or alive, including cats and dogs. awful,,,,, I can’t imagine 🙁