Eating live seafood
The practice of eating live seafood, such as fish, crab, oysters, young shrimp, or young octopus, is widespread.
Live seafood dishes
|China||Drunken shrimp||Drunken shrimp is a popular dish in parts of China. It is based on fresh-water shrimp that are placed in a strong liquor, baijiu, and then eaten, often while they are alive. Modified recipes are used in different parts of China. For example, the drunken shrimp can be cooked in boiling water instead of serving them while they are still live. In other recipes, the shrimp are boiled first and then marinated in alcohol.||on YouTube|
|Yin Yang fish||Yin Yang fish, or dead-and-alive fish, originated in Taiwan. It is a dish which consists of a deep-fried whole fish (usually carp) that remains alive after cooking. The fish's body is cooked while its head is wrapped in a wet cloth to keep it breathing. The fish is then covered in sauce and served live on a plate. Some chefs say they prepare the fish this way to demonstrate its freshness to the customer. Preparation of this dish is now prohibited in Taiwan and illegal in Australia and Germany. However, the practice continues in mainland China.||Eating A Deep Fried Fish That's Still Alive – Huffington Post|
|Japan||Ikizukuri||Ikizukuri, lit. "prepared alive", is the preparation of sashimi made from live seafood. Fish is usually used, but sometimes octopus, shrimp and lobster are used instead. The practice is controversial, and ikizukuri is outlawed in Australia and Germany.||on YouTube|
|Odori ebi||Odori ebi, lit. "dancing shrimp", is a sashimi delicacy in Japan. It includes live baby pink shrimp, usually dunked in sake, wriggling their legs and waving their antenna as they are eaten. The meal is prepared rapidly and quickly served to ensure the shrimp are still alive. Dancing shrimp are also eaten in Thailand, where they are known as Goong Ten, กุ้งเต้น.||on YouTube|
|Korea||Sannakji||Sannakji is a type of hoe, or raw dish, in Korea. It consists of live baby octopuses (nakji), either whole, or cut into small pieces and immediately served, usually with a light sesame oil seasoning. The dish is eaten while still squirming on the plate.||on YouTube|
|Widespread||Live oyster||Oysters are often eaten live.|
|Live lobster||Restaurants in New York City serve live lobster, advertising that they allow customers the opportunity to “pick belly sashimi out of its still moving body”.||on YouTube|
Live octopuses are eaten in several countries around the world, including the US. Animal welfare groups have objected to this practice on the basis that octopuses can experience pain. In support of this, since September 2010, octopuses being used for scientific purposes in the EU are protected by EU Directive 2010/63/EU "as there is scientific evidence of their ability to experience pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm." In the UK, this means that octopuses used for scientific purposes must be killed humanely, according to prescribed methods (known as "Schedule 1 methods of euthanasia").
London resident Louis Cole runs a YouTube channel in which he eats live seafood. The Guardian commented on the ethical issues raised by the behaviour of Cole that: "It seems objectively less cruel to kill a scorpion instantly than to rear chickens in battery cages or pigs in the most miserable pork farms.
The view that oysters are acceptable to eat, even by strict ethical criteria, has notably been propounded in the seminal 1975 text Animal Liberation, by philosopher Peter Singer. However, subsequent editions have reversed this position (advocating against eating oysters). Singer has stated that he has "gone back and forth on this over the years", and as of 2010 states that "while you could give them the benefit of the doubt, you could also say that unless some new evidence of a capacity for pain emerges, the doubt is so slight that there is no good reason for avoiding eating sustainably produced oysters".
Infection by the fish tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum is seen in countries where people eat raw or undercooked fish, such as some countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, and North and South America.
- Eating live animals
- Eating raw fish
- Ethics of eating meat
- Monkey brains (cuisine)
- Odorigui, Japanese term for consumption of live seafood while it is still moving
- Pain in crustaceans
- Pain in fish
- Pain in invertebrates
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