Animals

Octopus – Don’t beat it, don’t eat it!

OctopusThere’s been quite the furor recently after a diver was seen last year punching an 80 pound Giant Pacific Octopus at Alki Cove 2 he caught in order to subdue it. He said he wanted to capture it and take it home, “to draw it for this art project, and eat it for meat.” Outrage followed and has continued for the past year.

Part of his response is in essence that the octopus was sort of free range, and that a factory farmed octopus would suffer more, saying “He suffered, of course, at the end but not nearly to the extent of factory farming.” This reminds us of the dodge often employed by some consumers of more traditionally eaten free-range meats: “there’s worse.” While there may or may not be worse, there’s definitely better, much better. Don’t eat meat or fish all!

The diver goes on to say, “I feel kind of bad every time I kill an animal… That being said, I get over it. It’s life. You know, we’re predators, we eat meat. There’s nothing that’s going to really stop that or change that.” Not surprisingly, we strongly disagree! See our post on the natural diet for our anatomy and physiology to see why.

Don’t let the unusual shape of the octopus fool you. They have a brain and a complex nervous system, and they are both intelligent and sensitive. Octopuses have earned “honorary vertebrate” status in the European Union, where they are legally protected against “pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm.” British laws even give special protection to octopuses. So, yes, they are capable of suffering.

Now that you know why one shouldn’t beat it, here’s why you shouldn’t eat it either. Almost 25% of its fat is saturated, a serving contains 82mg of cholesterol and 391 mg of sodium, and of course it has no fiber. The local waters do contain some pollutants which seafood is known to bio-concentrate in their flesh.

There are much healthier choices. If you still want seafood why not try Sophie’s vegan seafood? It’s both much healthier and way more compassionate. Try ‘em at Vegfest!

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About Vegetarians of Washington

Vegetarians of Washington is a large non-profit vegetarian society based in Seattle, WA. We encourage people to discover the advantages and experience the pleasures of vegetarian food. We welcome everyone, whether you're an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. You don't have to be a vegetarian to join our organization, or to follow our blog! We run the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Seattle's Vegfest, held in the Seattle Center in March each year. We also host monthly dining events and give free nutrition and cooking classes. We've written several nationally published books, including our latest book "In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-based shopping guide", which provides valuable information on what to buy and how to choose great food. Our other books include "Say No to Meat" which gives the information and real-world advice that new vegetarians need the most, in an easy question-and-answer style, the fact-filled "The Vegetarian Solution", and a wide range of delicious recipes in "The Veg-Feasting Cookbook". All our books are available in local bookstores, and via our website or Amazon.com.

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