Fresh foods are the epitome of fine dining. After all, the flavor is locked in the freshness of the meat. That’s the quality sought by many chefs for their specialties. But sometimes, just for the sake of this fresh flavor, some would go to the extreme and eat one while alive. Yes, eat an animal alive. There’s a lot of debate raging about it, and there’s no sign that it’s stopping.
Anyway, here’s the list of some animals that are eaten alive and the reactions of certain groups:
Live fish ” in Japan, the practice of ikizukuri, or the filleting a fish while alive is somewhat controversial. Although the reason for this is for the sake of freshness and preservation of flavor, it has not stopped animal rights groups from decrying it. In some countries, this practice is banned. In Japan itself, there are some sectors of society who find it deplorable.
Baby octopus ” In Korea, this is considered as a popular delicacy. I don’t know if they are aware that octopuses have poison, but it seems that Koreans are pretty much relishing it. But it’s somewhat ghastly for the uninitiated, since the baby octopus is sliced while they’re still alive and moving. You could already hear the screams of PETA in the air now.
Shrimp ” yes, they are also eaten alive. Two-inch shrimps are chilled and served fresh for customers. They say shrimps taste better this way, but I’m not so sure. Just looking at the shrimps as the struggle is a sorry sight to see. It reminds me of a Filipino preparation of prawn. They dump live prawns in a pot, pour a bottle of gin or beer, and then bring it to boil. You could actually see the prawns turning red while alive.
Langoustine ” the two guys involved in the consumption of live langoustines were lucky. Seems like in exchange for eating such a delicacy in this manner sparked a manhunt against them. Good thing it all turned out well in the end.
Oysters ” well, this one is the usual delicacy, really. I had some in a party before. It would be fine, except that the oysters keep on wriggling as I scooped them out. Thinking about it, it really does feel weird.
Sea urchin ” fresh is best, and when it comes to see urchins, it means they have to be alive. Sometime, I just feel sorry for them. I haven’t really gotten around to eating them. I suppose PETA and other aquatic groups are clamoring to keep them from being harvested now.
Lobster ” okay, this one is really strange. Lobsters are eaten alive? No wonder there are some groups frothing in the mouth by now. Lobsters may be crustaceans, but don’t they somehow sense pain? I just can’t imagine just what they were doing to them.
Frogs ” yes, frogs are also part of the menu. Frog hearts are served with the frog still alive and the heart still beating. Seriously, that makes me sick. What’s the point of proving your manhood by savoring on something you usually find in a research project?
The root of the issue here is whether animals can feel pain. If this thinking is found to be true, then this would radically change the way we think of preparing our food. If indeed animals think just like us, then it would create an ethical dilemma for everyone involved in the preparation of these for food.
Frankly, this is an issue that I think will not be resolved in the near future. There are still so many questions that need to be answered. As for me, I’ll just stick to barbecue and skip the sushi. At least I’m sure where the meat came from.