They’re not poisonous, and their meat has been used in different kinds of dishes all over the world. The discussion has less to do with their edibility and more with their brains. The question on our minds is whether or not it is ethical to eat these eight-legged cephalopods. This is because they are known to be highly-intelligent sea animals, and just like us, have wildly varying personalities from individual to individual.
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According to marine biologist Dr. David Scheel, not really. The Alaska Pacific University has been studying these animals for over two decades, and if there is someone who knows these cephalopods well, it’s him.
Dr. Scheel finds them more interesting alive than being a delicacy. However, he prefers it if people eat octopuses not because they are an exotic or weird treat they’ve never had before. It’s not their uniqueness that should make eating them questionable, but what kind of relationship people had with these animals before they chose them to be for their next meal.
“So the biggest concern for me is the kinds of things that we do to the animals that we raise for food,” he tells Salon in an interview. “If you’re getting your food out of the wild, that’s the beginning of the interaction in a way, right? Whereas if you’re getting your food from farmers who raised them, then the interaction has been going on since that animal was born.”
Read more about his interview with Salon here.
Image credit: Pia B