To Eat, or Not to Eat

SAVEUR - - Eat The World -

PETER GOD­FREY-SMITH, philoso­pher of science and au­thor of Other Minds: The Oc­to­pus, the Sea, and the Deep Ori­gins of Con­scious­ness Q: Af­ter spend­ing so much time ob­serv­ing oc­to­puses and cut­tle­fish, was your ap­petite for the crea­tures de­terred? A: I don’t eat oc­to­puses any­more. I stopped at some stage dur­ing the writ­ing of Other Minds. I re­gard this as a some­what sen­ti­men­tal de­ci­sion, though. I am not a veg­e­tar­ian, and in gen­eral I try to avoid eat­ing the prod­ucts of cruel fac­tory farm­ing. Com­pared to other kinds of meat, oc­to­puses are not a par­tic­u­larly bad an­i­mal to in­clude in your diet, as oc­to­puses are wild-caught, short­lived, and not en­dan­gered. They are sen­si­tive an­i­mals and I think they of­ten suf­fer when they die. I am at­tached to them now in a way that pre­vents me from eat­ing them.

DAVE PASTERNACK, chef at New York City’s Esca, life­long fish­er­man, and ac­claimed “fish whis­perer”

Q: As some­one who cooks oc­to­pus reg­u­larly, are you ever de­terred by claims of their in­tel­li­gence? A: I’ve caught oc­to­pus many times, they’re spec­tac­u­lar crea­tures, beau­ti­ful to see in the wa­ter. I’ve been cook­ing it for 30 years and had it on the menu since we opened in 2000. Some­times you look at oc­to­puses as an­i­mals and some­times you look at them as food.

“An oc­to­pus has three hearts, not one. Their hearts pump blood that is blue-green, us­ing cop­per as the oxy­gen-car­ry­ing mol­e­cule in­stead of the iron which makes our blood red.” —P.G.S., Other Minds

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