Tuesday, October 2, 2012

We Only Eat Ugly Animals: Octopus Edition

At his Animal Oddities blog, my National Wildlife Federation coworker David Mizejewski just posted this clip of a clever octopus stealing a jar of food:

Look, I eat salmon, pigs and turkeys as often as I can, so let me state in advance I'm aware my questions here are at least a little hypocritical.

Dolphins are smart, friendly and cute, so Western society has made the collective decision that we don't eat them.

Octopuses are smart, friendly and ugly, so we eat 80 million tons a year, overfishing them to the point of declining catches. How does that work?

When do we decide we've learned enough about a species that we're now uncomfortable eating it? And when we have a vast overpopulation of cute but dumb & delicious animals like deer, at what point do we non-hunters start looking on them less as Bambi and more as food? Who asks the questions? Who decides the answers?
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