‘Baby’ Octopus on Sale for 50¢ Sparks Emotional Debate

A grocery store in the UK has left one shopper horrified after he found a discounted “baby” octopus being sold for just 36p (50¢).

Forty-six-year-old vegan Justin Webb visited the UK store Morrisons last Tuesday, when he spotted 4 “baby” octopuses in the reduced to clear aisle just before closing.

Webb was understandably upset by the sight and decided to share a photo of the creatures to Twitter along with the caption: “36 pence for a dead baby octopus, one of the most amazing creatures to ever swim the seas. I swear we do not deserve this world.”

The octopus was originally priced at £1.41 ($2), but staff reduced the price in a bid to sell the creature before it expired.

He added: “We should be angry.

“The poor thing was priced at £1.41 to start with, which is offensive in the extreme for a living wild creature, to then see it marked down adds insult to injury. It shows the human disregard for life. We’ve moved her from her home to the rubbish bin. It’s unforgivable. These are beautiful, sentient creatures and you wouldn’t do that to dogs or cats.”

And people were just as outraged as Webb after reading his post.

One commenter said: “Awful, they are intelligent creatures. My daughter is a marine scientist and has worked with octopi, they recognize faces, interact, and are very clever. They should not be eaten.”

Another questioned why an octopus was even being sold in the store, saying: “Why is this in a supermarket anyway? Who’s going to even know how to cook it, apart from chefs? Maybe we should ensure that we’ve got fresh vegetables and fruits instead of octopuses. This is so sad.”

A few users brought up the 2020 Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher, which focuses on the touching relationship between an octopus and a diver in South Africa.

Webb believes that the popularity of this documentary is what caused so many people to respond to his post.

Despite Webb describing the octopus as a baby, it is actually a fully grown adult from a small species of British sea life.

Morrisons explained: “This is the most commonly caught octopus species in Cornwall Eledone cirrhosa, which is much smaller than the common octopus Octopus vulgaris. The Eledone cirrhosa species can mature from 1 year old, at anywhere from 5-12cm in size.”

The store added: “While we try to manage our stock to customer demands, it is not always possible. Occasionally and as a last resort — to ensure that food that is fit for consumption is not wasted — we do provide an extremely limited number of price reductions.”

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation shared its thoughts…

Lorraine Platt, the charity’s co-founder, told The Times: “It just shows you the low value that we put on other living beings in our world around us. I don’t think you can even buy a chocolate bar for 36p. Octopuses are highly intelligent, sentient animals that roam the seas and this image is heartbreaking. It really tugs at the heartstrings to see it shrink-wrapped. It’s pitifully sad and grim.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We have already commissioned an independent external review of the available scientific evidence on sentience in the class Cephalopoda, which includes octopus, cuttlefish, and squid — and we will carefully consider the results of this review.”

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Written by mettablog

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