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article imageOp-Ed: Stop torture and eating alive of frogs and fish in Japan/China

By Ralph Lopez     Mar 26, 2014 in World
Be warned, this is not for the squeamish, but it is important for the world to put an end to the practice, in some countries, of eating higher order animals that are still alive and breathing. These are animals with fully developed nervous systems.
This may want to make you cry that you belong to the same species as the people who do this.
Fox News reports that restaurants which are mostly in Japan and China, well, we'll save the horrific details for later. Suffice it to say that the forms of torture and eating of live animals, tolerated by the governments of these countries, borders on nothing less than satanic.
But first let's set a base for discussion. I eat meat, not much, don't hunt and have no desire to, but I understand that this is how some families put food on the table. That said, every moral and religious tradition in the world teaches some form of respect for the animals that we eat. In the evolution of humanity, we hope, outright hideous torture, and the relishing of it for its own sake, was supposed to have been left far behind even the Dark Ages.
As little as we know of pagan rituals pre-dating Christianity, we can infer that ritual slaughter of sheep, oxen, or other creatures, was relatively quick. Herodotus described the ritual slaughter of cattle:
"they lead the sealed beast to the altar where they happen to be sacrificing, and then kindle a fire: after that, having poured libations of wine over the altar so that it runs down upon the victim and having called upon the god, they cut its throat, and having cut its throat they sever the head from the body."
There is sincere debate over whether kosher or Muslim (halal) slaughter is more humane than modern prescribed stun gun methods, but the concern in either case is the potential suffering of the animal.
And Native Americans all know that a kill must be as clean and painless as possible, and a prayer must be said for the animal whose life we have taken so that the hunter might have life.
Now a Fox News report lays bare restaurant practices in, mostly, Japan, Vietnam, and China. It is almost too gruesome to report, and will be done so only in abbreviated fashion here,
More laying a baseline: I am not a PETA member, nor even an enthusiast. Animals may have a role in important experiments which might save lives, though I am not even sure of that. Certainly not in anything as trivial as cosmetics. Call me a PETA agnostic. But the restaurant practices go far beyond by any society which dares call itself human. Some things, upon being learned about by any quasi-ethical human being, demand immediate action. Like I said, I'm no big PETA type. But this is too much.
Fox News reports:
"These days many countries ban these dishes for ethical reasons — it’s considered animal cruelty or torture to have a chopped-up, but still breathing animal on your plate. Other countries are more relaxed with what’s considered ‘animal cruelty’, particularly Southeast Asia where many of these dishes are seafood related.
In Japan you can eat a fish dish that’s chopped into pieces and arranged on your plate while the fish is still alive and breathing. China does its own version of the dish called yin yang fish where the body of the fish is flash-fried and is served alive and with the head still gasping for air."
Okay, get ready.
Fruit Bat Soup
On the tiny island of Guam, in the western Pacific Ocean, locals like to indulge in a little “kå'kå'du fanihidu fanihi”, a meat dish made with a fox or fruit bat in a coconut milk soup. The still-living bat is nabbed from the wild, rinsed off, and popped into a boiling vat of water, wings, fur, and head intact, and boiled alive before being served up with a dash of coconut milk and vegetables (if you’re lucky). You’re meant to eat everything except the bones and teeth. While the bat is technically dead (or in the final throes of death) when served, the abundant parasites and bacteria it contains are certainly not.
Frog Sashimi
Frog sashimi
Frog sashimi
Public domain
...In some eastern countries, mainly China, Vietnam and Japan, you can eat live frogs served up filleted with their hearts still beating (and occasionally while their limbs are still moving). The dish is a delicacy and uses special bullfrogs raised for cooking. There are many ways to make the dish but this is usually how it’s prepared: the frogs are still alive when you order them, then they’re sliced open on a plate and disemboweled while alive. Certain parts are removed and boiled in a broth, the rest is sliced as sashimi and served on the frog. For the record, this is not a meal for the squeamish. It’s all done in front of you while you’re waiting for your meal and you eat the frog complete with beating heart and flailing limbs...
How do we stop this? As always, governments and nations care most quickly about the bottom line. We know we can write letters to editors and officials until the cows come home. But letters and messages correlating to a clear decline in sales raises alarms and causes headaches in corporate boardrooms, when the world has made a problem that is not directly related to their business, their problem anyway.
One thing you still needn't justify to anyone is how you spend your own money. The lifeblood of Japan is its auto industry, which is where such a campaign could start.
The next time you are auto shopping and are thinking Japanese, think again, then accompany your choice with a couple of emails. Explain that you have chosen to make this their, a large and powerful Japanese company's, problem. So sorry.
When one country stops it, others will too. When this catches on and dents can be seen in the numbers, a practice that is against all the laws of God and man will stop.
PETA, you take it from here.
Contact Honda Motors
Facebook, Prime Minister's Office of Japan
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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