Movement to remove Octopus from all restaurant menus in NYC in 2017
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Dear Mayor de Blasio,
As someone who works in the restaurant industry in the city, I find it contrary to the evolution of human intelligence and repugnant to continue to serve Octopus on menus at restaurants in a city as privileged, and with information as accessible as in our own.
There are numerous reports on the sentience and intelligent behavior of the octopus, though the subject of consciousness in animals is still being defined. Octopuses show varying temperamental qualities or personalities in studies and even preferences for certain humans, they decorate their homes, guard their unhatched eggs for months or years, are problem-solvers with the same number of neurons as certain species of monkeys. They are elusive in laboratory studies because they often escape or are too sensitive to survive the laboratory environment.
Scientists who have studied the octopus in depth, including Peter Godfrey Smith- Author and Professor at CUNY, claim the octopus is "probably as close as we'll come to meeting an intelligent alien" and discuss the possibility of 2 different advanced brains evolving in very different ways on our planet-- our own, and that of the octopus.
Yes, we eat other kinds of animals who are suspected of sentience, such as pigs or cows. HOWEVER, the octopus is closer compared to a golden retriever or dolphin as far as showing different traits of intelligence than the aforementioned land mammals which depend on our raising them.
On top of it, the demand for this cephalopod is increasing at such a rate that farm-raising them- as is done with the bass or salmon- is soon inevitable. This should be viewed as comparable to farm-raising dolphins.
I believe by educating the industry, and reminding business owners involved of the plentiful other offerings still available should one menu option be removed, the transition would be smooth.
Please, Mayor de Blasio, let the great city of New York make a conscientious decision to respect another impressively intelligent and sentient being, and set an example to the world, by removing it mandatorily from NYC restaurant menus and supermarkets.
With sincere thanks,
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