Last Thursday, the China Global Television Network surfaced a video that is sure to make stomachs turn and animal-lovers wince. It's a smartphone-recorded home video of a still-sentient crab in a pool of oil atop a stove, clawing its way towards chili flakes and leeks on a pan as it's being cooked alive, clawing for sustenance in its final moments.
There are valid ethical concerns regarding placing a still-living crustacean in a pan over heat and slowly cooking it to death, as many Twitter users pointed out after seeing the video, which comes marvelously free of almost any context. All that's clear is the fact that it was filmed in Changsha, a city in Yunan Province, late last month. It runs about five seconds long.
The video is merely the most recent entry to what's become quite a genre in recent years: that of writhing maritime creatures resisting their fates of human consumption. It's disconcertingly similar to another video that made the rounds early last month, filmed in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, of four live crabs being cooked in a hot pot. One bravely tries its best to defy death, climbing directly out of the hot pot and somehow managing to turn off power to the appliance. That's sadly where the video ends; there's no way of knowing what became of that crab (but it's safe to say that it probably wasn't freed into the ocean, nor were its buddies).
See also: a yellowtail leaping like a Pop Rock after being sliced in half. The mouths of fish, contracting and expanding atop plates. Fins twitching as diners watch in horror.
After seeing these clips, I've never been happier to be allergic to seafood.