Grilled octopus, Peruvian potatoes, mojo Gallego (Image: Howard Portnoy)

If you’re one of those people — and their numbers are legion, even in food circles — who find the thought of eating octopus repulsive, consider yourself lucky. Octopus, when prepared well as it was in the above photo taken at the Upper West Side restaurant Tasca in 2021, is one of the planet’s most delicious creatures.

It is also now on the radar of animal rights groups, which are protesting its consumption by humans. The key motivator behind these protests is a growing corpus of scientific data suggesting that octopuses are as smart as they’re tasty. Researchers have determined that these frightening-looking sea monsters can solve problems, experience a range of emotions, and feel pain.

As if all that were not enough, multinational seafood distributor Nueva Pescanova has announced that it will open the world’s first octopus farm in 2023. Octopuses hate to be held in captivity.

The question now is whether we can expect bans on octopus consumption in much the way we have witnessed — and will likely continue to witness — bans on the eating of foie gras. Lest we forget, in 2019 former New York City Mayor de Blasio signed such a ban that is due to take effect later this year.

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