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Animals That Are Served as Food... Alive!

Updated October 13, 2018 19.5k views12 items

There aren't that many animals humans are willing to eat while they're still alive, but there are enough out there to remind you that yes, humans are and always will be animals, too. And the other animals eaten alive the most by humans tend to be quite a bit smaller than us, but sometimes we get ballsy and stare at a big ol' fish right in its fishy eyeballs while we eat its deep-fried flesh.

Why do we engage in this savage practice? Some say live animals just taste better, while some do it for sport or novelty. Regardless, there appears to be no signs of this practice slowing down. Here's a look at a dozen creatures served while still alive and kicking.
  • Fish

    Ikizukuri is a Japanese dish where the fish is still alive while you eat it. Talk about fresh! The head is left alive (complete with gill movements) while the rest of the fish is filleted or - more horrifically, somehow - deep-fried.

  • Photo: Gonzalo / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    If you want to eat food so fresh that it's blinking at you, head to Tokyo's Asadachi restaurant, where you can find frog sashimi. A chef serves up a sliced-up frog on a bed of ice while it is still technically alive and wriggling around. You can see its heart beating while you eat the rest of it.


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  • Shrimp

    If you're looking to eat something both alive and almost lethally intoxicated, head to Shangai. So-called "drunken shrimp" is a dish that consists of live shrimp "marinated" in booze called baijiu and then eaten while still alive and insanely drunk. Extra gross points: the drunken shrimp get thirsty, so they drink up the sauce on the plate, essentially seasoning themselves!

  • Photo: Michelle Ress / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    While not actually served in a restaurant, cockroaches are sometimes consumed while alive in extreme eating competitions such as one in Florida in 2012 that turned deadly. The "winner" of the competition ate dozens of live cockroaches (among other things) and then later choked to death on them. Witnesses say he had to cover his mouth with his hands to keep them from crawling out.

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