Animals That Are Served As Food... Alive!

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.
Photo: / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

  • It's common in South Korea to be served chopped up octopuses whose little arms are squirming around on the plate when you eat them. Fun! But that's not really eating a creature alive, y'know? Chopping them up kills them eventually, if you wait long enough. The real fun begins when you eat them whole and alive, and they try to climb out of your mouth.
  • During the 2012 Olympics in London, a Danish chef at Claridge's served live, chilled ants with creme fraiche on cabbage leaves in a pot filled with "edible soil." The ants tasted like lemongrass, apparently, if you could catch them.

  • This one is particularly gruesome: a Houston restaurant will serve you "belly sashimi" right out of a lobster's belly... while the lobster is still alive, staring at you. One critic called the dish - which, let's remember, entails eating a lobster's stomach while it wiggles its claws at you - "utterly delicious."
  • Maggots

    "Casu Marzu" is not a character in the newest Star Wars movie: it's a Sardinian cheese full of live maggots. Flies lay their eggs in the cheese, the maggots eat the cheese, and we eat the maggots, the cheese, and the maggot poop. This combination somehow ends up tasting like gorgonzola and black pepper, according to the brave souls who can stomach the stuff.

  • Fish

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    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.

  • 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.