Terrifying Deep-Fried Gasping Fish Video

gasping-fishThis video of a deep-fried yet still-gasping fish at a restaurant located in, we think, China is truly one of the most unsettling things we've seen. Thanks to its origins on the oft-playful Buzzfeed, we assumed this might have been a gag, that the joke was that this writhing creature was an animatronic robot or something equally not-real. But it's real. We post this not to gross you out (although it most assuredly will), but because this is horror. This is the stuff of nightmares, on a plate. This sort of thing goes on in the real world, behind closed doors or in front of people with video cameras, and whatever your stance on the ethics of carnivorousness, you've got to admit that the indifference to suffering shown here is staggering.

Video: Terrifying Living Deep-Fried Fish

—Raphael Brion

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  1. bc

    Not to make light of that situation, but just want to point out that if you're eating meat, there's a very good chance that something you've eaten was at one time butchered alive due to poor standards at whatever slaughterhouse you can think of. So, while watching that is appalling, omnivorous humans contribute their dollars to that kind of suffering all the time. And there's plenty of footage of it if you're interested. And it's down the street, not in "we think, China."

    • DBSweeney

      While there's definitely suffering and cruelty involved in the global meat industry (no one's going to deny that), there's a huge difference between the willful ignorance of consumers who just don't think about what they're eating, and people who revel in the "delicacy" of being served a still-living fish that's obviously in horrible pain. There's passive accessory to cruelty, and then there's being the dude in Saw.

    • Moira

      You make a very good point. All of us who benefit from the slaughter of animals, whether we are eating them, wearing them, or just clearing them out of an area, should treat the sacrifice of life with the dignity and respect it is due. To kill a creature for the entertainment of watching it die - that is beyond shameful.

  2. I'm speechless. It was bad enough that the people were poking the fish to stimulate the gasping. But when he started eating chunks of the still-alive fish...I almost vomited with horror. Wow...

    • realityindreams

      lucky for me, youtube is blocked~~

      And about living food, I personally think that serving the fish with it's head still moving is repulsive, but fresh food is not that uncommon,,,, for example in korean restaurants we can eat octopus tentacles that still move and will stick to your tongue, also shrimp and other seafood that are alive. Sashimi is also sometimes prepared while the animal not dead, the best example being lobsters. And for many animals, even if you cut them up their nerves are not dead, so they move. Human arms and legs will do that~

  3. That is the most disturbing thing I've seen in a long time and it deeply saddens me that someone would show such callous disrespect to one of God's creations and laugh about it.

  4. Adam S.

    I have been to China 14 times and have never had a meal like this - THANK GOD.

    I will defend Chinese food to anyone when it comes to the different food in the cuisine... but not this. This is AWFUL.

  5. I wish more than anything that I could erase that image from my brain.

  6. Dave

    Now that is what I call fresh.

    • Stefan

      Actually, that's the reason they do it. It's supposed to show just how fresh the fish is served. This you will get only in the higher priced restaurants.

      There was a report of that on German TV recently. They showed how they actually fry the fish after pre-cutting and marinating it and then serve it – still living. And you're right, this happens in China (don't know if anywhere else as well).

      Bon Appetite! :(

  7. Natalie

    There was a documentary on ARTE -- the franco-german channel -- back in April on the largest restaurant in the world, West Lake Restaurant, where they hold cooking competitions. This was one of the challenges. To show off the chef's skill, and to win the challenge, the fish must be fully prepared, ready to eat in under a minute or two, and still be breathing. I believe this segment made me cry.

    If you haven't looked into ARTE, I really suggest you do, as it is awesome and even has some great cooking programs ("cuisines du terroir" which is quite entertaining, "aventures culinaires", ....). Shows are available in both French and German (no English though...) and here is the link: http://www.arte.tv/fr/70.html

  8. Tommy

    That's messed up. I wish I wouldn't have watched that.

  9. Bert

    Lord. Are you all serious? How do you think fish eat other fish? Or anything eats anything. While it's still alive, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. I'm convinced animal rights-based vegetarians are all raving idiots.

    • bc

      Bert, that's a wonderful point. If ever you are to fall ill or otherwise be weakened, I'll be sure to kill and eat you a la nature. We are apparently animal before human in your eyes.

      A raving idiot.

      • Deborah

        No the point is we are above animals. We are not at the top of the food chain to just eat veggies. Although I personally don't want to eat a fish that is still moving, this doesn't "horrify" or "disturb" me. I've watched a fair amount of animals die (whether killing each other, or by being hunted) and this isn't the worse way they can be killed.

  10. Alan

    What a bunch of candy ass pussies!

    It's a damn fish, a real one, a fresh one. Probably much better for you than that stale, frozen for months, deep fried shit you all like to eat and call "fish".

  11. Midwest.

    I catch a fish very similar to that every once in awhile in the lakes that scatter the US midwest. They're called carp. They ruin the lakes for better fish like walleye and perch. So I make it a point that when they're caught they're thrown up in the trees or put in a bucket to be thrown away later. They gasp for breath until they die. Bullhead are disgusting to me as well. When caught I don't even bother trying to get them off of the hook with my hands, I just grab the fishing line and spin it like a lasso until the lips of the fish tear off and it goes flying away from me.

    You should try it sometime.

    By the way, it's just a fish.

  12. steve

    The people are speaking cantonese, a dialect of chinese, generally spoken in guangdung (canton, china) and Hong Kong. From what I can understand the main female who ate the fish was suggested to, using some liberty in translating, "to poke it's head to make sure," since she said she saw it move. Once it moved she was repeatedly saying that "it is scary and horrible." I believe that the men and elderly women in the background were laughing more at her reaction rather than the fish since one of the men also said "it is horrible." One men ordered 2 cans of something shortly after seeing the fish move. The last statements heard were them talking how it was cooked, whether by direct contact with heat, but was told fried with oil.

  13. Caitlin

    Look everyone, while I too was somewhat repulsed by the video, please understand that this is a semi-common practice in some parts of Asia. Not only China do dishes like the above exist, but also Japan serves MANY "live" fish dishes, not to showcase the fish suffering, but to prove that THE FISH IS FRESH. They value the quality of the fish and therefore, often cook up a fish right out of a tank where it was once swimming. I wouldn't necessarily consider this animal cruelty, since the FISH IS DEAD. Often the jolts of movement you see here aren't particularly made by a struggling, dying fish, but that of the fish after rigor mortis has begun to set in. This happens in humans too, after one dies. Sometimes, our bodies make twitching movements, but it is simply our nervous system after we've lost consciousness and have passed on. Cruelty protest? There is no need.

  14. natalie

    Yeah , sure it's dead, and you're going to eat it anyway, but before its hot oil bath it could've been whacked on the head. Just sayin'.

  15. Jessica

    I got a plate of live shrimp on skewers at hotpot once in Vancouver Canada (didn't eat it, they just happened to set the plate in front of me.) Freaked me out when one crawled off the plate and landed on the table - still on its skewer. My friends explained that this was to prove the seafood was fresh. They still laughed at me for screaming tho!

    I don't know why the chef can't "whack it on the head" or chop its head right off at the table. That way they prove it was live and fresh, but put it out of its misery before preparing.

  16. sj

    This is the worst thing I have ever seen. Shame on people who do this. This should be strictly banned and there should be strong protest against this.

  17. lans

    not human. not sane. the most cruel and the most retarded beings are able to act. abomination of basic science and atrocity of basic morals.

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