Chinese Diners Eat Live Fish
The film, in which a part-fried fish is shown breathing and wriggling on a plate as it is being slowly eaten alive in a restaurant, has been posted on the video-sharing website YouTube. In order to keep the carp alive chefs cook its body but wrap its head in a wet cloth to keep it breathing, before covering it in sauce and serving in on a plate. The YouTube video shows diners, who are laughing and joking, prodding the fish while it is still moving, before picking it apart with chopsticks. Peta, the animal rights group, called the video, which had more than 120,000 views on YouTube in a week, "disgusting". A spokesperson said: "Every decent person should be shocked when anyone mocks or abuses a helpless dying animal." It is not the first time that the Chinese have been criticised for their extreme eating habits.
Reports have claimed some restaurants offer monkey's brains. Other dishes include rats, dogs, snakes, lizards and baby mice. Last month Stephen Fry was criticised by the Chinese embassy after he singled out the Chinese culture as being the biggest threat to some endangered species. “It is not very pleasant for us to single out a culture, but, if you care about lions and tigers and whales and sharks, it is the Far East and the way they eat, or the way they attempt to cure themselves, that seems to be the biggest threat," he said. A spokesman at the Chinese embassy responded: “I don’t think it is fair to accuse other cultures of having certain negative habits and traditions. “We have our traditions, as the Spanish have bullfighting, and you, until recently, had foxhunting. We did not criticise you or the Spanish for this. Tiger bones for traditional medicine are now banned, to the suffering of the Chinese industry.”