Just ahead of Lent — when observers are encouraged to eat fish instead of meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday — Emmy Award winner and vegan actor Beau Bridges stars in a new video for PETA to shine a spotlight on the intelligence, friendliness, and playfulness of octopuses and reveal how these and other aquatic animals are mutilated and killed for human consumption.

“Sea animals aren’t swimming vegetables. They’re ‘sea animals,’ not ‘seafood,’” says Bridges. “They’re smart, social beings who can feel pain. They have more in common with us than most people realize.” But he notes that “there are no federal laws protecting aquatic animals from cruelty.”

The actor goes on to reveal how fish undergo excruciating decompression when they’re violently hooked and dragged from the ocean’s depths, often causing their internal organs to rupture. Those who survive slowly suffocate, are crushed to death, or are cut open and gutted while they’re still conscious. Octopuses are served to diners while they’re still writhing, lobsters are boiled to death in scalding-hot water, and crabs are torn apart limb from limb in industrial slaughterhouses.

“Humans have only one heart, compared to an octopus’s three, but surely, we can show sea animals compassion by leaving them in the ocean and off our plates,” he concludes.

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