A new campaign by PETA U.K. aims to discourage the consumption of octopuses with the release of a funny parody video, which was just released. Created by Grey London, the video uses dark humor with a sci-fi theme to elicit laughter rather than tears. Let’s face it, most anti-cruelty campaigns are tear-jerkers that make people squirm and quickly change the channel. This lighter approach will likely receive a lot more shares and garner the attention needed to support their efforts.
Formally known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the new video is only a minute-and-a-half long, but it packs quite a punch. PETA recently launched a petition to stop a controversial octopus farm that’s in the works for Spain’s Canary Islands. The project’s plans include producing 3,000 tons of octopus meat by the year 2026. The short video parodies a ’70s science-fiction series where a phenomenon known as the “Octocurse” befalls anyone who dares eat the cephalopods.
Sometimes referred to as the “Einsteins of the Sea,” octopuses are thought to be the most intelligent of all molluscs. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, octopuses are “over-exploited” by fisheries. In the video, an ominous voiceover warns viewers that “It is said that if you eat octopus, you will be cursed.” That’s when the real fun begins with images of three beating hearts, a head morphing to octopus proportions, growing eyes like a mollusc, the development of blue blood, and even the ability to squirt ink. The voiceover continues with, “Octopuses are extremely intelligent, sensitive creatures. If you eat them, you’re basically a cannibal. Stay human. Don’t eat octopus.”
Whether or not it has the desired outcome is questionable, but it will definitely get the ball rolling on public discussions surrounding the plans for the upcoming farm. And that’s always the first step, really. Released in the U.S. as well as the U.K., this is the first time Grey and PETA have worked together, and there’s a good chance it won’t be the last. Shot by comedy director Jeff Low, it’s already gaining attention on YouTube. Check it out below.