Peta UK has released a science-fiction-inspired public service announcement that calls attention to octopus farming.
Created by Grey London, “Peta presents: the octocurse” uses dark humour to deter people from eating octopus.
The 90-second film addresses the audience, as a man explains: “It is said that if you eat octopus, you will be cursed.”
He proceeds to show viewers disturbing evidence of “the octocurse” and how people slowly turn into the eight-legged creature if they eat one.
The symptoms include three beating hearts, blue blood, displaying extreme emotion, having a head that expands to octopus’ proportions, having the power to expel ink and growing octopus eyes.
It ends with the message: “Octopuses are extremely intelligent, sensitive creatures. If you eat them you’re basically a cannibal. Stay human. Don’t eat octopus.”
It was directed by Jeff Low through Biscuit with creative Cameron Sutherland.
David Wiggleworth, executive creative director at Grey London, said: “Peta wanted one thing – for people to stop eating octopus. It’s a serious brief that we tackled with a silly answer, by creating a very ‘real’ curse. And that curse? If you eat one of these creatures, you will turn into one.
“An idea as dark and dumb as this needed one man to bring it to life, my fiendishly funny friend Jeff Low. Huge thanks to him and Biscuit for helping us realise this madness. Stay human, people. Don’t eat octopus.”
The film will break on 19 October in the UK and the US, with content shared globally on Peta-owned channels.
Vanessa Johansson, anti-speciesism project leader at Peta, said: “We are busily searching for intelligent life in space while we still eat the thinking, feeling life forms on our own planet.
“Octopuses, for example, are capable of complex thought processes: they can navigate mazes, use tools and learn how to do such things as unscrew lids simply by watching. Yet every year, hundreds of thousands of these clever cephalopods are killed in crude ways for a snack.
“Because it’s often hard to reach people with these simple facts, Peta has partnered with Grey London – to give viewers food for thought and encourage them to show kindness to these animals by leaving them off their plates.”