I’ve never heard of fried owl  »

The science world was in a tizzy last week as a new study was published about the veined octopus, a.k.a. the coconut octopus. Turns out these guys will collect coconut shells and use them as little shelters. OMG SO CUTE. This would make the octopus the first known instance of an invertebrate animal to use tools!

I happen to love octopuses because they are one of the smartest animals on earth! They can unscrew a jar, solve puzzles and they can even get depressed—I find depression in animals very endearing. I don’t know why. But I once saw a show about this poor octopus who was stuck in a stupid aquarium and got totally depressed—surprise! But some local kids set out to cheer him up and made him lego puzzles with treats inside and he loved them!

Now we find out they use tools. So cool. Here’s a pretty great video from the Museum Victoria in Australia:

All this got me thinking about the famous Jeremy Bentham quote about animals: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” Even though he asked that in 1789, it is very relevant today. It seems that we vegans continue to make arguments along these lines—at least I know I do. But I can’t help but hope that if people realize how smart octopuses are, maybe they won’t want to eat them so much! I know, it’s probably naive, but look at the owl! The “wise old owl.” Maybe if we thought owls were dumb, they’d be dishing out owl burgers at McGrossy’s. But we think they’re smart, so we let them get old. Sigh. I can hope.

Image credit: dModer101 on Flickr.

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