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January 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Soul of an Octopus

from the January, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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A decade ago in a posh San Francisco restaurant, I was tempted to order the grilled Pacific octopus. But I didn't, recalling that an octopus, by many counts, is smarter and more emotional than many wise mammals, dogs included. I love spotting an octopus whipping across a reef, changing shapes and colors faster than I can track. So not wanting to be party to the death of such a remarkable creature, I stopped eating octopus. And having just read Sy Montgomery's new book, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness (it was a finalist for last year's National Book Award for Nonfiction), I'm all for taking it off everyone's menu. This animal belongs in a Head Start class, not a sushi restaurant....

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