8 Animals Eaten Alive in China – Graphic Content

The practice of eating live animals is known as a cultural diet in many Asian food cultures.

Raw Alive Baby mice

For some religious people is forbid to eat any portion that is cut from animals that are still alive. On the contrary the practice of eating alive animals is widespread around Asia.

In Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam and even in China is considered delicious and synonymous of freshness.

Related: Traditional Chinese Medicine animal markets, Yulin dog festivals, Traditional Chinese Medicine Animals: a list of species threatened by TCM

Animals eaten alive:


Oysters are the most common animal often eaten raw and alive even in the West. In fact they are considered healthiest when eaten raw on the half shell.


Drunken Shrimps

A popular traditional Chinese dish is Zui Xia, Drunken Shrimps. It is also possible to find it in some Chinese Restaurant in the United States. Fresh water shrimps are dipped in an alcoholic drink, usually baijiu. At the beginning the shrimps try to jump around to escape and the consumers have to catch them. Once intoxicated, the shrimps are easier to eat. They only dies, finally, when being chewed. Modified recipes are used in different parts of China. This dish is quite expensive, because to serve the shrimps alive, it must be prepared quickly and chef must be skillful. The dish was banned in China, but it’s still possible to find it.

Drunken Shrimps

Dead and Alive Fish

Another popular alive food in China is Ying Yang Yu, Dead and Alive Fish, because the fish’s body is rapidly deep-fried and served while the head, not fried, is still fresh and moving. It is prepared extremely quickly, with care not to damage the internal organs, so the fish can remain alive for 30 minutes. It is served with sweet and sour sauce on the body. One of the reasons that make this dish popular is because the restaurant boast about how fresh the fish is.

Dead and Alive Fish


Alive snake are a specialties of Chinese chefs. Also this dish is prepared very quickly so that the costumers can eat the snake meat when it still alive and moving. The chef, faster as he can, cut the head, remove the skin, removed the bowels, in such a way as to eliminate the parasites, cut the meat and serve the raw snake. Raw alive snake meat, sometimes was reported by the media, eaten by peasant without chef help.

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Live Fresh Donkey

Not so popular in all China is to eat Huo Jiao Lu (活叫驴), Live Fresh Donkey. The animal has its legs tied and its body held down, while the chef cuts its body and serves the meat immediately to costumers. Some media reported that alive raw donkey meat could be sold from peddlers in Henan and Hubei even if Chinese government banned it.

Live Fresh Donkey Live Fresh Donkey Live Fresh Donkey

Raw alive monkey brain

Raw alive monkey brain is a special dish affordable only by very rich people and is possible to order it only in Guangdong and , once, in  Hong Kong. The chef puts a live monkey beneath a table with its head poking up through a hole, the costumers then eat its brains while it screams. This dish is very expensive. Sometimes costumers that order this dish want to prove their richness and bravery, but many can’ t swallow a single bite. The dish was banned in China, but it’s still possible to find it in Guangdong.

The monkey in this gif seems already dead


A representation of how the monkey brain is eaten

Baby Mice 三吱儿 

Newborn mice (San Zhi Er) are eaten alive with chopsticks and served in a spicy sauce. They are called “three squeaks babies” because they  would scream three times: the first time when they are grabbed with the chopsticks, the second time when they are dipped in the sauce and the third final squeak inside the mouth of the customer. Also this dish has been banned in China, but it’s possible to find it.


Newborn mice eaten alive - San Zhi Er three squeaks babies

Alive baby duck embryos

Alive duck embryos (活珠子) are a famous Nanjing speciality. Duck embryos are eaten when the egg is about to hatch into a life but it does not fully formed. Sometimes, in other areas the egg is boiled before to be consumed. 活珠子 is a variation of Balut, Duck Embryo, a dish original from Philippines. The main difference with the original recipe is that instead of eating the eggs boiled, in China they eat them raw.

Alive duck embryos Alive duck embryos

Raw alive embryo

Cooked embryo Cooked embryo

Cooked embryo


Every year Chinese media reported about cases of Chinese peasants that eaten raw alive meat. Two of the most particular are the cases of Wen Xide and Jiang Musheng. Wen Xide is a peasant from of Wangzhuang village, Zhumadian. The 41 years old man said, in 2009, he ate alive snakes with a cold beer. In 2007 Jiang Musheng, from a village in Shangrao, Jiangxi province, claimed that eating live frogs cured his intestinal problems. He also eats live mice and baby rats. The 66 year old man admitted once he ate 20 mice in a single day.

eating alive snakes eating a frog

Sources and Photos:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_live_animals#cite_note-Reuters-6 , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_live_seafood , http://www.reuters.com/ , http://www.chinawhisper.comhttp://www.cracked.com/ , http://news.sina.com.cn/
http://bbs.voc.com.cn/topic-4859619-1-1.html , http://travel.sina.com.cn/food/2008-10-23/102931653.shtml , http://baike.baidu.com/view/865526.htm , http://app1.chinadaily.com.cn/star/2004/0219/cu18-1.html , http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9dc_1371560196

via Cina Oggi

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