China Magazine

8 Animals Eaten Alive in China – Graphic Content

Some religious people are forbidden 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. Monkey brains, fishes, baby mice, donkeys, snakes in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and even China are considered delicious and synonymous with 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 Restaurants in the United States. Freshwater shrimps are dipped in an alcoholic drink, usually baijiu.

In 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 die, 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 the chef must be skillful.

The dish is banned in China, but it’s still possible to find it.

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 boasts about how fresh the fish is.


Alive snakes are specialties of Chinese chefs.

Also, this dish is prepared very quickly so that the customers can eat snake meat when it is still alive and moving.

The chef, faster as he can, cut the head, remove the skin, remove 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 peasants without chef’s help.

You can watch a video here.

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 customers.

Some media reported that alive raw donkey meat could be sold from peddlers in Henan and Hubei even if the Chinese government banned it.

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 customers then eat its brains while it screams.

This dish is very expensive.

Sometimes customers 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.

A scene from the 1978 movie Faces of Death by John Alan Schwartz

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.

Here you can check the page in Baike Baidu, the Chinese Wikipedia. Here instead you can watch a video whose vision is not recommended for a sensitive audience.

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 life but it does not fully form.

Sometimes, in other areas, the egg is boiled before being consumed. 活珠子 is a variation of Balut, Duck Embryo, a dish originally from the Philippines.

The main difference with the original recipe is that instead of eating the eggs boiled, in China they eat them raw.

Raw alive 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.

Sources and Photos: , , , http://www.chinawhisper.com , , , , ,

via Cina Oggi

Topic: faces of death monkey, animals eaten alive, do people eat gorillas, eating animals alive videos, mouse Chinese food, do Chinese eat rats, eating rats alive, mouse Chinese food, who eats mice

Dominique Musorrafiti

CHINA-UNDERGROUND. Ciao! My name is Dominique. I’m Italian and I’m proud to be a mix. My father was an Italian chemical engineer and high school teacher, with Greek and Polish heritage. My mother is Haitian, she was high school language teacher, with Dominican, Spanish, French, Portuguese, African and Native American heritage. Being a mix makes me appreciate to want to understand different cultures and lifestyles. I grew up in Italy, lived few years in Haiti, travel around main European capitals, lived seven years in China, six in Spain and UK. Traveling makes me feel that we can learn something from every situation in every part of the world.

View Comments

    • Somehow eating live animals is worse than nuking millions of people. Mental Gymastics. But congratulations still, you've fallen victim to a targeted campaign for dehumanising an entire culture.

  • Even worse than this IMO is the killing and eating of dogs. Many of these creatures have more decency and warmth in their hearts than the calloused, ignorant human beings devouring their flesh. Dogs are not called man's best friend for nothing! This cruel practice should be outlawed! Come Lord Jesus come.

    • Typical dog nutter. Forget that monkeys and donkeys, two highly intelligent and sapient beings are being STRAPPED DOWN AND EATEN ALIVE AND SCREAMING, screw the myriad of human rights violations, the only thing that matters are pweshus, pweshus doggos. Frankly, I think any animal raised for meat is fair game, as long as they're treated humanely. Which granted, China doesn't do, but it's disgusting of you to claim that's worse than eating an animal alive just because you arbitrarily place more value on a dog's life over all others.

  • I am not bigoted by any means, but it seems the Chinese take much pleasure in causing extreme suffering for animals. There is no purpose, no benefit, to consume a live animal. It only causes needless suffering to the creature. Just ponder if the roles were reversed and it was the human diner being eaten bit by bit alive.

    • I guess the benefit of consuming a live animal is that it takes less time to prepare and is also more fresh. Maybe they don't really enjoy the pain it causes to the animal but simply do it because it's more convenient. We have to take quite some time to prepare a dish, but they just eat everything raw because they don't care about animals so I guess it makes sense to them in a weird way.

      • There is no need. Dismembering a live donkey is asinine. In most cultures it is slaughtered on demand. Why would you keep it alive? You have to stitch up wounds deal with infections, now it can’t walk. Totally pointless. Live monkey brain is just a show of machismo, like many of these hedonistic rituals, it’s Hannibal Lecter status. Most of these creatures have parasites, they need to be cooked. This is soulless cruelty. I’m glad that even their soulless government even sees the barbarity of this. Eat what you want (except people!), just humanely slaughter it.

    • The Chinese believe that causing pain onto an animal makes the meat taste better. It's barbaric. It's bad enough they're single handedly fueling the mass extinctions of countless keystone species for their stupid bunk woo TCM bullcrap, but they also deliberately torture animals before consuming them. What a horrid culture.

    • Way to generalize an entire population by what a few bad eggs do. Did you even read the article? It says these practices are banned in China. Which means they are done illegally.

  • They say we dehumanise a culture by telling them they're cruel and disgusting.. but they've dehumanised themselves. They're a waste of oxygen. Thankfully there are a large number of buddhists in china that know that it is wrong

  • Pleeeease stop them! What the hell are they doing? I can't believe that no one has stoped them yet! Omg I'm crying

  • Hurry up, space aliens, so we can show you where the Mini-Chinese Biped Eggrolls are.

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