Snails and slugs are distant relatives of the octopus, a creature that is so intelligent it is the only invertebrate that is recognised as sentient in the Cambridge 2012 Declaration of Consciousness. 

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Octopus and Humans

The common octopus is edible and in many areas of the world, they are considered a delicacy. Of the estimated 350,000 tonnes of octopus caught each year,  two-thirds goes to Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, with a whole third of the global catch going to China. European countries such as Spain and Italy are also big octopus importers.

To meet this growing demand, octopus farms have now been set up, but these raise their own issues of ethics. It has long been known that octopus are one of the most intelligent creatures in the ocean. They can recognise individual human faces, solve problems and remember the solution for months. Whilst it can be argued that farming any animal is unethical, to do so with animals of such intelligence, is arguably extremely problematic. 

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