Every August to October it’s a tradition in China to suck the flesh out of these “Hairy Crabs”. The Hairy Crab sells like hotcakes - but hotcakes aren’t normally sold in vending machines. LIVE Hairy Crabs though? Apparently they are.
On September 11th, a vending machine stocked with live crabs appeared on a street in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province. The machine, which is restocked daily, sells crabs for around 20 RMB ($3.27), along with the appropriate accouterments (crab vinegar and two bags of ginger tea).
These machines can sell up to 200 crabs a day, and the machine manufacturers boasted crab-savvy innovations, such as climate control and packaging:
- The machine’s temperature of 5-10° C preserved the crabs in a dormant state longer than was possible in a stall, leading many people to call them “sleeping crabs.”
- But the machines so called “winning characteristic” is it’s packaging. The plastic you see around the crab is an edible container that neither broke the crabs’ legs nor suffocated them. Dubbed “Golden Armor,” the new container could be dropped in boiling water at home, minimizing pinching risk. The crab then boiled in the package, and the package could then be eaten along with the crab (but the nutrition found in the packaging is somewhat questionable).
There was a similar crab vending machine set up in 2011 but the company in charge of restocking the machine refused to do so. They did not say why but local media reports suggests the machine was more successful as a marketing stunt than anything else. “Since more people ogled the vending machine crabs than actually bought them, the crab mortality rate [of the crabs] was fairly high,” said the Yangzi Evening News.
But this year the company “Liu” is banking on the machine’s marketing benefits in the hopes of boosting the company’s crab brand, and as such, have set up more of these machines across China.
If you would like to find out how to put a stop to this horrifically cruel act, please message us here at TURN TIDES.