The internet is full of weird and sometimes disturbing trends, but mukbangs are arguably one of the weirdest ones out there. Countless creators sit with their tables of sprawling food eye-level and eat for the enjoyment of their viewers. Add in the ASMR aspect, and the end result is sometimes mildly unsettling.
Popular mukbang YouTuber 쏘영 Ssoyoung, who is known for posting ASMR mukbang videos, usually of seafood dishes, has been facing a slew of backlash online from viewers and other creators, claiming her videos take the trend a little too far and exhibit animal cruelty.
Sooyoung's videos include eating live animals.
The South Korean YouTuber is known for her ASMR mukbangs, where she frequently prepares her seafood dishes herself and usually goes for the shock value with her meals.
Just a few of her more unsettling videos include "6 OCTOPUSES, ALIVE!," "LIVE Prawn🦐 & deep-fried shrimp!" and "Live Five Octopus 🐙 Cheetos Octopus Mukbang!"
In both videos of the octopus, she "prepares" them on-screen, usually screaming and jumping as the creatures fight back. In her "LIVE Prawn" video, she actually rips the head off of one of the live prawns before consuming it.
Despite having 3.4 million subscribers on her channel, most of her comments are filled with people pointing out how wildly cruel this is to the animals, especially for monetary gain.
"As someone who works at a fish mongers I see no problem with killing and eating fish, it is natural. But taking pleasure and gaining monetary income in slowly suffocating and killing live intelligent creatures is cruel and unethical," one user commented on her octopus video. "While raw octopus can be eaten and is considered a delicacy when freshly killed, this does not excuse the slow painful death you are putting these creatures through."
Eating live octopus is a delicacy in South Korea.
Seafood is a large part of South Korean culture, including consuming some live creatures. But Ssoyoung's commenters don't have a problem with her eating live octopus, per se, but are rather taking issue with how she's preparing it.
Live octopus is considered a delicacy in South Korea, though the specifics of it are a little different than Ssoyoung portrays them. In a video by Munchies, a chef at a restaurant in Seoul demonstrates how they prepare the live octopus, which involves quickly killing it before chopping it up to eat.
It's considered "live" because the octopus was freshly killed and the legs are usually still moving while they're consumed.
When Ssoyoung prepares her "live octopus," the videos usually show her pouring salt onto the still-alive octopuses, which most people in her comments call animal cruelty.
"This is honestly disturbing, pouring salt on those octopuses kills them slowly and painfully this is similar to having salt poured on your eyes that is about the same pain level these octopuses have to deal with except over their entire body," one user commented on her video. "It kills them by sucking out every little drop of moisture inside them killing them incredibly slowly and causing immense pain."
Even H3H3's Ethan Klein made a video pointing out that Ssoyoung seems to be enjoying the process of killing the animals she eats, even showing close ups of some of the more gruesome parts.
Ssoyoung has yet to comment on the accusations and none of her videos have been taken down, though many of them have more dislikes than likes — especially the more graphic ones. Some of her Instagram posts promoting her videos, though, have been marked as graphic content.