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PETA member a no-show for Westword protest

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Upset by our video of the live octopus hot pot, PETA member Belinda Heinikey-Williamson threatened to protest at the Westword offices today at 11 a.m.

That hour has come and gone, though, with not a single protester in sight.

What happened? Was the circus back in town?

Turns out, while the protester name-checked PETA, the organization wasn't officially behind the threatened action. Unofficially, it didn't like the video, either.

Ashley Gonzalez, media specialist at PETA, had this to say:

Contrary to her claim that she neither condemned nor condoned eating a live octopus, Laura Shunk raved about the experience in her original article. Studies have shown that octopi are capable of complex thought processes, can use tools, have short- and long-term memories, and are particularly sensitive to pain. However, you don't have to be a marine biologist to understand that the octopus in the video suffered immensely before Shunk ate him. This is the first that PETA has heard about this protest, but we can understand why compassionate people are upset.

Even if those people put the hot-pot protest on the back burner.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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