The Japanese say that they have eaten dolphin for generations, it is part of their culture and they have a right to eat it. Koreans say that the octopus is not really live and the nerves in their limbs are just reacting post mortem. My student thinks eating dogs is part of the culture, the dogs are raised specifically to be eaten, and if you don't want to eat dog you do not have to.
When we lived in Nepal, people thought it was strange/gross/bad that we ate beef. We grew up, of course, eating it and never gave it a second thought.
I guess we all see these things through our cultural glasses. Watching a bunch of dolphin get killed is really upsetting, but is it less upsetting than seeing other animals killed? Cutting off the limbs of octopus seems cruel, but is it less cruel than putting a live lobster in boiling water or housing chickens in small coops for their entire lives? Killing sweet dogs is inhumane, but is it more inhumane that killing sweet cows?(hmmmmmmmm sweet cow) I often wondered this last one as I looked into their big innocent eyes as they walked along the streets of Nepal.
I think that societies evolve and we should try to treat animals humanely as possible. I suppose I think all societies are somewhat inconsistent on all these issues and people with the holier than thou attitude ought to quit it.
On these types of topics, I turn to my bible (the Simpsons) and seek guidance from my idol Homer Simpson who said (I am paraphrasing), if god did not want us to eat animals, why would he have made them so delicious. Alleluia!