Question: Are sea cucumbers (海参), that are usually sold dried up sentient beings? Or are they just a form of ocean vegetable?
Answer: Sea cucumbers are marine animals. Please do not be mistaken by its name, that is given only due to its vague resemblence to cucumbers. Sadly, they are usually ‘harvested’ and dried for sale. If you watch this clip, featured on Animal Planet, you will realise that sea cucumbers are sentient for sure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsLBOkYLLeI
As another example, on the importance of not judging the nature of a sentient species by its name alone, a seahorse is not a horse at all, but is sentient as well. When in doubt about whether ‘something’ is ‘someone’ (sentient), it is best to do some research about it, especially if you have resolved to be vegetarian or vegan, be it on certain days or for life. This is a way to cultivate more sensitive compassion universally for more beings.