Eli is definitely at an age where he really enjoys certain TV shows...from Dr. Who to Dr. Oz to the Little Couple (which he calls "Zoey and Will") and a few cartoons (mostly on Saturday). Until yesterday, he loved all cooking shows, too. I never, never expected him to be frightened/upset by a cooking show - especially since he's apparently unfazed by the "bad guys" on Dr. Who (and trust me, some of those bad guys are pretty intense).
It all boils down to this: Eli pretty much knows when actors are "pretending" versus when someone on TV is doing something real (like cooking).
And when chefs begin to prepare (live) crab, it gets pretty upsetting for him.
We were quietly relaxing while Eli was alternately playing and watching a cooking competition on TV with us. Live crab was announced as an ingredient in the competition. Eli looked at the TV, and said, "Aww....crabs...look, they're cute! and cool!. What's he doing? No...no...no...don't put him in the OVEN....NO!!! Don't take his legs off....NONONO..."
We quickly changed the channel, but he's still very, very upset about the crabs. He says he will never eat crabs again (even though he enjoyed them previously), and I believe him. Poor guy...