BALTIMORE — Maryland residents have gotten their claws out in response to an animal rights group's new billboard campaign in Baltimore that urges people to stop eating crabs, WJZ reported.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals erected a billboard near the Inner Harbor that has a picture of a crab and the caption, “I’m me, not meat,” the television station reported.
"Just like humans, crabs feel pain and fear, have unique personalities, and value their own lives," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a news release. "PETA's billboard aims to give Charm City residents some food for thought about sparing sensitive marine animals the agony of being boiled alive or crushed to death in fishing nets simply by going vegan."
The billboard is directly above the Silver Moon II restaurant, PETA said in its release.
"Whatever they say, 'Go vegan,' whatever, nothing is going to work," Nick Lentis, owner of Silver Moon II, told WBAL."Vegan is for vegan. Do what you have to do. Eat what you have to eat. Don't press the people to go do that, so leave the people alone."
Lentis said that since the image of the billboard has gone viral, it has affected his business.
"I don't have nothing to do with this. I sell crab meat," Lentis told WJZ. "I think they have to remove it."
PETA has erected similar billboards in other cities. There is a lobster-themed pro-vegan advertisement at the Maine International Jetport, The Sun of Baltimore reported.
PETA officials said they plan to keep the billboard up through the
Baltimore Seafood Festival on Sept. 15.
The reaction of some Baltimore residents has been, well, crabby.
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