PETA put up a billboard urging Baltimore to stop eating crabs. It didn't exactly go over well. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)
PETA is coming after Baltimore's beloved crab.
The animal rights group selected the local crustacean as the mascot for its latest pro-vegan campaign. A billboard in Baltimore pictures a crab with the words, "I'm me, not meat. See the individual. Go vegan."
Danielle Ohl, a reporter for the Capital Gazette, tweeted a picture of the billboard Thursday, and it set off some strong reactions. (The Capital Gazette is part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group)
"This is exactly the point. We want people to look up and hopefully change what's on their plate that day," said Amber Canavan. "Our ad, it reminds people that crabs are not inanimate objects. They're living, feeling individuals."
John-John Williams IV and Sarah Meehan sample plates from three restaurants participating in Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun video)
PETA has placed similar billboards in other East Coast cities. The Maine International Jetport is the site of a lobster-themed pro-vegan advertisement.
Baltimore's crab-themed billboard is the only one of its kind in Maryland, Canavan said.
The Norfolk, Va.-based organization wants to call attention to the way crabs are caught and cooked.
"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," said Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, in a statement.