An advert which suggests eating fish is the same as eating pets has been put up by an animal rights charity near a seaside fish and chip shop.
The electronic billboard advert in Cleethorpes, by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), shows a fishmonger holding up a fish which changes into a dead cat.
Urging people to “go vegan”, Peta said fish were “friends, not food”.
Jennifer White, from Peta, said the poster “aims to remind people that all animals deserve protection”.
She added that the fishing industry was the “biggest killer of animals on the planet”.
“We really want to get people thinking about how fish have the exact same capacity to feel pain and suffer as a cat and a dog would,” she said.
“This actually all comes down to speciesism, which is the misguided belief that some species are more important than others – and this is how humans justify mistreating animals.”
In a statement, Peta said: “Fish share knowledge and have long memories as well as cultural traditions.”
North East Lincolnshire is the UK centre for seafood processing, with more than 5,000 people directly employed in the industry.
Mike Cohen from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said: “The people of the UK have enjoyed eating fish for thousands of years.
“To suggest that fish feel pain in the same way as mammals is, at best, highly misleading.”
He added: “Seafood is a healthy, delicious, affordable, and low-carbon part of their diet for the vast majority of people in this country and well managed fisheries provide sustainable jobs in communities all around our coast.
“Perhaps it would be best to leave people alone to make their own choices, without putting silly misinformation on posters.”