‘Crab billboard war’ continues in Maryland

Read the original article by Carley Milligan at bizjournals.com here.

If you thought the brief billboard tussle between PETA and Jimmy’s Famous Seafood — or really the majority of Baltimoreans — was over, guess again.

The national animal rights organization plans to put up a new billboard encouraging individuals not to eat crabs, this time focusing more on the health risks associated with eating crustaceans.

The new billboard reads, “Why So Crabby? Letting others live might just save your life.” Next to the slogan is a crab with its claws raised, “pleading for her life,” according to a news release from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA spokeswoman Audrey Shircliff said the organization has reached out to Baltimore billboard companies to request available inventory and are currently searching for an open place to put their ad.

The back and forth began when PETA put up billboards near seafood restaurants in Baltimore as part of a national campaign to get people to give up seafood. The move yielded significant responses from residents and locals, many of whom did not seem persuaded to give up crabs or other seafood.

You can see a photo of the billboards below.

One local restaurant decided to fire back at PETA. Jimmy’s Famous Seafood set up its own billboard, which can be seen in the Tweet below. The restaurant has continued to call out PETA on Twitter almost daily since the debacle began.

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

PETA said its new ad is aimed at those who “got their claws out over PETA’s first billboard.”

“We think the reaction from local seafood restaurants were based on the realization that the tide is turning, as more people than ever before are going vegan,” Shircliff said.

The ad serves as a reminder that eating a vegan meal will keep a crab from being “steamed or torn apart while still alive” and could be better for your health, PETA said. Aquatic animals are known to contain toxins such as mercury, lead, arsenic and more, and a vegan diet can reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancer.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk encourages people to try fishless fillets and crab-free cakes, including those from local restaurants like Land of Kush. The midtown restaurant’s crab cakes were recently named among PETA’s Top 10 Vegan Seafood Dishes list across the U.S.

The nonprofit also provides free vegan starter kits and a recipe for “delicious animal-free crab cakes that pair perfectly with a dusting of (vegan) Old Bay seasoning.”

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