BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Marylanders are getting a bit crabby over PETA's new billboard campaign in Baltimore that's trying to get people to stop eating the state's crustaceans.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals put up a billboard near the Inner Harbor that is not getting the greatest response from those on social media.
On the billboard, it has a picture of a crab, along with the caption, "I'm ME, Not MEAT." The billboard will be in place for the Baltimore Seafood Festival on September 15.
"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 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."
Response to the billboard on social media has been mixed, with some Marylanders saying the people in this state will never stop eating crabs, that crab is king.
"It's part of the city's history, you know what I mean?" said Gerard Brown, a crab eater. "Without seafood, there is no Baltimore," Brown said.
One person tweeted out a picture of the billboard with the following caption: "Siri, show me the biggest waste of advertising money you've ever seen."
Silver Moon II owner Nick Lentis, now that the billboard has gone viral, said it's been a nightmare for business.
"I don't have nothing to do with this. I sell crab meat," Lentis said. "I think they have to remove it,"
PETA said they plan to keep it up ahead of the city's seafood fest next month.
"They are individuals. They can feel pain, they can sense the world around them and they definitely do not want to be boiled alive," Amber Canavan with PETA said.
"I don't think they knew what they are getting themselves into when they put that up," John Minadakis, Jimmy's Famous Seafood.
But business owners like Minadakis said it is going to be a tough argument to win in crab country.
"If the community see that there's an attack on Baltimore happening, I can definitely see them getting behind places like this and showing their support," Minadakis said.
for more features.