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Call for crab and lobster festival to become vegan

PUBLISHED: 10:45 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 18:20 14 May 2020

Claire Davies and Louise Hyde of Davies Fish Shop at last year's Crab and Lobster Festival. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Claire Davies and Louise Hyde of Davies Fish Shop at last year's Crab and Lobster Festival. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

Organisers of Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival have reacted with bemusement to a suggestion it should go vegan.

The popular event, which celebrates coastal towns Cromer and Sheringham, should have been held for the 11th time this weekend, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

And in light of that, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has written to the festival committee calling for an animal-friendly celebration in 2021.

The organisation is urging the committee to start a new tradition by shifting to plant-based seafood.

Peta director of vegan corporate projects Dawn Carr said: “Because COVID-19 emerged from a market where live and dead animals were sold for food, festivals that celebrate eating animals should be a thing of the past.

Fisherman John Davies dismissed the suggestion that the Crab and Lobster Festival could go vegan. Picture: BBCFisherman John Davies dismissed the suggestion that the Crab and Lobster Festival could go vegan. Picture: BBC

“PETA is calling on the Crab and Lobster Festival to shift the focus of future festivals from eating the local wildlife to celebrating them.”

But Cromer crab fisherman John Davies, who is also on the festival committee, said: “Why on earth should we do that?

“Considering that the vegan population is a very small minority, why limit ourselves? It’s called the crab and lobster festival and that’s what we do. It’s a popular event on the calendar and growing each year.

“Everyone to their own, but it’s like me suggesting that a vegan festival change its name to a meat factory.”

Crab and Lobster festival committee chairman Tony Shipp. Photo: ARCHANTCrab and Lobster festival committee chairman Tony Shipp. Photo: ARCHANT

Festival committee chairman Tony Shipp said: “It would be difficult to see how it could work. The committee’s not meeting at the moment because of coronavirus, but I suppose we could discuss it.”

The Peta letter concludes: “If the festival committee chooses to move forward with a crabulous animal-friendly event, Peta would be happy to become a sponsor, host delicious vegan crab cake cookery demonstrations, and provide free samples of vegan seafood for all to enjoy.”

The organisation said that one-third of Britons had already reduced their meat intake, including fish, or stopped consuming animals entirely.

Festival activities including the opening show, the art trail, and the grand auction were cancelled in March due to the pandemic.


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