The organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has paid to place this advertisement at the Portland International Jetport, urging visitors to the state not to eat Maine's signature seafood, lobster. Credit: Courtesy of PETA

Lobsters are “individuals,” not food.

That’s the message of ads an animal rights group has posted in Maine’s busiest airport.

For the month of August, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals purchased space at the Portland International Jetport for posters of a lobster holding a sign that reads: “I’m ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan.”

The marketing push coincides with the kickoff of the Maine Lobster Festival up the coast in Rockland. It’s the latest in the group’s series of attention-grabbing protests against eating Maine’s iconic crustacean.

[PETA’s partially clothed protest of lobster festival attracts gawkers]

In the jetport, the ads are posted near Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster Cafe, which sells food and live lobsters that travelers can take onto their flights. PETA previously charged the restaurant — owned by Linda Bean, a descendent of the L.L.Bean founder — with inhumane mutilation of live lobsters and crabs at a Rockland processing facility.

[Prosecutor won’t charge Linda Bean, lobster plant for animal cruelty]

PETA’s ads were purchased through a third-party company that handles advertising at the city-owned jetport and approved by city staff, a city spokeswoman said.

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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