VEGAN activists took over the meat aisle in a large superstore making Sunday shoppers question the items in their basket.

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), an international animal rights network, organised their first protest in Brighton and Hove in the large Tesco in Church Road.

More than 30 vegan activists lined-up together, blocking the meat aisle as part of a mass silent protest against the meat industry.

The vegan activists held signs pictured with farm animals captioned: “I want to live” and “It’s not food it’s violence” to shock the public into deciding against buying meat.

The DxE Brighton activists stood between the shoppers and the meat aisle for about half an hour, during which a spokeswoman made announcements to the public, asking them to question the “dead bodies” that are “cut up and neatly packaged on the shelf”.

She explained the group gathered to “show the faces of the animals that are suffering” while others, dressed in black, wore tape over their mouths to ‘symbolise the silenced victims of the meat industry’.

A spokeswoman for the group said the silent disruption was aimed at drawing attention to the animals killed for human consumption.

He said: “We occupied one of the ‘meat’ isles where the flesh of innocent animals lie neatly packaged, ready to be picked up by an unconscious consumer.

“Customers, Tesco staff and police watched as we made a stand against this unnecessary death.

“We had a mixed response in general as we expected.

“It ranged from people congratulating us to curiosity to a few people hurling abuse.

“Obviously the manager and police did not want us in the store but we were not willing to leave until we had completed our action.

The organiser behind the DxE Brighton protest who prefers not to be named said: “We will not let institutions or consumers forget the true cost of these ‘products’.

“For those of you not sure what victims we are talking about we urge you to look into animal agriculture.

“Land of Hope and Glory’ is one of many documentaries that exposes what goes on in these industries here in the UK.”

A leaflet distributed among the public at protest said ‘56 billion animals are killed for food every year, not including sea creatures which is estimated to be trillions’.

The Tesco branch in Hove have been contacted since the event and have said they were aware of the protesters but have no further comment to make.