Animal activists are taking part in a five-day vigil outside slaughterhouses in the region calling for an end to industrial animal farming.
Members of North East Animal Save (NEAS) from Sunderland, Peterlee, South Shields and Spennymoor began their week of action at 6am on Monday as part of a global activity by the SAVE Movement to raise awareness of the plight of animals within the industry.
The group said industrial animal farming was also a major issue for the environment, and called on people to consider how their diets were impacting on the world.
NEAS co-organiser Rachael Claire said: “Many people believe there’s nothing we can do as individuals about climate change but the environmental impacts of what goes on your plate is one of the easiest things we can change.
"A vegan diet is 30 times less damaging to the planet than a standard carnivorous diet. We’re not helpless – to help the world we just need to think more ethically about what goes in our mouths.”
NEAS co-ocrganiser Squidgy Lou Chakra said up to 80 billion land animals globally are transported and slaughtered each year in what activist view to be unacceptable conditions.
"We’ll look back on what we do to animals today as we now look back on slavery," she said.
The vigils are taking place at a number of locations in the North East, with between 10 and 20 campaigners armed with signs, placards and cameras to catch footage of the animals on their way to slaughter.
The SAVE Movement is a global activism network which aims to bear witness to animals arriving at slaughter and to raise awareness of the plight of animals and the impact of animal agriculture on human health and environmental sustainability.
There are more than 150 groups worldwide in a dozen or so countries. Campaigners say the movement follows "a love-based approach to activism and is inspired by the civil disobedience campaigns of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi".