AN ANIMAL rights campaigner from North Yorkshire has joined around 100 others to lie nearly naked in a heap in Trafalgar Square, splattered with fake blood.

Rose Patterson, 25, from Harrogate, made a stand with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to encourage passers-by to stop eating meat and fish on World Vegan Day (November 1).

Ms Patterson, a photographic arts student who attended Harrogate Grammar School, said: "Animals feel pain, fear, love and joy, just as humans do, yet billions of them are killed every year for products that are poisoning the environment and contributing to the UK's obesity epidemic.

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"I am happy to use my body to challenge people to think about the massive toll that the meat industry takes on animals, the Earth and human health – and to go vegan."

A spokesman for PETA said: “Animals raised on filthy, crowded factory farms are often caged and deprived of all that is natural and important to them, such as foraging for food and raising their young.

“Many are subjected to horrific mutilations, including having their teeth, tails and testicles cut off without any painkillers.

“Cows, pigs, chickens and sheep often have their throats cut while they're still able to feel pain.”

He added: “Vegans are, on average, less prone to suffering from heart disease, diabetes, strokes, obesity and cancer than meat-eaters are.

“They also have smaller carbon footprints, as the meat industry is a major producer of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.”

World Vegan day was established by Louise Wallis, the former chair of the Vegan Society UK, in 1994.

Vegans and vegetarians now make up 12 per cent of the UK population, and that number is said to rise to 20 per cent for 18- to 24-year-olds.