It wasn't a local Grinch that crashed a central Auckland Santa parade, it was a group of vegans dressed in cow-print onesies to raise awareness for animal rights.

The protest, which followed a series of supermarket protests across the country, was organised by Direct Action Everywhere NZ (DxE NZ).

Security busted the group trying to line up with everyone else for Sunday's Auckland Santa Parade, so they split up into two groups, a DxE NZ spokeswoman said.

"We left half to distract the police, while the other half went through the crowd to take place in the parade," DxE NZ co-ordinator Anna Rippon told Stuff.

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The placards protesters carried bore the message "Peace begins on your plate", which kept in line with the parade's festivities, she said.

"We didn't want to make it too in your face and the crowds were really supportive."

She said the protesters were "kicked out" by about four security guards when they reunited.

Protests also took place in supermarkets across the country on Saturday.

The latest "supermarket disruptions" were held in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland supermarkets, where protesters stood in the meat isle, black tape covering their mouths.

Supermarket
Supermarket "disruptions" have been taking place since September. Photo / Supplied

The protesters held signs which read: "It's not food, it's violence" and "Stop eating animals."

"While some people consider these actions controversial, the disruptions are designed to remind consumers that they have a choice, whereas animals killed for our food have no choice," Rippon told Stuff.

"Everywhere in New Zealand we are noticing retailers and food businesses working hard to deliver new and improved meat and dairy alternatives to address people's growing ethical, environmental, or health concerns.

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"The reality is, it is completely unnecessary, and that means it can no longer be considered acceptable."

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DxE NZ's protests aim to raise awareness of a petition to Parliament to close all slaughterhouses by 2025.

The petition has gained over 500 signatures since its opening in September.