A group of five activists protested the sale of meat at Whanganui's Trafalgar Square Countdown for about 15 minutes - before being asked to leave by management.

The Whanganui and Auckland group set up in the supermarket's meat section on Saturday morning with three wearing the words love, compassion and freedom taped over their mouths and holding photographs of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses.

Whanganui activist Sandara Kyle said there weren't many customers and only a few were annoyed by the peaceful vigil.

When a store manager asked the group to leave, they thanked her and left.

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"We believe in non-violent communication, including the kind of words you say and how you say it," Kyle said.

"There is no reason to continue slaughtering sentient beings for our food. There are many delicious, healthy and more sustainable products that do not involve hurting an animal."

No one from store management has been available to comment on the action.

The vigil was the first of three planned for last weekend. The group behind them is Direct Action Everywhere New Zealand (DxE) - an international animal rights organisation.

Auckland man Deno Stock joins Whanganui activists in a protest against killing animals for meat. Photo / supplied
Auckland man Deno Stock joins Whanganui activists in a protest against killing animals for meat. Photo / supplied