The leader of the Australian Animal Justice Party has been caught out eating seafood at a Japanese restaurant in Sydney.
Mark Pearson, the leader of the party which holds a seat in the New South Wales Legislative Council, has faced a wall of abuse online from vegans who claim he is a regular eater of seafood.
Pearson called these claims "absolute rubbish".
The party's policy states that "Eating fish, whether farmed or wild, is incompatible with AJP's advocacy of a plant-based diet."
Pearson admitted to eating a dish that contained fish.
"I strayed for that moment; for that morsel. It's all over. I think the people in the party have forgiven me and now we have to get on and do the work for animals," he told Fairfax.
A member of the Sydney Vegan Facebook Club said Pearson was a regular at the Japanese restaurant and had seen him eating oysters and snapper.
"They promote a plant based diet on their page, are so passionate about animal rights and the abolishment of everything cruel to do with it in Australia. Does anyone else find this a bit f---ed?"
Pearson has rejected calls for him to stand down telling Australian media the party is not vegetarian or vegan exclusive.
"We did not get elected by the vegan community," he said.