Animal rights activists have marked Sir Paul McCartney's upcoming birthday on Wednesday (18Jun14) by hitting the streets of his English hometown wearing masks of his face.

The Beatles legend will turn 72 this week (beg16Jun14) and to honour the longtime vegetarian, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) members handed out meat-free snacks on the streets of Liverpool on Tuesday (17Jun14).

The campaigners wore masks of MCCartney's face and carried placards featuring the slogan, "Give peas a chance - try vegan", in reference to the song Give Peace a Chance by the rocker's late bandmate John Lennon.

They marched in front of the city's famous The Cavern Club, where the Fab Four played in their early years.

Peta Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi says, "We're sure Paul will be delighted that we've chosen to honour his birthday by encouraging the public to give vegetarianism a try. Whether you're six or 64 or, in Paul's case, a very young 72, going vegetarian is a great way to help animals, your health and the environment."

MCCartney will spend his birthday recovering from a virus which left him hospitalised last month (May14).