Former meat eater Gareth in line to be ‘sexiest vegan’

thisisoxfordshire: Gareth Lloyd Gareth Lloyd

IS this Britain and Ireland’s sexiest vegan?

Oxford’s Gareth Lloyd, pictured, has been nominated for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) award, aimed at re-branding veganism.

The 27-year-old artist – a former soldier – was nominated by girlfriend and publishing worker Harriet Affleck, also 27, who introduced him to the meat-free cause.

Vegans do not consume any product derived in whole or from parts of an animal.

He said: “I thought it was really funny, but I didn’t really think anything would come of it.

“I got an email saying I was one of the four finalists – I think only four blokes entered!”

Mr Lloyd has now beaten dozens of other entrants to reach the final.

He said: “I think it’s good that PETA do this competition, it’s a bit of fun.

“Some people say veganism is all serious, but it’s supposed to be fun.

“It’s a nice way to live and it’s the most caring way to live life.”

Until a year ago, former Royal Artillery soldier Mr Lloyd was a fully-fledged carnivore.

He explained: “I used to be a hardcore meat eater, I had bacon every morning.

“I love steak and chicken.

“Meat was a big part of my life. I was quite uneducated.

“Then I met Harriet, who was a vegetarian, and took an interest in her opinion and she opened my eyes.

“I did my own research and it became clear that it was the right thing.”

Now a professional artist, Mr Lloyd uses his paintings to campaign for wildlife causes, in particular the welfare of animals in Africa.

He said eating meat made him feel a hypocrite, adding: “I was claiming to care about animals then putting them on my plate.”

For Mr Lloyd, the real winner is someone who is not even in the running: “Harriet is the sexiest vegan I know.”

Charity spokeswoman Yvonne Taylor said: “Compassion for others is not only a sign of strength but also a big turn-on.”

This is the fifth time PETA has run the competition, which has eight finalists, four men and four women.

The public can vote by next Friday, and then two winners will be announced on the following Tuesday.

Winners will be chosen by PETA based on vote count, how they promote their entry, as well as who the judges think are the most attractive.

The winner will get a Lake District hotel stay.

VEGAN ACTORS

  • Pamela Anderson
  • Anne Hathaway
  • Natalie Portman
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Russell Brand
  • Olivia Wilde
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Lea Michele

To vote visit features.peta.org.uk /sexiest-vegan-2014

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