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He gets our vote: Newbury Park man makes final of PETA’s Hottest Vegan

PUBLISHED: 10:32 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:42 25 July 2017

Vegan Joshua eating a melon. All pictures Ken Mears.

Vegan Joshua eating a melon. All pictures Ken Mears.

Archant

Bringing something alternative to the table, a man from Newbury Park has reached the finals of PETA’s hottest vegan competition.

Vegan Joshua working out at homeVegan Joshua working out at home

Joshua Grierson, 24, entered the contest to put to bed the myth that you have to eat meat to get a balanced diet.

He also wanted to raise awareness about animal cruelty.

“Look at me I am obviously not protein deficient,” he told the Recorder.

“If I didn’t get enough energy I wouldn’t be 95kg of lean muscle - I eat my parents out of house and home”.

Joshua has lots of meal ideas to choose from.Joshua has lots of meal ideas to choose from.

The masters student didn’t adopt the vegan way of live until he lived in China as part of his degree in international relations and Mandarin and Chinese.

He witnessed a dog getting “pummelled and dragged into a restaurant” and it made him question his whole way of life.

“It didn’t hit me until I saw it but it was disgusting,” he said.

“When I got back home I thought if I wouldn’t eat dog why would I eat any meat.”

Joshua working out at homeJoshua working out at home

“My Muslim mates don’t eat pork, my Sikh friends don’t eat cow and I thought if you put all the religions together you probably won’t eat any animal.”

Although claiming veganism is not a trend but a lifestyle choice, Joshua does credit the growing vegan movement on social media with helping to create more meal options in restaurants.

“This area is so diverse but you don’t hear of many ethnic vegans and I wanted to show people (I am mixed race), that you can compete in strong man competitions and win while being a vegan and you don’t need to eat a whole chicken when you go to Nando’s.

“I can wipe the floor with my meat–eating friends in the gym.”

Joshua gets our voteJoshua gets our vote

As well as power lifting six days a week he also likes to go for runs outdoors but does have the odd cheat when the mood strikes.

Instead of eating half a kilogram of pasta, quinoa, vegetables and a whole loaf of bread he sometimes has a snack of a pack of jam doughnuts or up to 15 packets of chilli heat wave Doritos.

“People in the borough should vote for me as I am flying the flag for non-stereotypical vegans and it would be nice for someone with my background and not very privileged to represent Ilford in a good positive light.

Voting closes on July 28, visit peta.org.uk

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