But Karl Fogg, 56, modestly describes himself as an ‘ordinary’ looking man whose real interest is in getting across the message of how people can learn to live without killing or harming animals for food or other uses.
The competition is run by the charity PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which wants to highlight its work and recognise individuals who are working towards its aims in their own way.
Karl, of Bulkhead Drive, Harbour Village, has given talks on veganism, mentored those who have just become vegans and joined peaceful demonstrations outside fast food chains.
He is also writing an online vegan cook book.
Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, not only in diet but in regard to anything that supports the ‘commodity status of animals’, so unlike vegetarians vegans won’t partake in dairy products.
The father of three, who spent 20 years running a publishing company called Premium Benefits , said: “I would not normally be entering a beauty contest, I’m an ordinary looking middle aged man with thinning hair!
“I’m fully expecting my mates to take the Mickey.
“The reason I entered it was because it offered a platform to let more people know about veganism.
“I am someone who spent more than 50 years eating meat, I am a long-term weight trainer who never considered not eating meat.
“But I now believe that the processes involved in meat and dairy production are so horribly cruel that I will never eat meat again.
“If you take the slaughtering of pigs alone, whereby an animal which is more intelligent even than a dog is subjected to horrific treatment in slaughter houses which terrifies them, it becomes a major moral imperative.”
Karl, married to Jan, 56, says he was tuned into veganism by his eldest daughter, Stephanie, 33, who came back from university and told him she had changed her mind about eating meat.
The couple’s other children, 32 year old Luke and Lucy, 28, have stopped eating meat too.
He added: “As the cook of the house I would serve up their favourite dishes and they all involved meat – but the whole family has had a turn-around since then and I don’t miss meat all, there are plenty of really good alternatives.
“I probably won’t win this competition but that’s doesn’t worry me – it’s the message rather than the prize that I’m interested in.”
PETA says that in addition to each saving the lives of nearly 200 animals every year, people who go vegan are less prone to suffering from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity and are, on average, fitter and trimmer than meat-eaters are.
The winner of the competition will receive an award-winning “Les Plantes” vegan tasting menu for two at top London restaurant Gauthier Soho.
This year’s winner will be chosen based on several factors, including vote count, and will be announced by September 11.
For more information and to vote in the contest, please visit PETA.org.uk.