Recently, I got a chance to sit down with Rob Bigwood, an incredibly talented interactive designer here in New York. His designs are gorgeous: elegant, catchy, and most of all, beautiful.
I wanted to chat with him for a different reason, though: Rob is a well-known, successful, and incredible vegan arm wrestler! Far from the unfortunate stereotype of the thin and protein-starved vegan, Rob’s made an entire career out of being a plant-based, cruelty-free and ripped athlete.
Read on for some of my interview with the amazing Rob Bigwood.
Anjali: What made you decide to go vegan?
Rob: I’ve always been an animal lover and when it connected in my mind what I was actually eating, I felt physically ill. I researched as much as I could and discovered how disgusting and inhumane the factory farming industry is. I made an ethical decision to give up all animal products. It’s more important for me to stand up for what I believe in than to worry about being an amazing arm wrestler. (Editor’s note: But he is an amazing arm wrestler anyway!)
Anjali: When you meet other arm wrestlers (perhaps those that are…ahem….not as successful as you…) what is their reaction to your diet?
Rob: Everyone is surprisingly supportive and mostly just curious about my diet. I get asked the same usual questions about protein, etc. but once they hear how easy it is to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle I think some become inspired. (Editor’s note: This is amazing!)
Anjali: Tell me about arm wrestling – what’s it like? What made you get into it? It seems so cool!
Rob: Professional Arm Wrestling is cool! Too many people think its a bar sport where out of shape meat heads growl at each other over a table, but it’s the complete opposite. Arm wrestling is a legitimate sport that takes serious training, dedication, technique and focus. It’s also extremely intensive on the body, muscles, joints and ligaments. This sport hasn’t been tainted by money like most others and it’s one on one, if you lose there is nobody else to blame but yourself.
Anjali: What’s your favorite vegan food/product?
Rob: I don’t have one favorite food in particular but living in New York definitely has its vegan benefits! I’m a huge fan of Gobo, Blossom, Terri, Soy and Sake, ‘sNice, V-note, Candle 79, Candle Cafe, Angelica Kitchen, Sacred Chow, and Caravan of Dreams. In general though, I consume Sunwarrior and Vega protein shakes, Builder bars, almond milk, legumes, nuts, tofu, tempeh, seitan, vegetables, and fruits.
Anjali: What advice would you have for athletes deciding to go vegan, or would what you tell them?
Rob: Do a little research first before jumping into it. It really isn’t that hard replacing meat with a cruelty-free vegan alternative. It’s amazing for your body and the environment – not to mention all the innocent lives that could be saved.