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2024 Presenter Series: Interview with Robert Cheeke

We recently caught up with Robert Cheeke, a  plant-based pioneer and beloved Holistic Holiday at Sea veteran. We were delighted to learn that Robert, who is an expert in the realms of fitness, wellness, and vegan living, will release a new book in June 2024! 

The Impactful Vegan: How You Can Save More Lives and Make the Biggest Difference for Animals and the Planet teaches readers how to assess the impacts of their consumption and adopt habits that have been determined by experts to benefit animals in profound ways.

Read on to learn about Robert’s latest work and his thoughts on joining Holistic Holiday at Sea on our upcoming vegan, Caribbean cruise in March 2024.

Interview with Robert Cheeke

You’re a veteran aboard Holistic Holiday at Sea. What do you love about being a presenter?

I have been a presenter on the Holistic Holiday at Sea Vegan cruise for the past twelve years, and what I love most about it is that the community, and my audiences, are so engaged in the content, and eager to learn. The vegan cruise provides me with a platform to reach hundreds of people during my presentations, up to one hundred people attending my fitness classes, and there is an opportunity for me to meet up to two thousand fellow vegans and plant-based enthusiasts over the course of a week while sailing around the Caribbean. That’s hard to beat. 

What is your favorite part of the week at sea?

From day one, on my very first vegan cruise in 2011, I have been saying that the best part of the Holistic Holiday at Sea Vegan Cruise is the relationships that are built. I met my wife on that very first cruise, and I have created dear friendships because of the setting, the shared common interests, the social gatherings, and the overall program that brings people together. I have seen many other people meet their new best friends, and even meet their future spouse on the cruise, and it’s a beautiful thing.

When did you realize you wanted to be a vegan? How come?

I became vegan for the animals on December 8, 1995, at age 15, as a result of growing up on a farm, and following my older sister’s example to treat animals as individuals, rather than food. I didn’t begin lifting weights until years later, so all my muscle mass en route to becoming a champion vegan bodybuilder was built with plants. 

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Were you a fitness-minded person before you were an author?

I knew that I wanted to be a writer in Mrs. Young’s third grade class at Lincoln Elementary School in Corvallis, Oregon in 1988, when I was eight years old. In her class, I wrote several children’s books that were laminated and spiral-bound, and I decided that I wanted to continue to write books and tell stories as an adult. I worked at it, practiced writing daily, took writing classes, and even worked with a writing coach when I was in high school. In 2021, I became a New York Times bestseller, coauthoring The Plant-Based Athlete with Matt Frazier, which was my fifth published book. I have used my plant-based athlete career as a vehicle to write books, calling upon my decades of experience when writing Shred It!, Plant-Based Muscle, and The Plant-Based Athlete, which are the books I will have on board during the next vegan cruise.

Can you share a bit about your soon-to-be-released book, The Impactful Vegan?

No offense to my New York Times bestseller, The Plant-Based Athlete, but my new book, The Impactful Vegan, which comes out on June 25, 2024, is a much better book. The Impactful Vegan uncovers the most effective strategies to amplify veganism and reduce animal suffering, showing readers how to use their skills, talents, resources and network to maximize their impact on animals. I interviewed many of the world’s leading animal advocates, and presidents of the most effective animal charities globally, to discover what actions really make the biggest difference for animals. I encourage readers to ask themselves the question, “Are you an impactful vegan?” And if you claim to be impactful, how do you quantify or measure your effectiveness? In The Impactful Vegan, I reveal to readers that some forms of animal advocacy are far more effective than others, and I argue that if we care about being impactful, we owe it to ourselves, and the animals, to act in the most meaningful ways. The Impactful Vegan is available for pre-order wherever books are sold. 

What are you hoping it can do for the world?

My goal with The Impactful Vegan is that it will empower and equip readers to move forward with confidence, knowing how to make the greatest positive influence on animals. As a result, my hope is that many millions of dollars will be collectively donated to the most effective animal charities, giving them more resources to spare more animal lives. I also hope that The Impactful Vegan starts a movement of empowered advocates who leverage their skills, talents, resources, and network to create serious positive change for animals, especially farmed animals. The book is full of captivating stories and innovative ideas about what it means to be an impactful vegan, featuring the organizations, companies, and individuals who are sparing the most animal lives. With every copy of The Impactful Vegan that is sold, a vegan meal will be provided to a hungry child in the developing world through a partnership with Food For Life Global. Pre-order The Impactful Vegan wherever books are sold. 


Can you share any tips or must-have items for newcomers to the vegan cruise?

For those who are new to the cruise, I recommend attending as many lectures, presentations, and classes as possible, and I also encourage cruisers to sit at different tables for every meal to meet as many people as you can, to enhance your overall experience. Furthermore, I suggest that cruisers go to the book signings and get the opportunity to have your books signed by authors, to take photos with authors, and to get the chance to meet and connect with authors. As an author myself, this is one of the most rewarding experiences I have on board, and though I write my own books, I still purchase signed copies of books from my fellow authors to partake in that experience too.

What are your fitness offerings/classes like at sea and can folks across the fitness spectrum participate?

For the past decade, I have been offering functional fitness classes on board which are total body workouts, like what you might see in a group fitness class in a big box gym. They are intended for everyone of all fitness levels. You go at your own pace, following my lead. My function fitness class is a great way to get your daily workout done with like-minded people, and it is an outstanding opportunity to connect with others. I also give a popular lecture, titled, Build Your Body on a Plant-Based Diet, which teaches attendees how to build muscle, burn fat, increase endurance, reduce inflammation, improve recovery time, and create their own meal plans, by understanding the foods to consume to achieve those goals, and the foods to avoid. I also participate in group panel discussions, including a plant-based athlete panel, and I can often be found at the pool deck social gatherings, in the gym on board, and attending lectures, workshops, and classes by other presenters. And, of course, I will be doing a book signing for my various books that will be available in the bookstore. 

What are your goals or wishes for the upcoming trip in March?

My personal goal for the March 2024 vegan cruise is that I get to meet new people, make new friends, build and nurture relationships, and see new places. My birthday is the day we sail away (March 2nd), which is always fun, and I look forward to giving presentations, leading fitness classes, and talking to people about the philosophies behind The Impactful Vegan.

We can’t wait to catch up with Robert in person this March. Join us for an unforgettable plant-based wellness journey through the Caribbean. Learn more.