Tell us a little about yourself. =
My name is Dustin Watten, I am a member of Team USA and a professional volleyball athlete, currently living in Katowice, Poland.
What lead you to veganism?
I came across the book Finding Ultra on accident. I read it on my trip to France and before I got off the plane, I decided I would try going plant-based for 2 months.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
Just food, my beginning was purely for performance as an athlete.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
I don’t consume anything from animals. I used to make considerations, living abroad if a teammate would make a cake for his birthday and bring it to share with everyone but then I realized that this decision, although was kind to my teammate’s feelings – didn’t align with my morals.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
What does being vegan mean to you?
It means doing the least amount of harm, to consciously not make decisions that harm other sentient beings. Sometimes our choices will have an unintended effect on others and this is hard to escape. But we always have the choice of not buying meat, fish, eggs and other products that came from animal suffering.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
It isn’t. Everyone’s perception of being a vegan is their own. I believe by using activism we can share a more compassionate, conscious lifestyle but it shouldn’t be a requirement.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
Very. I was once a non-vegan. I just didn’t know any better. Rather than having resentment or anger towards them, I choose compassion – because I was once them. I spent many years feeling resentment and it only made my life worse while putting them off towards the idea of being vegan.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Finding Ultra, Thrive, How not to die, Meat is for pussies, Eat to Live.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I am a big fan of smoothie bowls / nice cream
1.5 frozen bananas
¼ cup of oatmeal
1 cup of kale
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of almond butter
Half a cucumber
½ cup of parsley
2 cups of cold water or 1.5 cups of water & 1 cup of ice
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Eat more than you previously ate before (you aren’t protein deprived, just calorically restricting yourself)
An experiment in the kitchen, vegan cooking can be even more delicious and even easier on the wallet
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
In Katowice it is quite small but next to me in Krakow it is exploding.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Yoga, vegan meet up, vegan festivals
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
Compassionate and conscious living. The golden rule – treating others as you want to be treated. Not just that but finding compassion for when other’s morals don’t meet the standard of your own.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Nutritional yeast! I can never have enough!
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
My first year vegan in France. I hear it’s better now but initially, I couldn’t find anything when I went to restaurants that weren’t covered in cheese or made with egg.