Tell us a little about yourself.
Hey beautiful people! I’m Kat Dent, and I’m an animal rights activist from Toronto, Canada currently living in Regina, Saskatchewan. I’m a freelance writer, artist and programmer among many, many more things. I currently run a blog called plantpoweredpro.com that focuses on veganism, fitness, health and zero waste. I’m a jack of all trades and love to put my creativity in every project! If you’re interested in seeing my journey as a vegan artist, cosplayer, writer and fitness coach/nutritionist please follow me on…
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I went vegan 3 times in my life. The first time I wanted to lose weight and I fell off the lifestyle because I had no idea what I was doing. The second time I got sick, because again, I didn’t know what I was going. The third and final time was in April 2016 when I watched Earthlings. I cried my eyes out, and searched the web for more information. I’ve never turned back since.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
I went vegan overnight. I ate all my remaining food products in the fridge (took about 2 days) and I stopped buying anything that came from an animal. I kept my winter jacket and winter boots for 2 years – they were real fur. I didn’t have the money to buy another jacket or boots that were on that level of warmth (I live in Canada, it can get to -40 celcius here!) but I’ve been able to replace them last year. Nothing in my house contains any animal additives unless it’s medication, but that I don’t have a choice as all medication is tested on animals.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
My husband went vegan with me the same time I did, and at this point I wouldn’t date anyone who isn’t vegan. My husband and I had roommates for a year and they frequently ate eggs, bacon and chicken. It was a very stressful time for us. If I had children, I would bring them up vegan for sure. I would explain why it’s important to be vegan so they wouldn’t feel pressured to be vegan around friends. A fellow activist friend has 3 children who never ate meat and they’re doing great and love being activists, so I know its possible to bring up children this way.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
I’ve done activism with AV and DXE and we have shown these violent images to children. I don’t like scaring them or making them feel bad, but I do think it’s important so that children can make their own decisions. What bothers me more is when parents hide them from the screen. If you won’t show your children how they’re food is prepared, why are you feeding it to them?
What does being vegan mean to you?
I’m a level 10 vegan, I don’t eat anything that casts a shadow! I don’t kill bugs unless they’re encroaching on my dwellings. I had to kill a wasps nest because they made their nest in my mudroom and I felt horrible, but I was worried I would come home to my pets dead if I didn’t do something about it. I don’t kill other bugs like spiders – I let them out or leave them be. I think that buying vegan products from non vegan companies is okay because it’ll encourage the company to bring out more and phase out non vegan products.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
Yes, I think we should all speak up for the animals!
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I am incredibly empathetic to all humans, but I think some of us need some tough love. I was non-vegan for 23 years of my life so I would never treat a non-vegan as less or view them as a worse human etc. I do hope that they’ll make better choices with education, but it will take a lot to reverse the brainwashing – it did for me. Just because I am telling you your choices are hurting other sentient beings it doesn’t mean I hate you – far from it.
Any recommended Vegan books?
How Not to Die, The China Study, Freelees Cookbooks (no seriously, she gives a lot of good advice), The Vegan Starter Kit.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, Forks over Knives, Livekindly, Plant Based News.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
I’ll be coming out with a lot of e-books that will focus around the vegan lifestyle in the next few months (also yoga – who doesn’t love yoga!). I think everyone should watch the Plant Based News documentary, Dominion, Okja and Cowspiricy. Also shout out to Earthlings because it made me vegan!
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Gud eats in Saskatoon and Hunter Gatherer in Regina. Hunter Gatherer is a vegetarian restaurant, but they have a lot of vegan options and everything on their menu can be made vegan.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I’m mostly a whole food vegan, but I have to give credit to minimalist baker who turned a Canadian delicacy into a cruelty free dish:
Here’s something healthier too: https://cookieandkate.com/thai-red-curry-recipe/
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
There are so many resources out there to help you, and our community is so happy to have you! Make sure to pay attention to your vitamins, like vitamin D and B12. Drink lots of water – oh and that tummy gas will pass! You’re just not used to the fibre!
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
Abysmal. I live in the middle of cattle country and we only have one vegetarian restaurant – but it’s slowly getting better! I co-founded the Regina Pig Save two years ago and I have seen a drastic shift over 2 years thanks to activist support.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Go on Facebook and search “Vegans of ____” and insert your city, town or nearest city to you. That’s how I started! Most vegan groups will host vegan meet ups, and from there you can join activist groups, vegan fitness and health groups and yes, even vegan meme groups!
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
I’m a Buddhist (10 years now) and Buddha taught to be kind and patient with all people and animals. My vegan lifestyle and Buddhist roots definitely help me be cruelty free to all animals, humans and the planet. This lifestyle has made me more aware of spiritual aspects of life, as well as zero waste.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Kat Von D Make-Up, Earth Balance, Gardine, Pela.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Nothing that I need is difficult to find near me, but I would die for vegan sour cream and onion chips!
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I failed veganism twice because I had no idea what I was doing. The more research you do the more likely you’ll be successful in this lifestyle. I also struggled when I figured out contacts weren’t vegan (there are a few brands that are now) and I was upset that I had to wear glasses again. It was selfish, but I like to be honest!