Most of the interviews at Weird! Why Aren’t You Vegan? are with people who are unique and different (read: not vegan). This has the normal people (read: vegans) feeling a little left out. So, to appease the masses, we now – once a month – feature a regular old, nothin’ special, run-of-the-mill vegan. This month, we meet Alex Bury.
Alex in-fur-i-ates me. Why? Because she’s funnier than me, and I hate that. It makes me so mad, and it makes our constant back-and-forth email sessions a nightmare. I inevitably LOL (the genuine kind, not the “I already typed ‘haha’ thirteen times so I need to switch it up” kind) and then I cry and feel shame for being “in comedy” but having zero potential to ever be as funny as Alex. In short, Alex deliberately makes other women feel bad about themselves. Anyone who knows her knows this is true.*
*But seriously, Alex is one of my absolute favorite people on the planet. She’s a feminist, an awesome advocate for animals, an incredible chef, and the spouse of my boss so I have to be nice to her.
Meet Alex Bury.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done in workout pants?
A donor called me when I was at the gym. I left and met him. In my workout pants. I was just visiting his city and it was the only chance I could see him. The meeting resulted in $40,000 for animals. Donor, you know who you are, and I want to say thank you again for ignoring my outfit and giving so much to help animals. After the meeting I went back to the gym and had a really good workout. For the record, readers: I can hold a plank longer than Lisa Rimmert. No big deal, I just want to throw that out there.
This is a weird question but do you do your own laundry? If so, describe your process and tell us what your biggest laundry mistake has been.
It is weird, and this whole thing is weird, but I’m trying to ignore the negative and focus on the positive which is how I live my life.*
I would never let anyone do my laundry. I have boundaries. I hate germs. Clothes need to be folded a certain way. If my partner ever so much as moved my laundry from the washer to the dryer so he could start his laundry I would immediately end the relationship. Partner, you know who you are, and I want to say thanks again for always respecting my boundaries.
*I actually don’t do this but I love saying that I do. It makes other people feel bad for being negative around me.
Do you share your home with any non-human animals? Tell us a funny story about them.
Richard! A college student dumped a baby turtle on us last year. That baby is now a thriving teenager named Richard (although he might be a she).
Not funny: Never, ever buy a turtle for a pet. Please? Thank you. It’s a horrible pet industry and there are many homeless turtles because a human made an impulse buy and then couldn’t care for him (or her).
Now the funny: Richard is actually very serious. The only humor in the situation is my partner, Jack. In many ways Jack is like a turtle. They are both serious, and tough, and bald, and they both like the sun a lot. But now, every time Jack comes downstairs, he says hi to Richard in this really silly voice. Imagine Samuel L. Jackson walking by you looking all serious and thoughtful and stern and then all of a sudden he bends down to pet a kitten and giggle. It’s confusing. You see why I need therapy.
Do you share your home with any fellow human animals? Tell us an embarrassing story about them. Just kidding, tell us one about you.
I share my home with one partner (all the time) and two Vegan Outreach employees (40 hours a week). I spend most of my time hiding in my office with my door locked. They are not allowed to come into my office, or even look into it if the door is open (see laundry question). They are all wonderful. A lot of cooking and eating and talking about cooking and eating happens.
Embarrassing story about me: I have yet to do anything embarrassing, but if I ever do, you’ll be the first to know!
Some readers have indicated they’d like to know about your veganism. That seems weird to me, since being vegan is the norm and not very interesting, but here goes nothing.
When did you become vegan and what motivated you to do so (aside from the fact that being vegan is pretty much a given nowadays, and that there are a hundred reasons that support the decision and none against it)?
Whoa. I forget I ever ate meat, and you just reminded me! Now I’ll need more therapy!
Nutshell: One day I was eating veal and foie gras and brains (literally—at the Culinary Institute of America). The next day I saw a slaughterhouse video. The day after that I stopped eating animals. I’m leaving out a few details but that’s close enough. The CIA is an excellent school but I must have been out sick the day they taught us about factory farms, transport trucks and slaughterhouses. Can’t believe I missed it! Maybe I can still get a make-up course all these years later?
What is your favorite meal? It can be real or made up.
I tell meat-eaters my favorite meal is a good veggie burger and fries. Because my actual favorite meal sounds like your worst hippie vegetarian nightmare: brown rice, garbanzo beans, cabbage or broccoli, and salsa. I’m sorry. I know I should never say that in public.
What food item do you always have in stock in your kitchen?
Salsa, cans of beans, rice, vegan meats (Tofurky, Gardein, Beyond Meat), coffee, red wine, So Delicious ice cream (chocolate peanut butter zig-zag obviously), cabbage, whiskey.
Do you just eat vegan (aka, the bare minimum) or do you also speak out against cruelty? If so, what do you do? If not, what is your problem?
Is this question a joke? Or is this your way of ending our friendship that was barely beginning? Unbelievable. I speak out against cruelty to animals EVERY DAY.
- When I see a dog who is adorable, I give him treats so he doesn’t suffer from treat deficiency.
- I sometimes cook for my partner so he doesn’t suffer from malnutrition (although he doesn’t like my food so he actually ends up suffering more, but it’s the thought that counts, right?).
- I post important things to Facebook *all the time.*
- When I see someone buying chicken in the store, I slip up behind them and replace the dead chicken with Gardein vegan chicken. Works every time.
- I’m also really, really (really) lucky to work for The Humane Society of the United States. Thanks to amazing co-workers who I just try to keep up with, I’m able to go to bed at night feeling like I made a difference. The Meatless Monday program alone is one of the most effective campaigns to fight animal abuse happening today, and I love being a part of it. I also volunteer for Vegan Outreach. I can’t believe how veg eating has grown just in my lifetime (I look like I’m in my 20’s but I’m actually a bit older). Vegan Outreach’s quiet but steady work is the main cause for this explosion of veg eating, veg products, veg awareness. Also, their founder is hot.
What is the easiest thing about being vegan?
Coffee. Coffee was vegan before, it’s vegan now. I can get a soy latte with 2 extra shots in the darkest corner of Alaska. Trust me I’m speaking from experience.
Out of the one and only reason it’s hard to be vegan (the people around you, of course), who is the worst offender and why?
Vegans who think vegan food = rabbit food. I love rabbits. I don’t like what they eat. If you say you’re vegan but you refuse to eat a big juicy sofritas burrito at Chipotle, with extra guac, I will literally throw salsa at you the next time I see you.
Alternate choice in case the first choice can’t be included due to salsa on his/her head: Switzerland. I plan to retire in the Swiss alps and from what I understand they currently do not have a Veggie Grill or Native Foods at the top of each mountain. Yet. That makes me anxious. I will probably retire early (lottery tickets etc) and I worry about this every single day.
Song: “Rocky Mountain High” By John Denver
Replace lyrics “Colorado Rocky Mountain High” with “Vegan Swiss Alps High.”
Recipe: Vegan Reuben Wrap with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing (by Alex Bury)