Interview: Corey Bennett

courtney byrd

It’s not often I learn about veganism from a non-vegan, but this interviewee proved to be an exception. He smartly pointed out during the course of his interview that spices are vegan so non-vegans can’t eat them. I agree and will be holding a food drive to collect all your oregano, cumin, and garlic.

I appreciated learning from and getting to know this interviewee better, and I think you’ll enjoy him very much too.

Please meet Corey Bennett!

What is your name?

Corey Bennett.

How long have you been a non-vegan?

I was born a red-blooded American, nothing vegan entered my system until I was twenty-five years old. Growing up, every meal involved a meat, another meat, cheese, and a glass of milk. Sometimes eggs were involved.

A typical meal during my childhood involved a steak broiled on both sides, and as a special treat we would add salt or pepper after it was cooked. Spices are vegan, so we didn’t eat those. For a side, we’d have baked potatoes (technically vegan but potatoes don’t count) with sour cream, butter and cheese, and maybe some kind of canned vegetable.

To this day, if I make a meal and involve spices, my dad asks why my meals are always so complicated and fancy. The idea of a vegan meal would probably make my family’s head explode.

Why have you decided not to be vegan? Describe your journey to veganism and where you got stalled.

If I go down the path of veganism, I just know there would be nothing stopping me. I’m a sweet, sensitive baby who emotionally attaches to animals and inanimate objects alike.

When I was twelve, I got a new blanket for my bed. As soon as I put the old blanket away, I felt awful for abandoning it and put it back on my bed for months. I was so hot sleeping with two blankets, but my conscience was clear.

When I buy meat in the store, I don’t have to worry about harming or abandoning an animal, but if I ever met my meal?? I’d spiral! First it’s feeling bad for animals, then I’ll start feeling guilty over murdering and eating LIVING plants. Where does it end? I’d have to waste away just to live with myself.

If you had to take one step toward becoming vegan, what would it be and why only one?

I often romanticize the idea of having a vegan diet, I’m all for sustainability and treating fellow animals with respect. I’m maybe 40-50% plant-based with my meals and I love finding new fun ways to consume not-meats. I do love me some coconut milk, and I genuinely can’t tell the difference between vegan butter and real butter.

However, I love me some garbage food. Cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks, Jack in the Box Tacos. I love raw meat like sushi or carpaccio. I don’t think I could give up meat and cheese permanently.

Which fad diet or meat eating celebrity made you want to eat animals?

In 2000, Julian McMahon played Cole on the hit television series, Charmed. When that man was shirtless (which happened several times per season), I wanted to gnaw on his biceps like a giant turkey leg. I think that’s what inspired my meat-based diet.

What vegan food do you fear you’re missing out on as a non-vegan?

Bad vegan cheese, like Daiya. The really crumbly, non-melty kind that tastes a little bit like sawdust and a lot like mildewy yeast. It just seems like trying to cook with it or eat it would be a beautiful growth moment.

In all seriousness, I do think the vegans are trying to trick us with their substitutes and saving all the really delicious, non-substituty recipes for themselves. I want to find them out, and have that secret yumminess.

Do you eat fish? You eat fish, right?

Oh absolutely, I’m a Washingtonian. Salmon, shellfish, shrimpies, gimme. I especially like raw fish like sushi or poke bowls. My family occasionally has seafood smorgasbords. They’re unfortunately not very vegan. Still lots of cheese, butter and other animal products. But ooooh they are tasty.

I feel like fish would be exempt from my sympathies. They’re slimy, have weird mouths and breathe water. It seems unnatural to me, like eating bugs. I don’t have any emotional ties them getting eaten. But only as a special treat.

Courtney Byrd's dog, IzzyAre there any animals in your life, such as pets or funny neighborhood squirrels? Tell us a story about them.

My lease doesn’t allow pets, but here’s a picture of Cole from Charmed.

In the show, he’s a demon and becomes the Source of All Evil. Phoebe, one of the main characters and his love interest, turns evil for all of two minutes to be with him, which I thought was unrealistic. I absolutely would have abandoned my family and become queen of the underworld forever just for a chance to see him shirtless in person.

I guess that’s not really a funny story, but I think about it a lot.

What do you do for fun besides eating meat and dairy?

Usually I’ll be rewatching Gilmore Girls (not copying Courtney Byrd’s answer, it legitimately is one of my favorite shows — hey Courtney, let’s have a rewatch party! Are you team Dean, team Jess, or team Logan? Spoiler alert: all the answers are wrong!), doing standup comedy, pretending to be a witch, or trolling the dating apps for men that will treat me poorly.

Do you have any upcoming projects you want to plug?

I host an open mic at Hannah’s in downtown Olympia, WA, every Monday at 7 p.m. I don’t host every week, but you should go.

Otherwise, book me for shows so I have more things to plug! Please and thank you. ❤

Make up a question of your own and answer it.

Some other interviews have asked the interviewee what their name is. Why do you think you were not asked that?

Wow, hard hitting question. I like to think it’s because I’m so recognizable and adorable that the reader would know who it is. Or, perhaps Lisa never asked the interviewee’s for their name and added it in after the fact like a trickster.*

*Editor’s Note: Correct. You can call me Run DMC because I’m very tricky.

Song: “Eat Your Salad” by Citi Zeni
Recipe: Faux Jack in the Box Tacos

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