Interview: Lauren Cocroft

lauren cocroft

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, once in a while we feature a regular old, nothin’ special, run-of-the-mill vegan.

Today, we talk with a Seattle-based comedian who regales us with stories of cat custody battles, teenage feelings of grandeur, and pee-pee and poo-poo.

She’s here. Please applaud. It’s Lauren Cocroft!

What is your name?

Lauren Cocroft.

Tell us about yourself. Not now though; tell us what you were like at age 13. Yes, I’m serious.

Take me back to the eighth grade, why don’t you! I feel like I have always been very ME my whole life: sensitive, a romantic, extremely dramatic, and known for my bangs.

At age thirteen, I remember having a lot of crushes and confidence and not channeling either appropriately. For instance, I recently remembered that I spent that entire year announcing, “I’m here, no need to applaud,” every single time I walked through a doorway. My first bit! I stand by it. Honestly, I might start doing that one again. I also told all my crushes I liked them. It wasn’t reciprocated, probably because of the doorway thing.

What TV or movie character do you identify with the most and why?

Sans the “Crazy” part, I certainly relate to Rebecca Bunch from Crazy Ex Girlfriend. A musical theater girl and an active fantasy life (plus a lot of weird horniness)? Might as well be me. I have rewatched this show too many times and, let’s just say, when I sing along in the car I replace “Rebecca” with “Lauren.”

What’s a funny bathroom story you’re willing to share with us, and what childhood trauma has caused you to be such an oversharer?

Yes! I’ve been waiting to tell this one. Okay, for context and backstory: In college, I competed on the national speech and debate circuit, which basically means I spent every weekend of my early twenties willingly wearing skirt suits and panty hose and waking up at 4 a.m. So, I was drinking a minimum of five cups of coffee before 8 a.m. You can see where this is headed.

So, it is the first day of nationals and I’m heading to my first round of competition. It is generally a ritual to have a “pre-tournament poop” to get your mind cleared for the day. So I go and I poop. Then, as soon as I finish, another girl walks in. Normal.

I slither back into my panty hose and flush the toilet, but the toilet begins to rapidly overflow onto the floor and I know my poop is about to come floating down a river of my piss. Nightmare.

So we’re both standing at the sink, washing our hands, and she’s like, “Oh, is the toilet okay?” But it was too late, because I locked eyes with her the second she noticed it.

Flash forward! I got to my first round and she is my judge.

Flash forward further! She drew a piece of poop on my ballot like it was some cute little inside joke. It was horrifying, but that story actually started my standup comedy career. So, win-win?

Do you share your home with any animals, human or not? Tell us a funny story about them.

Oh no! I used to… I just recently went through a breakup and we had a cat together, Chino. I lost him in the separation. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!

I kid, I can see that little cutie whenever I want (I made a copy of my key).

Maybe I am a crazy ex-girlfriend…

(I kid again, we have joint custody)

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)?

I’m about to be vegan for two years in March! Speaking of my breakup, my ex has been vegan for sixteen years so it’d be impossible to say he wasn’t an influence. However, I made a really big deal to everyone who knows me that I wasn’t “doing it for him” but because it was something I could easily apply to my life that just felt right in my gut. Plus, it made me feel cool and interesting. I still stand by it.

The first thing my dad asked me after the breakup was literally if I was “going to stay vegan.” And I said, “Duh,” but mostly because I’m stubborn and that is a powerful motivator.

What is your favorite meal? It can be real or made up.

My favorite food to order is pupusas. My favorite food to cook is a fully vegan poke bowl (the secret is old bay seasoning and grating your tofu). My favorite food that non-vegans feed me is the classic pasta with red sauce and no cheese.

What food item do you always have in stock in your kitchen?

GasX and green onions (I LOVE a garnish).

As a vegan, are you more lead-by-example or would you also consider yourself an activist? If so, how? If not, what’s the thing you *really* think when people refuse to live by your great example?

I would consider myself a lead-by-example vegan. I never thought I’d be vegan, I just did it one day. I think if I had felt a ton of pressure or guilt to do it, I would have been much less likely to, ’cause I hate authority and being told what to do.

Apparently, even though it’s part of my set and I talk about it constantly, a lot of comics don’t realize I’m vegan. Maybe I should be pushier.

What is the easiest thing about being vegan?

Everything! I literally went cold turkey (tofu?) and haven’t looked back.

The hardest part is definitely reading anything PETA writes.

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?

Comedy clubs! I have eaten so many nine-dollar PB&Js and plain Impossible burgers. I just want nachos!

Song: “Pet Carrot” by Palehound
Recipe: The Best Damn Vegan Nachos by Minimalist Baker
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