Bring along the coolest date of all for prom this year!
Casey Prestwood is no stranger to the music scene. After all, he’s in three bands—Hot Rod Circuit, which has been around since 1997, The Don’t Tells, with his wife Kate, and his awesome new band, The Only Children. Of course, Casey is not new to being vegetarian either—he went veg more than six years ago. To find out about what The Only Children’s pedal steel guitarist has to say about not eating fish, his favorite foods to make when he’s not busy touring, and the cool thing he and his wife had in common when they first met, read on …
How long have you been a vegetarian?
I’m 24 now, and I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 18, so like six years. Being a vegetarian now, when I’m not on the road, I love to cook. My wife’s a vegetarian, too. Nine years—she beats me. That was a cool thing we had in common when we met.
What kinds of things do you like to cook?
I make vegetarian enchiladas, which Josh from The Only Children actually kind of gave me the idea to do it, because I used to always just make tacos, and we would have “taco night” and someone would bring the margarita mix. So I made fake-chicken enchiladas from soy protein. And I have been on a huge guacamole kick for the past year. Then Kate’s mom gave me an awesome recipe for salsa a year ago. She kind of just gave me the two or three ingredients she uses, then I turned it into my own beast. I went through a huge stir-fry phase where I would love to just fry up stuff, like broccoli and tofu. And I would make different garlic sauces. I made a fake chicken noodle soup. I made fried rice the other day—like steamed the rice, then fried it, and then put peas and carrots and all kinds of stuff in it, and it came out pretty darn good. It’s one of those things that it’s probably easier just to go pay three dollars at a Chinese restaurant and get, but when you make it at home, it’s just so damn good.
Yeah, I had never had falafel. I just never tried a bunch of stuff. So one of the first places that I actually went to in New Haven—I was living in Shelton, Connecticut, which is this little valley town-Jay was like, “We’ve got to go to The Moons and have some falafel,” and I had no idea what he was talking about. I was like, “Err, okay …” And he made me try falafel, and I just got hooked on it. Then about a month later, I was living in New Haven, and both my roommates were vegan. So I went vegetarian. I don’t know if it was a test to myself to see if I could do it, but I ended up doing it and really liking it. I think I originally did it for health reasons. But the animal rights issue was a big part of the reason Kate did it—my wife. A lot of stuff was brought to my attention after the fact that I do believe in. The way they do the cows—dairy production is pretty lame. We drink soy milk because of that. The animal rights issue is a good cause.
Can you talk about why it’s healthier to be a vegetarian?
Getting sick from eating contaminated meats and undercooked meats—stuff like that really scared me kind of at a young age, and even growing up, if I was eating a hamburger and I thought about actually eating an animal, I would get really sick to my stomach. I actually got sick, when I was 18. One of the last experiences I had, I remember eating a chicken McNugget that was undercooked, and it had like this pink part in it. I was eating it, and it was supposed to be white, and I got to this soggy, cold, icy, pink part, and I was just like, “Ohhhhh.” And I haven’t gone back since.
Could you tell me why you wouldn’t eat fish?
We have fish, so I don’t want to have something that we eat. I also have reptiles. My fish—we only have one—we have had him for three or four years now. He’s Bill. The bearded dragon is Bob and the chameleon is Fred. We have very proper people names.
How do you feel when people say fish don’t feel pain or aren’t intelligent beings?
I hear that, but I don’t think it’s true. Don’t lobsters make noises when you boil them alive? So they have to be feeling something.
I think that’s disgusting. I never liked that. Never will you see me with a fur jacket, or anything bullshit like that. Especially when they have the head of a mink or whatever. It’s like, “Oh, God!” I feel bad. Taxidermy is really scary to me, too. … And being a huge reptile fan, it really bums me out when I go to a gas station and they have little alligator heads for sale.
Do you have any advice for your fans on how they could help animals?
I can definitely have advice for my fans that are vegetarian, too, if they are on the road, or if they are ever exploring, they can seek out their local health-food grocery store, ’cause that’s where I do a lot of my shopping. And then if there’s a vegetarian restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah, there’s bound to be one in a lot of places. That’s where I try to go. In every town, I have a favorite place. New York City has some really good ones.
Where do you like to go in New York?
Have you ever heard of VP2? That place is great! And then they have Red Bamboo next to it—yeah, that’s good. There’s a place in the city called Kate’s Corner that’s really good.
So my advice to my fans—don’t hunt (I don’t like hunting), play pedal steel, listen to pedal steel records.
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