Within a month of being on TheWeedTube, stonedvegan has already published exceptionally engaging content. I very much enjoyed our dialogue, which covered cannabis product waste, veganism and animal rights. Her use of the encompassing nature and environment of the Pacific Northwest make for an adventurous, lush immersive vibe.
RJ: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! I just got done watching your lake sesh from last month and it’s absolutely a vibe. With that and the first episode of your ‘GET LOST WITH ME’ series in mind, have you always been an outdoorsy person, and did any of that come from living in a state like Washington?
Stonedvegan: Ofcourse, thanks for watching my video! I was born and raised in Washington so ever since I can remember I have always loved spending time outside. My favorite childhood memories are from camping or hiking with my family. I do feel very lucky to live in such a luscious state and be surrounded by forest and mountains. I love living in the Pacific Northwest and I think I partly owe my deep love and adoration of nature to the state of Washington.
R: What is it about being in nature that you most enjoy?
S: Oh my gosh, everything! Haha I love how at home I feel the moment I step into the woods or see the big blue ocean. There is something about the energy nature holds that captivates me and makes me feel calm and at peace. It’s almost like stepping into a vortex and all of sudden all of my stresses and anxieties drift away. I feel a certain connection to nature, specifically the forest and trees. Trees are so hypnotizing and when I am surrounded by them I feel like I am in a magical trance, haha it might sound like I am exaggerating but I promise it's real and I think a lot of people feel it too. Another thing I enjoy about being in nature is how creative I feel, I always have the craziest dreams when I go camping or get the most brilliant ideas when I’m in nature. That is why I love filming and editing nature sesh videos because my creativity is always at its best when I am in nature!
R: I’ve been to Seattle a handful of times but I’ve never tried the local flower. How is it over there? Do you have any opinions on how it compares to that of other states?
S: To be honest, I have not tried flower from other states so I have only smoked local flower my entire life. However, I am almost certain that it would compare pretty well because the flower here is 10 out 10 haha I am going to hype up Seattle flower as much as I can because it deserves to be recognized! It’s so good that I’m a little worried that my standards are a bit high for flower since Seattle flower is the only kind of flower I know. But who knows! Maybe I’m missing out and there are other states with delicious flower!
R: Before we move on, congratulations on recently graduating!
S: Thank you so much! It’s crazy to think that I am no longer a student, after identifying as a student for basically my entire life. Post grad life has been interesting so far, so many different kinds of emotions.... to say the least haha
R: I understand you graduated with a major in Pre-Law in the Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) department. What was your journey for landing on that major? What was it about, according to the University of Washington, “studying the interplay of ideas in their cultural and historical contexts” that drew you to CHID?
S: My journey was a roller coaster ride! I changed my major so many times...I think about four times! I started college thinking I wanted to do computer science, mostly because that's what my family wanted me to do. I quickly realized that was not the path I wanted to take so during my sophomore year I switched my major from computer science, astronomy, nutrition, dermatologist, and finally to pre-law. I found CHID because it was the only major who offered animal advocacy classes and at this point I knew that my true passion was speaking up for the animals so I decided to enter that department. From this point on, my plan was to take as many animal rights classes as possible and become an animal rights lawyer. The amazing thing about CHID is that it is a major all about advocacy for everything you can think of. Therefore I learned about real life issues and how different groups of beings are being affected. I took classes on human rights, LGTBQ rights, racial and ethnic health, Indigenous cultures, environmental politics and so much more! I’m so happy with the major I chose because it made college a little bit more bearable haha
R: I want to ask about your veganism, and I want to thank you for informing me about so many vegan munchies of which I had never heard. How long have you been vegan?
S: I’ve been vegan for about 3 and a half years and I have gone through many of the stereotypical vegan stages. When I first became vegan I was of course the strict vegan who thought everyone could be vegan and that there was no excuse not to be vegan. Thankfully due to my education from CHID and completing my senior thesis “An Auto-Ethnography on Animal Activism: Disrupting the Norms of the Animal Rights Movement” I am now much more aware about how veganism is portrayed. I’m just really glad that I have opened my eyes to the reality of many issues such as the animal industry and how nothing is black and white, everything is connected and we all play a role in it.
R: What was the reasoning behind making that lifestyle choice and how much of a role did your animal rights activism play in it?
S: Okay so long story short...I went vegan because I had already been vegetarian on and off throughout my whole life but I wanted to ditch dairy for my skin. Basically I have struggled with acne ever since I was a pre-teen and so one night I found out that dairy could be the reason behind my acne so I became vegan in hopes that it would fix my skin (spoiler, it didn’t) haha I still struggle with acne but it definitely is not as bad as when I used to eat dairy! However, I have always felt weird eating animals and it never sat right with me ever since I was little. I never wanted to eat the chickens my family owned, so I remain vegan for the animals. It was not until after 2 years of becoming vegan that I became an animal rights activist. I use to partake in a lot of outreach activism and did that for about half a year after. In my thesis I go into the reasons I am no longer doing that sort of activism so sadly I am not currently involved with that type of activism but I still consider myself an animal rights activist, however I am still trying to figure out how to advocate for the animals without sounding like a preachy and militant vegan.
R: In May 2018, you visited Foster Farms, a chicken farm near Kelso, WA that, according to its site, is “committed to a goal of reducing greenhouse gasses at [its] Livingston flagship plant by 40% by 2030, relative to 2005.” The site also touts that the farm “[maximizes] carcass yield to minimize waste” and has been American Humane Certified since 2013 for its fresh chicken brand, with a 2018 audit score of 97.7%. However, an Instagram post from your visit shows chickens being transported in seemingly unpleasant and inhumane conditions. What did you take away from your experience there? And what do you think about Foster Farms’ long list of “achievements”?
S: That experience was heartbreaking. It was one of the few bear and witness events that I went to and it was a really heavy experience. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick to my stomach. All I can say is that seeing those chickens some with broken legs crammed in cages surrounded by other dead chickens, covered in blood, feces, and dirt, that is a hard image to forget. It opens your eyes to all of the lies and false advertising that the animal industry portrays. I could keep going on about how there is nothing pretty and happy about where your meat/dairy comes from but I don’t want to bore people reading this haha.
Foster Farms goals about reducing greenhouses is a great idea but they are probably producing more greenhouses gasses by owning hundreds if not thousands of factories and farms filled with thousands of chickens. Not to mention all of the trucks that they drive that carry the chickens and then their body parts to grocery stores across the country. So lets be honest, if they cared about the earth then they wouldn't be a slaughterhouse. Also being proud of producing the most amount of meat by “maximizing” their carcass yield is just sad to think about.
R: I understand that you’re also a person that practices waste mindfulness, as you mentioned in your vegan munchies video, which I personally believe is paramount for the thrival of our species. The metamorphosis of the cannabis industry has fueled product innovation and helped businesses flourish. However, it also has led to new waste products, from empty concentrate cartridges to excessive, albeit artistic, packaging to all of those plastic medtainers. With that being said, how much of a problem do you think cannabis product waste has become? What do you do to remain waste conscious at the dispensary?
S: Wow I love this question because it is something that gets me thinking and should be asked to everyone! I think cannabis product waste has become a very big problem. It is promoting the use of plastic again by packaging flower in plastic baggies and bottling up joints in plastic tubes. I honestly find myself having a very hard time being waste mindful at dispensaries, I would love some advice and help! The only thing I do is try to buy items that come in glass containers or jars and then reuse those but it is not always affordable to only buy those items.
R: Lastly, I just wanna say, I like the idea of saying “Stay Hydrated” at the end of your videos! I know you were on the fence about it in your most recent video. I think it’s an important message. You know what I think is more cringey? Being dehydrated and getting dizzy from standing up too fast!
S: Haha yes thank you so much! I love the idea of it too because trust me I’m not the best at it, sometimes I forget to drink water too. So it serves as a reminder for me as well! If we all stayed a bit more hydrated I think we could accomplish a lot more!
Thank you so much for asking me these questions!