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Veganic farming is wasteful and doesn’t make weed better

close up cannabis marijuana pot dank kush
Can you tell if this is cruelty-free?

The pervasive vegan ideology has enveloped one of America’s fastest-growing industries: Cannabis cultivation.

A new subgenre of weed farming, , is apparently growing in popularity among more committed vegan stoners.

These aspirational agriculturists commit to using fertilizers free from animal products. They then market the marijuana as cruelty-free, and higher quality than more murderous alternatives.

The rub for vegans is that many organic fertilizers use discarded blood and bone from slaughterhouses, thus making them complicit in the interspecies holocaust known as factory farming.

It’s worth noting that many top advocates for veganic growing have a direct financial incentive to promote this method. The aptly named Kyle Kushman (really?) helped found the movement and sells Vegamatrix, a popular plant-based nutrient system.

It looks like great stuff, and I hope that Kushman’s business does well. I’ve noticed that entrepreneurs cherry-pick scientific and market research to construct an ironclad confirmation bias system around their work, though.

“The flavors are much more prominent,” Kushman says. “You can taste the terpene profile much more because you’re not also tasting metals.”

These are not the words of a scientist. They are passion-driven marketing claims from a hippy with a business to run. Where are your double-blind consumer trials, Mr. Kushman????

“If a slaughterhouse follows organic practices and only kills pasture-raised, organic cows without antibiotics, there is no reason not to use their byproducts for good. “

Veganic products are not better or worse than animal-containing organic products. We should all ditch chemical synthetic fertilizers. I’d just rather use organic products that also upcycle slaughterhouse waste.

Cruelty-free but wasteful

Vegan might be cruelty-free, but it’s also wasteful in this context.

Slaughterhouses produce waste products that can’t go into food, including blood and bones. Farmers only options are to let these rot somewhere or to sell them to other folks who will put these resources back into the ecosystem.

Weed marijuana decorative artsy hipster cannabis tea

What alternatives do vegans suggest? Dump all that stuff in a hole? Let it run into the river? Maybe you could throw handfuls of it on people’s fur coats.

Factory farming is horrible, but we need to eat meat. Most humans are healthiest with meat in their diet. We should change to natural farming practice

If a slaughterhouse follows organic practices and only kills pasture-raised cows without antibiotics, there is no reason not to use their byproducts for good.

It’s important to be pragmatic about this. People eat meat, and there’s no sign that will stop in our lifetimes. It’s better for us to create a circular economy where we help others reduce waste and maximize benefits.

Everything organic

All weed farming — all farming period — should be organic. Preferably we should replace our plumbing with compost toilets and use our own waste to fertilize the weed plants. Every change we make to agriculture should move us closer to a fully circular ecosystem where nothing is wasted. 

People who want animal-free products should absolutely go that route. It’s your life. Do you, boo.

But nothing is ever as simple as people want it to be. We can’t just wish away the meat industry. Buying veganic weed fertilizer doesn’t create long-term alternatives that function on a mass scale.

People try too often to legitimize their own choices by convincing others to adopt them as well.

Their insecurity makes them feel that if anyone disagrees with their philosophy it’s somehow weak or invalid. Getting other people on board the vegan train makes them feel better about the work they’ve put into their lifestyle.

The main questions on our mind when considering veganic, or any other specialized farming practices, should be how effective it is.

Does veganic work?

Not really, it seems.

Cannabis sativa marijuana red light dark kush

Veganic advocates say that the weed burns cleaner and tastes better without those horrid chemical products and cruelty particles in it. I sense confirmation bias at work.

Dr. Robert Flannery, the only guy with a Ph.D. in weed farming, disagrees with the veganic evangelists. Based on his research, he says that plants only extract the nutrients they need from fertilizers.

“This means that regardless of whether I use an organic fertilizer, a veganic fertilizer, or a mineral nutrient to fertilize my plants, the plant is only going to absorb mineral nutrients,” Flannery said.

Evolutionarily speaking, this makes sense. A plant that absorbs unnecessary or harmful materials will not live long to pass on its genetics. Cannabis is an amazing plant, and only uses what it needs to produce its amazing flowers.

But according to Flannery and my friends in the weed business, veggie-based fertilizers don’t improve the quality of the weed. They actually make it harder to grow and reduce yield sizes.

Synthetic fertilizers are the main problem.  They’re full of heavy metals and other junk plants leave behind after extracting their nutrients.

Organic fertilizer with animal stuff in it is a better option. It leaves behind no junk, upcycles slaughterhouse waste, and gives your plants the nutrients they need.

This type of question is often missing from vegan discussions. People usually stick with moral and emotional arguments. The vegan viewpoint often fails to withstand science and logic.

That said, I believe the vegans provide important skepticism toward conventional food practices. It’s important to question everything we do. Passionate folks in the vegan community do a great job of making us contemplate our food on a deeper level.

The value of virtue

In my experience, though, the vegan diet is not the healthiest option. In a lot of ways, veganism is more about virtue signaling than about taking the best way to fix your health and the environment.

That’s especially the case when people use veganism as a point of differentiation to sell their products. Studies show that modern consumers are attracted to brands that align with their values.

Many vegans are also interested in cannabis and farming. This creates a perfect market niche for vegan weed fertilizer. Signal those virtues and get that money, Mr. Kushman.

We can’t forget how lucky we are to live in a country where we have so many options for marijuana fertilizers. Some people are still out there smoking shitty brick weed while we have this entirely unnecessary debate.

At SnakTak, we always ask whether or not a product or idea will increase global happiness. Vegan weed gets our first neutral rating.

For some people, vegans mostly, this will enhance the cannabis experience. The knowledge that there’s no animal in your Animal Cookies is a huge bonus IF that’s an important value to you.

For most people, though, this one more in a long line of vegan alternatives that are not improved by removing the animal products. I will not make any concerted effort to seek out veganically grown bud.

However, if you grow weed at home and want to ensure 0% cruelty content, here’s a good-looking starter kit from Vegamatrix:

Communities threatened by crisis of purpose

Automation is both an exciting innovation and a deep spiritual threat to our communities.

To be clear, I think it’s great. The 5-year-old in me loves watching robots build cars, navigate the world, and make food. Now they’ll deliver it too.

This morning, the WSJ was talking about food delivery robots. Everyone’s mega stoked to get their burritos delivered by a cooler on wheels, according to the companies that make the robots.

In this lighthearted video from 2017, you can see Doordash’s delivery robot weathering some staged hooliganry perpetrated by BuzzFeed’s entertainers.

I worked for Doordash for a little while. It was a fun side hustle and a good way to get to know Eugene’s twists and turns after I’d recently moved here.

Food delivery has for a long time been a widely-accessible decently paying job. Whether it’s pizza delivery or modern options like UberEats and Postmates, there’s always money in bringing lazy people their food.

The funny thing about these delivery apps, though, is that they’re actively trying to innovate the humans out of their business model.

All major food delivery apps have partnered with startups such as Marble and Starship Technologies to make delivery bots for the “last mile” between restaurants and our hungry bellies.

Even Domino’s, the pizza chain that delivered 24% of online orders in 2016, is taking big steps to remove humans from its pizza machine.

Once these robots are adopted, one of the ubiquitous side hustles of the modern age will disappear overnight. For people who need the extra work to live, this will be catastrophic. Financially and spiritually catastrophic.

No jobs, no hope

When people can’t provide for themselves and their families, sadness, alcoholism and suicide rise. Researchers at universities all across North America found strong correlations between poverty and suicide following the ’08 financial collapse.

But this is nothing new:

“The positive association between poverty and mental health problems is one of the most
well established in all of psychiatric epidemiology.”

-Deborah Belle, Boston University

As we automate away more and more jobs, we create a crisis of purpose. Left with fewer options to provide for themselves and their families, people fall into listless despair.

Many modern people lack the mechanisms to create purpose in their own lives. We use work as shorthand for life purpose, so the slow drying up of jobs is a drying up of purpose.

More people are talking about automation lately, especially with Andrew Yang running for president. He promotes the idea of a guaranteed income for all Americans, but that’s only half the solution.

If there is no external force (jobs) telling us how to spend our time, we’ll have to make that decision for ourselves.  We need to resist the urge to spend all that money on drugs and video games. We’ll be happier if we invest our time and money in art, entrepreneurship, and community development. We need a system of values that makes that a priority.

Religion used to provide a scaffolding for everyone. Nowadays, though, kids grow up with nothing but superficial #values they get from reality tv and social media.

As Johann Hari says in his incredible book Lost Connections, junk values are one of the major causes of depression. It makes sense. If all you work for in life is more likes and retweets, you add nothing to the world and live a vapid, empty existence.

Even a food delivery job helps you feel like you’re part of something outside of yourself. I believe that’s where meaning comes from. What do you contribute to that is not yourself?

Create meaning to create peace

When people’s lives are meaningless, they often hurt themselves or others. Violence makes sense to everyone, as horrible as it is, and that can add a base level of meaning to an empty life. Violence fills the void.

Among other things, I attribute the rise of political street violence to boredom and apathy that come from living in this superficial society. People with fulfilling lives don’t put on masks and assault bystanders at political rallies.

We need to help the Antifa goons find meaning and a sense of belonging outside of their domestic terror cells, ASAP.

Woman happy food delivery robot
No one will be this happy to see the robots coming

Meaning creation is hard. It takes a lot of responsibility to decide what gives your life a greater purpose.

Deciding for yourself what’s important is a key part of living well though.

Lacking religion, though, what do people turn to for meaning? a lot of times it’s political bickering, Netflix, or social media.

Most people look to external sources to create meaning because they don’t know how to do it themselves.

That’s why everyone spends their time arguing on twitter. Choosing a side in this manufactured conflict makes you feel like you belong to a real group.

We need to get off the internet, return to our communities, and create a purpose for ourselves. Volunteer. Start a band. Build a house. Plant flowers. There are countless ways we can live more meaningful lives.

And it’s not going to be easy. But we need to stop looking for lives free from difficulty and conflict. You’re going to argue with people in the band you start. GEtting materials and a location to build a house is hard. Your flowers might not grow.

Find peace in the struggles of life, though. Suffering means your alive, and if you’re alive, you can change the world.

Once all the jobs belong to robots, our options will be to create a meaningful world or to watch as we burn it all down.

Which will you choose?

I don’t play Pokemon GO, but it’s basically the best app ever made

pokemon go gameplay image park digital app

Pokemon is inarguably one of the most influential games ever.

Nintendo struck gold with these fanciful superpowered critters. Satoshi Tajiri, the genius behind this franchise, could have never guessed how far things would evolve.

It grew from a groundbreaking 16-bit experience to the first widely successful AR game, Pokemon GO. It has transcended cultures and been wildly successful on every Nintendo console.

When Nintendo first released the Pokemon GO app, I tried it, didn’t get hooked, and deleted it after a day. I’m not enough of a weeb to be in the target demographic, and I prefer to play my video games inside, sitting down.

But the appeal was clear.

I lived in San Jose at the time, and one particular park became nearly impossible to skate through because so many nerds were out there hunting for elusive rare pokemon.

Haters always gonna hate, and a lot of critics made fun of the gamers wandering around, glued to their phones, living in some digital quasi-existence overlaid on the real world.

But those people should just shut up. Pokemon GO is great.

It gives gamers a fun easy outdoor activity to do. It’s also a great connection to a global community of fantasy wildlife enthusiasts. It sounds like a joke, but I want a peaceful global community and I believe Pokemon GO helps get us take a baby step in that direction.

And today, as I just found out, is #PokemonGOCommunityDay! I found this out because on my 6-block walk to the dispensary I passed about 80 people playing the game.

Some were alone, some were in groups of up to 15 people. 

I could tell people’s commitment to the game based on the amount of pokemon merch they were wearing and the number of phones and battery packs they carried. One old guy had 4 phones, all plugged into portable battery packs.

Getting nerds outside

Now, I honestly don’t know what’s different or special about Pokemon GO today. Maybe there are more pokemon running around, or some super rare ones like Entei are easier to find. Who knows.

But these people walking around look like they haven’t had much physical activity or exposure to the sun in a long time. It’s a beautiful hot midsummer day, though, and these nerds are out moving their bodies, talking to each other, and getting that sweet Vitamin D.

For that reason, I think Pokemon GO is one of the best things ever to launch in the app store.

Anything that gets people out of their houses and in the sun so effectively is a great invention.
I do worry that these AR games are habituating us to the VR mind control matrix I’ve been researching, but for the time being, I’m glad it exists.

So here’s the verdict:

Even though I don’t use it, Pokemon GO is officially Snaktak Certified to enrich communities and generate happiness!

pokemon go wallpaper beautiful cartoon nature

They sell us poison, wrapped in poison

Bottles at a poison factory flying down the production line

Sugary poison beverages like Pepsi are a blight on the modern world.

They sap our energy and destroy our bodies, while getting us deeply addicted. They drive epidemics of childhood obesity, diabetes, and metabolic devastation.

And the vessels for this sugary poison are equally toxic and destructive.

Plastics are cheap and convenient, so we use them everywhere. They’re nearly impossible to avoid.

A plastic-free lifestyle takes such a concentrated effort that most people choose to just turn a blind eye and get on with their lives.

I’m guilty of this. Most of the foods I consume and products I use come in plastic containers. I try to reduce my plastic waste by making bottle bricks, but I still throw some away. Dirtballs come in plant-based plastic, but that’s not a great solution.

Waste management systems let us throw our trash and our worries into a void, removed from our everyday existence. Out of sight, out of mind.

But plastic is toxic. The original plastic was made of phenol and formaldehyde, essentially coal tar and embalming fluid. Poison mixed with poison.

Toxic origins

Leo Hendrick Baekland, the chemist who set this plastic tsunami in motion, was honest about his intentions. He was trying to invent substances that would make him a lot of money.

And I don’t fault him for that. I’m building this business to make money, and I think it’s a perfectly acceptable motivation for innovative chemistry.

As is the case with so many technologies, however, plastic’s inventors had no way of knowing the full consequences of their actions.

But Baekland was a good chemist. He invented a material that suited mass producers’ economic needs extremely well. His invention became the foundation for many corporations’ business models. If Coke only sold their toxic brown syrup in glass bottles, they would not be as profitable.

Toys, cookware, cosmetics, clothing, electronics, and damn near every other type of product all are made of plastic or come shipped in plastic bags.

And there’s zero transparency about what types of plastic they use, what’s in the plastics, and what it costs to produce and dispose of them.

“The industry has no idea what they’re putting in the plastic and who’s putting it in,” said Andrew Turner, a British chemist who recently found toxic chemicals in 40 percent of the black plastic toys, thermoses, cocktail stirrers, and utensils he tested.

Companies like Pepsi and Nestle are doubly guilty. They sell products that pollute our bodies in containers that pollute our planet.

And they make a killing doing it.

What can we do?

It’s easy to say we just need to make different choices as consumers. But big plastic even finds ways to pollute to educate people on recycling.

The American Plastic Bag association recently sponsored a plastic recycling program, while simultaneously lobbying lawmakers to stop plastic bag bans.

One option would be legal action. Given all the destruction they cause, we can just sue the bastards, right?

Well, environmental law is tricky. In our legal system, a human must be able to prove personal harm in order to have a workable case. With our current means, it is almost impossible to prove that you have been personally harmed by the incomprehensible pollution plaguing our planet.

It’s equally hard to prove that a sugary drink is the direct cause of your disease. If you have an overall unhealthy diet, you can’t reasonably say that Pepsi gave you diabetes.

How do you quantify the effects of widespread environmental destruction on an individual?

Trash pile in malaysia
A massive mountain of trash we exported to Malaysia so we don’t have to think about it.

How do you measure the sugar industry’s contributions to rampant obesity and disease?

Maybe we can put together a class-action lawsuit on behalf of everyone who’s life is impacted by their poisons.

Maybe in the future we’ll have a government that measures more than simple profit as a measure of economic success.

Maybe we’ll all snap out of our blissful ignorance and demand that everyone do more to save our planet.

Plastic never goes away. It just goes somewhere else. We’re slowly choking the planet, and by extension ourselves, with our dependence on these toxins.

Stop drinking soda

Soda is bad for you, and the bottles it comes in are bad for the environment.

It’s a good move for you and the planet to stop consuming soda.

If we take our dollars away from these companies, maybe that’s the wakeup call they need. The dollar reigns supreme in America.

Drink water instead. Just don’t buy it in plastic bottles.

Keep those cheeks dry!!!

Riding bikes makes you happy.

A team of researchers from Clemson and UPenn made this important discovery in 2014 while analyzing how different modes of transportation affect our moods.

But there’s one thing that can ruin any cyclist’s joyride: a wet seat 🙁

Back when I rode my bike to school I would dread the soggy backside that awaited me in the bike cage. While I shook my fist at the heavens I would often wonder, “Why hasn’t anyone solved this problem???”

As it turns out, my friend Melissa Prestinario has solved this problem. Forever. No more wet butts.

She invented the Seat-Slicker seat cover and now sells them online to cyclists everywhere. I’ll let her tell you a bit more about this amazing product:

Seat-Slicker is the first fashionable and waterproof bicycle seat cover. It protects your posterior and adds personality to your ride. The colors and patterns were custom created for you and evoke joy.

Solar is a warm summer day. It’s a new sun dress and fresh tan lines. It’s riding no hands down a big hill and snapping a selfie with sunspots reflecting off your lemon-flavored italian ice.

Sky is a day at the beach. Lapis blue water rolling up to sand and reflecting in the air. It’s a ride along the boardwalk with a stop at your favorite ice cream shop. The smell of the waves blends with sweet pistachio and you are enveloped in pure bliss.

Midnight is traditional. It’s as rich and timeless as Chanel No.5. Your mind wanders on a moonless night as owls fly silently among the trees.

Dusk is a ride through birch trees on a misty gray evening. It’s chilly yet exhilarating. Even as the temperature falls, your mood rises up when you think of the fireplace back home.

Ridge is a hardcore ride. It’s paving new paths in the woods through green ferns and dark trees. Look to your left, and you’ll see the salmon jumping out of the wild river to cheer you on as you push yourself up a rugged mountain trail.

There’s nothing like a bike ride to transport you to years gone by or new adventures. It brings out the kid in all of us. It symbolizes individual freedom to go wherever you want to go. And now with Seat-Slicker, you can enjoy all of that even on a rainy day.

Creating my own custom fabrics and prints brought me so much happiness. Every aspect was thoughtfully selected from the perfect Pantone color to the lines, dots and curves. I was proud to bring something to market that was loved by the consumer and also functional to provide protection for their saddle and clothes. Dress your bike up, dress it down, change its personality. Ride in the rain and look good doing it. I hope you will love Seat-Slicker as much as I do.

What else do you need to know? Even the most aesthetically strict hipster can find the right Seat-Slicker to protect their seat and keep those cheeks dry!

Seat-Slicker is officially SnakTak Certified to increase your happiness levels by at least 5%*.

You can buy it on the Seat-Slicker website, or on Amazon.

*as long as you use it properly and responsibly. These statements have not been evaluated by any doctors, lawyers, mystics, priests, or yogis.

Does your environment make you use your phone more?

Smartphones are important because we are digital beings. Our levels of connectedness will only increase as we move deeper into the technological age.
Now is the time to practice using technology and the internet in the most beneficial ways possible.
Visit our shop to find some items that will help you be happier and use your phone less.
And next time you pick up your phone, use it to call an old friend or thank someone important for making your life better 🙂