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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

100,000 Animals Drowning Every Year in The Plastic We Throw Away

March 30, 2015
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source Care2
By

With an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of our oceans, our addiction to plastic is killing countless animals in some of the most horrific ways imaginable.

Considered by many as a threat worse than climate change, in a disturbing new report, leading expert Charles J. Moore, says that plastic is ‘choking our future in ways that most of us are barely aware.’

From takeouts and coffee cups, to toothbrushes and tires, plastic has become an integral part of human existence, but the real problem is where all the plastic that we throw out every day ends up.

Animals are the Victims of Our Throwaway Society

Plastic production has increased by more than 500% in the last 30 years, and with most people not giving a second thought as to what happens after they toss it out, plastic is taking over the ocean and threatening the animals that call it their home.

Huge garbage patches the size of Wales are forming in the world’s oceans, comprised of cigarette lighters, shampoo bottles, yogurt pots, plastic rings from six packs and much more. For hundreds of miles without end, Moore’s research vessel passed plastics of every description. During his trip Moore came across one of the most upsetting scenes he has ever encountered.

“I’ve seen many scenes in my work studying whales, dolphins and marine mammals, both uplifting and disheartening. But one of the saddest was the sight of a young grey seal pup in a colony on the idyllic shores of Cape Cod.

(She) was an otherwise healthy animal — but with a plastic strap looped round (her) neck — the kind you get around a parcel. Slowly but surely, as the animal grew, (her) noose would tighten.

As I looked at the animal, I could foretell (her) painful death, probably from starvation, as the seal became unable to feed.”

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals are dying each year as a result of eating plastic, just like the sperm whale (who) was recently discovered dead in Spain with 100 plastic bags inside (his) stomach. As if these figures aren’t shocking enough, experts also believe that more than 1 million seabirds are also being killed from ocean pollution, ingestion or entanglement.

We are the ones creating all this rubbish, and as such we share a collective responsibility for the deaths it is causing. We cannot shake it from our conscience by ignoring the situation or turning a blind eye; it is time to take responsibility and make changes.

What You Can Do To Help

The best way to stop plastic pollution in our oceans is to make sure it never reaches the water in the first place. Reducing, reusing and recycling is the way forward.

Take action today by following these steps to help cut down on your plastic use and protect our oceans:

  • Bring your own fabric bags to the store
  • Always choose reusable items whenever possible
  • If you need to use plastic, make sure you recycle after you’ve used it
  • Let businesses know that you want packaging that is fully recyclable
  • Host a clean up day where you get together with a group of volunteers to pick up trash at your local beach
  • Support and spread the message of organizations fighting plastic pollution
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/100000-animals-drowning-every-year-in-the-plastic-we-throw-away.html#ixzz3Khb5XBIj

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Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

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The Paw Project

March 23, 2015
by


Source The Paw Project

Facts About Declawing

  • Declawing is amputation; it is not merely the removal of the claws. To declaw a cat, the veterinarian cuts off the last knuckles of a cat’s paw – cutting through bone, tendons, skin and nerves. In a person, it is equivalent to amputating each finger or toe at the last joint.
  • Declaw surgery can be an extremely painful procedure with associated health risks and complications such as infection.
  • Declaw surgery can produce permanent lameness, pain or arthritis.
  • Declawing is the same mutilating procedure for house cats or big cats.
  • More about feline declawing and humane alternatives to declaw surgery »

Find out how you can do more HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

Donate to Action for Animals for FREE

March 16, 2015
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

For a limited time you have the opportunity to make a donation to Action For Animals for FREE, thanks to a generous program being offered by Pledegling.com 

Create an account (no credit card needed) and $5.00 will automatically be added, which you can then donate right back to Action For Animals!

1) Go here: https://www.pledgeling.com/accounts/register/

2) Sign up.3) Confirm by clicking link sent to your email.

4) Go here and donate the $5 they give you: https://www.pledgeling.com/organizations/3556/action-for-animals

5) Forward this email.

THANK YOU!

==================
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
PO Box 45843
Seattle, WA 98145
http://www.afa-online.org 

Free Vegan Starter Pack: http://www.afa-online.org/starterpack.html 
Online Store: http://www.AFAstore.com 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/actionforanimals
Instagram: http://instagram.com/actionforanimals 
Tumblr: http://action4animals.tumblr.com 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/action4animals 
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/actionforanimals 

“Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

 

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

Lasa Sanctuary

March 9, 2015
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Please visit Lasa Sanctuary HERE

The word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals. – Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, 1944.

The first, and most simple, step anyone can make to significantly improve our world for all beings is to commit to a vegan lifestyle. Vegan living is a celebration of life and a practice in intentional living. Not only can we remove ourselves from the vicious cycles of animal suffering, but we can also reduce our lasting footprint upon our planet, encourage greater equality and resource management for humans worldwide, and give ourselves the gift of better physical and mental health. As the old adage goes, we are what we eat. Here at Lasa, we encourage everyone to *be* compassion, love, and respect, and we hope to educate our visitors on the importance of what fills their dinner plates.

Lasa welcomes all people (vegan or not) to visit the sanctuary. Out of respect for the animals, however, we ask that no animal products be brought onto sanctuary land. Please contact us if you have questions regarding this policy.

We recognize that many myths about veganism persist in our culture and that many people may find the concept intimidating. For this reason, Lasa will serve as an educational facility to teach of the benefits, nutritional information, cooking, and shopping alternatives.

 

Lasa Sanctuary is a registered 501c3 nonprofit public charity based in northeast Ohio.  Our mission is to promote whole, vegan living through education and experience designed to celebrate the connectedness of all living beings, to provide sanctuary for animals of all species, and to share our message of compassionate healing throughout the human community.

At Lasa every life is respected and cherished.  We believe in the power of unity and the strength of love to heal the hearts and minds of animals and people in need.

We live on 10.68 acres in Jefferson, Ohio, located in Ashtabula County.  After more than two years of hard work and capital investment, we have be blessed enough to finally open our doors to animals in need.  As we continue to grow (already 40+ animals call Lasa home), we hope that Lasa will become a gathering place for the compassionate, the open, and the concerned, where the innate value of every life is celebrated and where we can inspire change, peace, and a greater joy in our world.

The Lasa team integrates animal rights and protection, holistic living, spirituality, self-care, and community action into programs and events designed to celebrate the wonder of all life, to embrace diversity, and to teach compassion.

With your support, Lasa will thrive as a much needed safe haven and trailblazing education and healing center for the people and animals of Ohio.

Together, we can make a better world.

Love all.  Serve All.

Joy, Tom, Jamie, & Joshua

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

Have Humans Adapted to Eating Meat and Does it Even Matter?

March 2, 2015
by

Source Steal This Meme

Have Humans Adapted to Eating Meat and Does it Even Matter?

It is a question I’ve answered many times on this blog, so I decided it deserved its own post.

From Huffington Post article, Shattering the Meat Myth:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine President Dr. Neal Barnard says in his book, The Power of Your Plate, in which he explains that “early humans had diets very much like other great apes, which is to say a largely plant-based diet, drawing on foods we can pick with our hands. Research suggests that meat-eating probably began by scavenging—eating the leftovers that carnivores had left behind. However, our bodies have never adapted to it. To this day, meat-eaters have a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems.”

There is no more authoritative source on anthropological issues than paleontologist Dr. Richard Leakey, who explains what anyone who has taken an introductory physiology course might have discerned intuitively—that humans are herbivores. Leakey notes that “[y]ou can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand…. We wouldn’t have been able to deal with food source that required those large canines” (although we have teeth that are called “canines,” they bear little resemblance to the canines of carnivores).

In fact, our hands are perfect for grabbing and picking fruits and vegetables. Similarly, like the intestines of other herbivores, ours are very long (carnivores have short intestines so they can quickly get rid of all that rotting flesh they eat). We don’t have sharp claws to seize and hold down prey. And most of us (hopefully) lack the instinct that would drive us to chase and then kill animals and devour their raw carcasses. Dr. Milton Mills builds on these points and offers dozens more in his essay, “A Comparative Anatomy of Eating.”

The point is this: Thousands of years ago when we were hunter-gatherers, we may have needed a bit of meat in our diets in times of scarcity, but we don’t need it now. Says Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, “Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”

If humans were “designed” to eat meat, why is it that most of our leading causes of death are directly linked to the ingestion of animal proteins (yes, even when it’s organic, boiled and skinless)? Why are vegans generally healthier and live longer lives? Doesn’t sound like our bodies have adapted too well to these products yet, if they’re still killing us. I’ve never heard of a lion with high cholesterol, after all.

Here’s a chart of our anatomy, compared to other animals:



Noting the similarities, I think it’s safe to conclude that we have indeed developed to be herbivores (specifically, frugivores).

But does any of our evolutionary background even matter in terms of modern-day veganism? I would say no. Since it is apparent that humans can thrive on a plant-based diet, it seems entirely irrelevant what we may have adapted to eating in the past.

So the question isn’t ‘is meat healthy’? (it isn’t) or ‘did our ancestors eat meat’? (they didn’t) or‘do our bodies align with meat-eaters’? (they don’t). The question is ‘if we can live long, healthy lives without animal products (we can), why do we continue to exploit and abuse sentient, feeling beings?’ The answer is in the hands of carnists because I can’t see any way to justify it. Maybe they think “humane” meat is better, but if the whole process of breeding, enslaving, and killing animals is unnecessary (and actually, very unhealthy) how can we defend it at all?

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

Two important videos

February 23, 2015
by

Beyond Carnism and toward Rational, Authentic Food Choices | Melanie Joy |




Melanie Joy on Carnism and other food choices. Find out more via http://www.tedxmuenchen.de.

Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M., is a Harvard-educated psychologist, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, a celebrated speaker, and the author of the award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. Melanie is the eighth recipient of the Institute of Jainology’s Ahimsa Award, which was previously awarded to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Her work has been featured by numerous national and international media outlets, including the BBC, Germany’s ARD, ABC Australia, the New York Times, and Spiegel Online. Melanie has given her acclaimed carnism presentation on five continents, and she is also the founder and president of the project Karnismus erkennen and of Carnism Awareness & Action Network.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Veganism: Be the change. Go vegan. (Graphic version)




Vegan facts, definition, philosophy and spirituality. Information on why you should try the vegan diet and philosophy. Why should you be vegan? Is it an unhealthy or a healthy diet? This is an inspirational and informative vegan video featuring my four vegan heroes: Tim Shieff, Melanie Joy, Phillip Wollen and Gary Yourofsky.

Non-graphic version



You may also want to check out these 3 wonderful sites all of which have a tremendous wealth of information and wisdom:

bitesizevegan.com
freefromharm.org
gentleworld.org

I would very highly recommend checking out “The World Peace Diet” by Will Tuttle, which may help you better understand the issues. It is the best book about veganism and the connection between all forms of violence and exploitation which I know of.

(Thank you for that information, Mark.)

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

Pablo’s Gift

February 16, 2015
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Source Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

“What is vegan?”, he asked after a long pause.

He was calling the sanctuary hoping to find a home for the chickens he had been ordered to dump in the woods. The birds were deemed “too old for the pot”, too “stupid” to keep as pets, and too “ugly” to use as yard decoration, so the ranch owner decided to use them as coyote bait instead.

It was not something Pablo wanted to do but he feared that openly refusing to harm the chickens would not only jeopardize his already tenuous job as a handyman at the ranch where he worked in exchange for a room to crash in and a meager pay to live on, but it would also prevent him from finding a way to protect the birds. So he kept putting off the grim task, using every excuse he could think of to buy time for the condemned chickens, while he secretly searched for a safe home for them.

But time was running out and, with no internet access, no family or friends to call on for help, and under explicit threat of being fired, he found himself forced to appease his increasingly irate boss with a show of partial compliance: he resolved to take only one chicken into the woods that night, promising he would return in the morning to catch and dispatch the others.

And that’s how it all began, one frigid winter night when Pablo was forced to decide which of the six innocents would die. Under his boss’ watchful eyes, he took the one bird who was easiest to catch — the black rooster who was the least afraid, the one who was the most confident and talkative of the six, the one who was always patrolling the edge of the huddle that his family, frightened and suspicious of humans, often clustered in for protection. The bird who had taken a special interest in Pablo, keeping him company when he worked around the coop, allowing him closer to his family than anyone else, and offering a constant stream of comments and observations in sounds whose meaning the man  did not understand but whose substance he recognized as trust.

The rooster did not move when Pablo entered the yard. He just stood there, as if waiting for a friend, and he didn’t protest when the man picked him up, held him, tucked him in his jacket and carried him away. He was not afraid, this fragile bird, he trusted the gentle human whose proximity he had welcomed in the past, and whom he always greeted with a high pitched purr, a unique sound reserved just for Pablo: his “name” for this man.

The walk from the coop to the truck was the longest 30 yards of Pablo’s life. He didn’t want to think of what he was about to do, he didn’t want to feel his own sadness, or imagine the despair that would soon engulf the doomed rooster, he just wanted to get the dreaded task over with as quickly as possible, hoping that the pain of harming this defenseless soul would be brief, that the memory of his dark deed would fade soon after the job was done, and that the “sacrifice” of one bird would buy him time to save the others.

He drove the rooster far into the woods, set him on frozen ground and left him there. He didn’t linger as night fell, didn’t look back, didn’t want to think of the next hours, or perhaps days, in the hapless bird’s life. He just hurried back to his truck and sped back to the ranch as if fleeing a nightmare.

But the nightmare followed him home. Back in his room, Pablo couldn’t stop thinking about the rooster. He was worried, he was sad, he was ashamed. The bird’s eyes haunted him, what he had done to this fellow being haunted him. He imagined the bird shivering in the bitter cold, frozen in fear, blind and helpless in the utter darkness, screaming in terror as powerful jaws crushed his bones, as he flapped his broken wings in a last, desperate effort to fly away, as his bloody feathers covered the ground like the leaves of a strange tree.

Everything Pablo had refused to see and feel as he took the rooster to his death earlier that evening, was now rushing back into his mind with haunting, unrelenting precision. He remembered every detail of the rooster’s being. The warmth of the bird’s chest against his, the living current of his breath as he huddled inside his jacket, the brave drum of his heart, the deep pools of his eyes, the unbearable gift of his trust. By midnight, Pablo jumped out of bed, grabbed a warm jacket and a flashlight, and drove back to the woods. Even if the bird was going to be killed at the ranch, Pablo could not, would not, be the agent of his death.

He searched everywhere, looked up and around every tree, reached under the thorny crown of every bush and shrub in the area where he had abandoned the bird, called out in soft whistles and gentle words, and then waited silently for the faintest stir, the faintest sign of life. But there was no response. At dawn, Pablo abandoned the search and drove back to the work site claiming he was there to “finish the job” but in reality planning to gather the remaining chickens and hide them somewhere until he could find a refuge for them (where? for how long? He did not know, but he knew he could not abandon them).

Bleary-eyed, ragged, exhausted, Pablo thought he was dreaming when he saw the black rooster standing in front of the coop. And when he heard that high pitched purr, that sweet trill that was the rooster’s name for him, it brought him to his knees, not because the call was uttered in anger or recrimination but because — unbearably — it was voiced in joy, in friendship, in forgiveness, and in trust. There he was, this brave bird, standing in front of him like a small earthly miracle, like a prophet of life.

It was at that very moment that a ranch visitor Pablo had never seen before stopped by to chat and, in the course of their casual conversation, she mentioned Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary.

Pablo called the sanctuary right away and left a long message explaining the situation in tones of great urgency. When we finally connected, we agreed to take the birds and bring them to safety. We talked at length. He lives from paycheck to paycheck (when and if he can find work), his bright mind was never given the academic stimulation it craved, he didn’t have a home to call his own, he scraped a living working at remote sites that offered a room to crash in and a menial pay. He is a genuinely kind, strong, and fair-minded person.

When the details of rescuing and transporting the chickens were finally in place, he had only one question: “What is vegan?” He explained that he had first heard the word on our answering machine and was wondering what it meant. In conversation, we conveyed that being vegan means living one’s life without depriving others of theirs. It means not only having the understanding that harming others is wrong, but acting on that understanding by refusing to harm ALL animals, not just the ones we meet face to face, but the ones we never get to see, the invisible ones who are bred and butchered for products none of us needs.

He listened with an open mind, free of prejudice and defensiveness. We offered abundant information, resources, immediate help and support as well as the assurance of future help and support during his transition to veganism. Before he hung up, he added in a soft voice, as if talking to himself: “I think I’ve always been a vegan at heart, but now I will be vegan in real life. I’ve always loved animals but I never knew I could live without hurting them for food and other things. Now I know. Thank you.”

Pablo has since expressed a desire to rescue as many of the animals captive at the ranch as possible. He has read all of the literature we provided and is hungry for more. He said that the day he saw the rooster — now named Pablo in honor of the man who saved his life and who, in the process, dared to reclaim his own — when he saw Pablo standing in front of the coop after having miraculously survived the freezing cold and the all-engulfing darkness, it was like seeing a road sign that pointed the way out of the woods, out of the cold, out of the darkness. THIS WAY, it said. And he followed.

The six chickens are now safe, loved, and free to fulfill their lives at Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. They still huddle in their little family clutch, and they still keep to themselves in the corner of the yard they claimed as their own. And Pablo rooster is still protecting them from everyone — from visiting sparrows and fellow chickens, to wondering sheep, goats, pigs, cows, and llamas. But they are a very happy family, a very harmonious group, these three “broiler” hens and their three “laying breed” roosters. They are gentle, and patient with one another, and the hens struggle to nurture everyone in their family despite the burden of living in bodies that are killing them.*

Pablo, the man, is free now, too. Free from prejudice and denial, free from the soul-killing practice of violence. Free to heal his own heart, to act on his own deeply held values of justice and compassion, free to follow the road back to his own true humanity, a road that started with one simple act of conscience. A conscience is all it takes to be vegan, after all. Doing the right thing takes no special skills, no special resources, no special privileges or support. Just a conscience and the will to act on it.

Joanna Lucas
© 2015 Joanna Lucas
________________________________________
* “Broiler” chickens are bred to grow morbidly large, morbidly fast in order to reach “slaughter weight” by the age of 6 weeks. As a result, they are doomed to suffer crippling diseases of the heart, lungs, and bones.
________________________________________ 
If living ethically is important to you, please remember that there is nothing humane about “humane” animal farming, just as there is nothing ethical or defensible about consuming its products. When confronted with the fundamental injustice inherent in all animal agriculture—a system that is predicated on inflicting massive, intentional and unnecessary suffering and death on billions of sentient individuals—the only ethical response is to strive to end it, by becoming vegan, not to regulate it by supporting “improved” methods of producing dairy, eggs, meat, wool, leather, silk, honey, and other animal products. For more information, please read The Humane Farming Myth. Live

Order a FREE vegan kit: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click on the below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend.

PETA: http://www.petacatalog.com/catalog/Literature-39-1.html

Action for Animals has a very low price : http://store.afa-online.org/home.php?cat=284

Have questions? Click HERE

Read more…

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