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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)

If Not Now, When? If Not You, Who?

December 11, 2017

Wikimedia Commons, by Serenity

Source Gentle World, for the Vegan in Everyone
By Light, Co-Founder of Gentle World

Have you ever been driving on a highway and come alongside a cattle truck? Or perhaps you’ve had the experience of going fishing and feeling a pang of sympathy for both the worms wriggling on the hooks and the fish flapping their bodies, in a desperate struggle to return to life-giving water.

Were you saddened when you first found out how many animals in the wild face extinction? Do you remember going to the zoo and watching big cats and other wild animals pacing back and forth in their cages, resorting to insane behavior due to the unnatural limitations of their surroundings? When was the last time you were at a circus, or a rodeo? Did you realize then that the animals had been driven, through cruelty and confinement, to a state of abject terror?

Have you ever experienced the slaughter of an animal, on screen or in reality? Or maybe you’ve seen a documentary on the unbelievably horrific reality that is the life of laboratory animals, tortured by lab-coated sadists. Maybe you grew up on a farm and as a child befriended a cow, or a lamb, or a goat and then witnessed your friend being led to his or her death.

If you’ve ever come across someone abusing a dog, were you tempted to intervene on the dog’s behalf? Perhaps you have experienced the inside of a so-called ‘humane’ pound, and felt tears well up upon seeing the pitiful eyes of the condemned individuals who knew instinctively that they were on death row, awaiting execution by lethal injection.

If you’ve ever eaten lobsters after they were put in a pot of boiling water, can you recall the sound their claws made on the metal, in their frantic and vain attempt to escape? How ‘bout a pig roast? Have you ever been to one of those? If so, I’ll bet your stomach and your heart ached to see the animal recognizably whole.

From a different perspective: Have you looked into the eyes of an animal, and seen feelings like your own reflected in them? I imagine you’ve seen movies such as Bambi, Babe, or Charlotte’s Web, and felt a kinship, a siding, with the animals in the film. What have you done with the feelings of compassion elicited from these experiences? What have you done to end the abuse of both wild and domestic animals you loved when you were a child?

Have you forgotten or are you trying to ignore the irrefutable truth that cruelty should be abolished wherever it is found? Are you trying to smother that truth so as not to have to deal with the obvious ethical, morally justifiable course of action? And have you been finding out that the truth cannot be smothered? Truth lives in your conscience, and will remain there until you make the decision to live that truth.

If you’ve seen Earthlings or heard a powerful animal activist speak, or watched any one of countless documentaries that enlighten as well as horrify your conscience, there are only two ways to deal with such information: by ignoring the reality you just became aware of, or by resolving to do what you can to remove your own complicity, which means to stop eating, wearing, and using animals in your own daily life. In other words, to become vegan, and to live with a respect for all life: the animals, and your own.

If they could, every animal in the world would rise up, and with one pleading voice, say to you:

“What on earth are you waiting for?”

Order a FREE vegan kit:

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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.


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be not by time
your heart to make
be not by time
a heart to break
be not by time,
take time in hand
a word, softly
the kindness we
all understand.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

VEGAN INTEGRITY by 12-Year-Old Vegan Journalist: Marc Bernstein

December 4, 2017

Marc Bernstein, Veganism: A Truth Whose Time Has Come

Source Veganism: A Truth Whose Time Has Come
By Marc Bernstein

(Marc can be followed on Facebook at
While being vegan is healthier for us, that’s not what I think being vegan is really about. Being vegan is about doing what’s right. A part of doing what’s right is having integrity. But some people who say they’re vegan may not really be vegan and might be lacking integrity. Maybe they’re doing it just for an image and not integrity? It’s upsetting but I suppose in a way it’s also kind of cool that some people want the image of being vegan even when they’re not.
It’s amazing that some celebrities want the image of being vegan. There are some stars who really are vegan, but some of them just seem to want the image. There have been different celebrities who say they’re vegan, and then later the truth comes out that they are not what they said they were. I don’t think we should be focusing on celebrities. Even if they’re good in one way, they can be bad role models in other ways. We should not look outside ourselves to them but look inside ourselves at who we can be and then actually just become those role models. I think we should all do what we know is right. Still, people do look at celebrities. But, people shouldn’t lie. Maybe some of them said they were vegan but didn’t even know what it really meant. How can someone know what vegan really means and go against it? I don’t understand that.
What I really don’t understand is when a restaurant says it is vegan but it’s not. Recently here in Los Angeles there’s been a scandal about some vegan restaurants owned by a certain family. This family doesn’t serve meat at their restaurants, but it was just found out that they have a farm where they are raising animals for slaughter! That is so wrong. Now, I should tell you that their restaurants were never on the listing of totally vegan restaurants in L.A. ( because they did use some honey there. Many people ignored that and still called their restaurants vegan, but finding out about the actual animals being raised for slaughter has now sent vegans raging. There have been protests at these restaurants and boycotts online. But, these restaurants were never vegan. One of them just held a massive vegan grilled cheese party to try and win back the support of vegans. But the people who run them were never really vegan and are not vegan now. When the Vegan Society contacted them about their use of dairy and honey, the restaurant owners claimed that their honey was vegan because they raised their own bees and treated them nicely and their dairy was vegan because they raised their cows and treated them nicely. Now they’re saying they treat the animals nicely that they are going to slaughter too.
There was another restaurant in L.A. that had a big sign in the window that just said “Vegan” and their menu said “Vegan” and so did their website. They sure tried to make it seem that they were vegan. One of my vegan friends and his parents were driving down the main street when he saw the big sign saying vegan and was excited. Like mine, his parents aren’t vegan, but they were willing to stop for him to get something he wanted to eat. He thought the menu looked great. He ordered a sandwich and a smoothie. Later that day, he started getting sick. He knew that he was allergic to honey and bee pollen, and those were the symptoms he was getting. His dad contacted the restaurant and found out that they did actually use those bee products in their bread, in their sauce, and in their smoothies. His dad, who’s not even vegan, was furious with this restaurant for not being honest. His dad told them that he didn’t want to sue them, but he would if they did not either change their signs to “Vegan Friendly” or “Vegan Options” or something like that or even better to just change their ingredients and really go vegan. Really sad, this restaurant got rid of the signs that said “Vegan” and even moved more away from being vegan. They added organic eggs and chicken to their menu too. But, that’s what we keep getting from places that aren’t going to be truly vegan in the first place. They’re not vegan in their hearts, they don’t really get it, and they’re not going to really commit to it.
I’m not saying I don’t eat at places sometimes that aren’t vegan. I’ll support a place for having vegan options, and I’ll try to get them to go more and more vegan. I’ve been glad to help some places with that. With Veg Kids I’ve helped restaurants add vegan options. We’ve even helped some of the big amusement parks add vegan food stands! I’m glad to help people move in the right direction, but I sure don’t want to support places that move in the wrong direction or even worse; lie! I won’t support places that lie and say they’re vegan when they’re not. I think we should have higher standards for places that say they’re vegan.
I’m too young and only got to hear about the Quarry expose years after it happened, but that’s another good example. As I understand it, a blogger took food samples from a bunch of different vegan restaurants. They had them sent to a science lab to test the food for traces of non-vegan ingredients. They found that some of the supposedly vegan meats at some of the restaurants had animal products in them. Some restaurants reacted by getting rid of those products and ordering instead from more reliable suppliers. At least one of those restaurants didn’t care and didn’t change, but they still claim to be vegan. This is the same place whose supposedly vegan cheese tested to have some casein (a dairy product) still in it. So some restaurants were lied to, but they fixed it right away because they were really vegan. Others never really were vegan and just wanted the image. That’s not integrity.
Restaurants you expect to be out to make money, but some can do it with integrity and that’s so much better. Celebrities you expect to be out for image, but some can do it with integrity and that’s so much better. But what about vegan celebrities? I don’t mean people who are famous who maybe choose to be vegan, but I mean people who are leaders in the vegan world and that makes them kind of famous in our world. Some of them bother me more than any of the above. If someone is going to be a true leader in the vegan world, then they should really be vegan. But there are some who aren’t. And then some of them might really be vegan, but they’re not truthful about other things. Why can’t people just be honest, and vegans I think should be more ethical and therefore more honest!
There’s someone who claims to be a vegan expert and says she’s been vegan for so many years. She even wrote a book, and in it she claims to be vegan for longer than she really has! I’ve met a couple of people separately who’ve known her for a lot of years, and they both have stories about how she wasn’t vegan back when she said she first was. She may really be vegan now, but she’s still lacking integrity because she wants the image of being vegan ahead of others who were really ahead of her. But, they’re not trying to be the vegan celebrities that she is. Still, it’s wrong to pretend to be what you’re not. Then, there’s the vegan leader who is trying to tell everyone how to not compromise and how important it is to just be vegan. That could be a good message, but she doesn’t follow it herself. She has her own kids who aren’t even vegan. If she can’t raise her own kids vegan, then how can she be taken seriously when she tells other people what to do? It’s just not right to not do what you know is right. If she really believes in how important it is to be vegan, then she should be raising her own kids vegan. She puts out a vegan image she wants everyone to believe and gets loads of vegan celebrity attention for it, but she doesn’t have the integrity to really live like she says!
Then there’s the Hollywood celebrity-run school that has been claiming it’s vegan. It’s even claimed to be the first ever vegan school. This school is not the first; there have been others way before it, and it’s not even a vegan school at all. They are plant-based with their foods, but they still serve honey which isn’t vegan. One of the celebrities that runs the school still wears her fur coats which aren’t vegan. They still do things like dissection, which surely isn’t vegan. They keep a pet hawk that they claim is the school’s mascot and bind it up in little leather straps and blindfold the bird, and that’s far from vegan. So they’re lying and aren’t vegan. But, they’re glad to get the attention for it. They like the image but lack integrity. All the posting about this school being the first vegan school is being done by loads of bloggers, but if the celebrities running this school had integrity then they’d correct what people are saying that’s incorrect. And even if they do go vegan, which I hope they really do, they can never say they’re the first when there are others ahead of them. Loads of vegans believe it because they read it. We need to stop looking at image and look at integrity.
The one that bothers me the most is a kid who says she’s vegan but really isn’t. So many people think she is because she and her mom are trying to create that image. She’s trying to be a celebrity. At vegan events, she tells people she’s vegan. But, my friend heard her mom once say that she wants her daughter to be a star and this is just a way to get her attention. She sees that being vegan is the future, and she’s trying to make it seem that she’s ahead and leading the way. But at a major vegan event I saw her in the parking lot and she was, get this, eating McDonald’s! I couldn’t believe it, but I know what I saw. It was the McDonald’s paper on the outside with a bun and a brown patty on the inside. I checked after that to see if McDonald’s started selling vegan burgers, but that wasn’t it. That is so wrong. It’s another case of someone wanting an image but not having integrity. When I was talking about this to someone, they said that maybe she got a bun with just lettuce and tomato in it, but I know the difference between a tomato and a burger. Even if it was something vegan from McDonald’s, why eat that when you’re about to go into a vegan event that was going to have some great vegan food? I wrote another essay recently on being prepared. That’s a really valuable lesson I’ve learned. Always be prepared! There are plenty of times when I’m in places where I’m not going to have a bunch of good vegan options. That wasn’t the case in this girl’s situation, but if it was then she could have been prepared. That’s why I always have plenty of vegan snacks in my backpack.
Some people say that being vegan is hard. I really don’t think it’s hard if you have vegan integrity. Being vegan is only hard if you let it be hard, but it can be easy if you let it be easy. It’s about integrity. It also helps to have confidence and be secure with what you know is right. The vegan celebrities and the celebrity vegans and the restaurant owners that are more concerned with image than integrity – do more harm than good. When they’re not being consistent, they set bad examples for us. I’m 12 years old. I went vegan when I was 8. While I try to get my parents to go vegan, I’m sorry that hasn’t happened yet. I can help other kids more than I can help my parents. I depend on my parents, and if I pushed it too hard on them then it could backfire and they could stop supporting what I’m doing. So I’ve learned to not push too much on them but to stand strong and do what I know is right. From 8 to 12 years old, that’s a third of my life so far that I’ve been able to have my own integrity and be vegan. If I can do it then others can too. The most important thing I hope people get from this article is that we’re better when we focus on integrity and not image. Let’s have integrity, and let’s live by it. Thank-you to all of you vegans who are really trying with integrity and not just trying to put out some fake image.

This is edited down from Marc’s full article which can be read fully here

child is father to the great man he shall become.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

A Hurricane of Distortions Surrounding Animals and Veganism

November 27, 2017

A cowboy leads “rescued” animals down a city street after hurricane Harvey hits Texas. (Free From Harm)

Source Free From Harm

As we all know, hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have brought devastation upon so many. As someone with family in Florida, including my Mom, I anxiously followed Irma’s path and was immensely relieved when she only lost a couple of shingles along with power for several days. Many others, as we know, were not so lucky.

Yet even during such nail-biting times and now the tremendous destruction left behind, I couldn’t help but notice that, somehow, a perfect storm had been created for glorifying animal exploitation and ridiculing veganism (of all things).

Although I really wish we didn’t have to talk about this right now, unfortunately, letting these distortions go unchallenged would be a great injustice, both to the animals and those who truly defend them.

Are farmed animals really “rescued?”

A disturbing trend is exemplified by the viral video the above image was taken from, as well as by articles like The New York Times’ “A Flying Cowboy Arises to Rescue Cattle Stranded in Harvey’s Floods” and CNN’s “Texas Ranchers Battle to Save Cattle From Harvey’s Wrath,” all depicting the moving of cattle to dryer ground as some sort of compassionate intervention to save these animals for their own sakes.

But despite appearances and claims – unless, of course, they are being rescued by a vegan sanctuary – farmed animals in situations such as this are NOT being rescued or saved from weather events or fires; sadly, it’s just being made sure they don’t die before they can be further exploited and killed for profit.

Positioning this profit-protecting as “rescuing” or “saving” those you are going to restrain and kill at a later date is obtuse and deceptive if not downright diabolical, and the media and public’s uncritical acceptance of that framing reveals a glaring disconnect. It’s all part of the ludicrous charade required for people to support animal exploitation and slaughter in the total absence of necessity.

The farmers, of course, are all too happy to use the confusion to their advantage. In an Orwellian piece for Farm and Dairy, editor Susan Cromwell has sunk so low as to claim that the fact that so many so-called “livestock” (that word alone speaks volumes) were “rescued” by farmers from the hurricanes not only proves that commodifying and killing sentient individuals is an act of “compassion” rather than exploitation (they give them bedding and hay, tho!), but that animal activists are the true dangerous hurricane, metaphorically speaking.

I kid you not.

Not surprisingly, this spot-on comment left by Free From Harm’s founder Robert Grillo has since been deleted/censored from the article’s comments section:

Are we really to believe your assertion about farmers “rescuing” their animals from Harvey and Irma, that the real “victims” are those who artificially breed, exploit and kill baby animals for profit? Are we to hail exploiters as heroes for rescuing their “livestock” because they view them as nothing more than valuable commodities they can’t afford to lose? Are we to conflate real compassion, altruism and empathy with financial self-interest? Everyone knows that these animals have a price tag on their heads and will soon be sent off to slaughter by these same “compassionate rescuers” where they will be shot point blank in the head, have their throats slashed and then have their bodies hacked up into “edible” body parts. You are shamefully and dishonestly propping up an industry built upon violence and killing as some kind of rescue mission.

When we trust the ones doing the direct exploiting on our behalf, it’s the desensitized leading the disassociated. It’s a very convenient dynamic, allowing them to profit while consumers enjoy the results and absolve ourselves of responsibility and moral consequence. When it comes to justifying needless exploitation and killing, apparently nothing is too ridiculous and absurd for otherwise savvy people (including reputable journalists) to believe.

And where is the journalistic integrity and responsibility in accurately covering such stories? Journalists hold the power in either informing or deceiving the public about news stories. Rather than getting at the truth and the facts, they’ve conflated rescue with financial self-interest. It flies in the face of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, particularly these two principles:

  • Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
  • Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information.

If they were truly being rescued, these animals would be destined for sanctuaries, not slaughterhouses.

Please read rest HERE

first one needs to save ones soul
to see all as equal
part of the greater whole
to no longer use, exploit
or abuse..
this would be
the greatest news!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Reflections on Impact and Activism presentation at ARNC 2017

November 20, 2017


Source Free From Harm Blog, YouTube

A live recording from Free from Harm’s director and founder, Robert Grillo, at the Animal Rights National Conference in Washington D.C. on Sunday August 6th, 2017, as part of a panel of three other presenters. His focus is on a non-linear, non-qualitative approach to looking at our impact and drawing inspiration and lessons from other successful activism efforts.

how far we are from
where we should be
but keeping on going
is our reality.
so stand in our way
so no and such
we will rule the day
thank you
very much!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

5000 Vegans MARCH in London for Animal Rights 2017

November 13, 2017

Source YouTube, Plant Based News

Animal Rights March London 2017: On the 2nd of September 2017, 5000 #vegans marched through the streets of #london calling for an END to all animal exploitation.

The March was conducted by uk activist group Surge Activism, HeartCure Clothing and supported by groups all over the country. The march culminated with motivational and inspirational speeches from Earthling Ed Joey Carbstrong among others. This march is the biggest of its kind in recent years.

Part 1 Intro & Ed (Earthling Winters) Speech more to follow.

More speeches and other coverage to follow…

Thanks to Jeff Knecht for his bus footage give him some love here…

Filmed at the Animal Rights March London by Calin Wynn & Robbie Lockie | Edited by Robbie Lockie

Follow Earthling Ed here :…

Support Heart Cure Collective here:

The vegans in the march where around 5000 people. In London the vegans marched for the animals. The activists where marching in London the numbers of vegan activists there where was considerable. Earthling Ed, Joey Carbstrong and a number of other people spoke at the Animal Rights March in London 2017. The day vegan activists where marching for the animals in London.




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Order a FREE vegan kit:

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.


Looking for merchandise?  Action for Animals has a very good selection :

Have questions? Click HERE

we are challenged by
what is new
something different
perhaps hard to do
but changing for
the better
is the test
being kind
is the

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


Combating speciesism in a time of racism

November 6, 2017

Wikimedia Commons

Source NY Daily News
By Ingrid Newkirk

I’m an animal rights advocate, stuck with the problem of how to discuss discrimination based on species at a time when the news is dominated by stories of discrimination based on skin color.

When human rights hang in the balance, we who speak for animals are always told to zip it. We don’t have time to worry about other species, the argument goes, until we handle homo sapiens’ problems.

But we can’t put animal rights on the back burner when racism is on the front burner. In fact, the conversation becomes only more urgent now. Not just because the vast majority of the hate mail that animal rights groups like PETA receive is from self-identified sexists, homophobes, grinning trophy and “varmint” hunters, and people who spell out hateful messages with the bodies of rabbits and coyotes they’ve shot.

We know so much nowadays about animal intelligence and the cruelty hidden in the slaughterhouse, the circus and trophy hunting that it can’t be right to put that aside. In fact, by recognizing that obligation, we may even learn something about how to treat those who are closest to us.

Henry Bergh, founder of the ASPCA, who also brought and won the first court case about child abuse, said that if you teach a child to care for a caterpillar, you do as much for the child as you do for the caterpillar. And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” when he was criticized for objecting to the Vietnam war by those who thought he should restrict his activism to fighting racial discrimination.

Bullying and violence don’t stop at the human door any more than they stop at the race or gender door.

If ever there were a time to examine the principle behind our objections to the practices and beliefs that result in disrespect toward and discrimination against anyone — women, people with disabilities, people of various races and religions, and other living beings — it is now.

Watch old films like “The Thin Man,” and you will shake your head at scene after scene of all-male decisionmakers, women treated like and referred to as “dolls” and “cutie pies,” black men visible only as subservient shoe shiners and waiters, black women appearing only as maids, stereotypes of Asians directed to use phrases like “No tickee, no laundry.”

Most of us are ashamed of those earlier times of limited understanding of “others,” and are glad they are behind us. So how, then, can we justify treating other sentient, thinking, feeling, living beings, as meals on the hoof, future handbags, cheap burglar alarms and slaves as many do today? We can’t, and that demands a broader discussion about prejudice.

Longtime PETA supporter Russell Simmons says, “I went vegan more than 15 years ago because cruelty is cruelty, whether it’s to blacks, whites, children, the elderly, dogs, cats, pigs or chickens.” He echoes the words of Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, whose family fled the Holocaust and who said, “I didn’t become a vegetarian for my health. I did it for the health of the chickens.”

And of Alice Walker, who wrote, “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.”

It has been a few years now since over a dozen prominent scientists and philosophers issued the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, calling on humanity to recognize the rights of other species, with the words: “The weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing then neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess (them).”

Animal rights proponents embrace the words of civil rights activist and feminist Audre Lorde, who believed, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Those of us working to break down the prejudices against animals are the same people who are advocating for human rights and challenging hate groups. Because we know that prejudice in all its ugly forms is wrong. It doesn’t matter who the victim is, but when we witness oppression, we should never let it go unchallenged.

Newkirk is president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Order a FREE vegan kit:

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.


Looking for merchandise? Action for Animals has a very good selection :

Have questions? Click HERE

why do some choose to pursue
a false hierarchy view
when we are all equal
in the heart and eyes
of the one
who created us,

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


I Became a ‘Humane Farmer’ to Help Animals; I Should Have Gone Vegan

October 30, 2017

Gustaf Soderfeldt on his vegetable farm. Source Free From Harm

Source Free From Harm

I started out as a small scale “humane farmer” back in 2006. Farming grew out of my involvement with, and passion for, the whole “back-to-the-land,” “grow your own,” sustainable food movement.

I raised free range pigs, sheep, goats and chickens, and I opened a shop for local, organic foods that sold meat and vegetables from my farm, as well as from others nearby.

But while running the shop, my ideas around, and options for, “ethical meat” began to crumble. I soon realized that, because producing meat is as unnecessary as it is violent, ethical meat is an impossibility whenever it is possible to grow plentiful plant-based foods.

Too, more than anything, I believe my customers saw the local, organic, “ethical meat” and dairy labels as an excuse to continue eating all types of meat and animal products generally. And that is because, more than anything, humane labels still designate animal lives as so inherently inferior and existentially worthless that breeding, exploiting and killing them for completely unnecessary reasons can still be embraced, celebrated even, as “ethical” and “humane.”

It may sound funny to say, but I discovered veganism through YouTube, and it was there that I learned it was a healthy, viable option. My world as a small-scale, ethical meat producer was totally turned upside down. I closed the shop, stopped raising animals, and became active in the vegan community. Now, together with my spouse Caroline, I run the farm totally veganically [without animal manure, blood or bones, or any other animal inputs].

Please read more HERE

every little tip toe
every step
every way
our ranks are
swelling with
every day!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


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