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#31 Old 09-25-2003, 04:42 PM
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I went for the Animals and my religion. Religion was the main factor....I believe God wouldn't want anything to suffer. Also...I love animals. They are so nonjudgement....they should have rights.
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#32 Old 01-17-2004, 09:20 PM
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(hopefully in the right thread this time )



I think there are several distinct (but not independent) types of argument about the 'rightness' or otherwise of animal eating:



the moral/ethical,

the practical (whether alternatives exist given the circumstances),

the economic,

the environmental,

the health related,

the evolutionary

the culinary



Most of these arguments can be viewed as posing a moral question since they involve the environment and people's health.





Starting with the moral/ethical:



It seems to me the nub of the argument is about causing unnecessary suffering to animals. Obviously by breathing and walking down the street we kill millions of living organisms so it's not about the killing its about the suffering. Is the suffering we cause justified given our dietary needs and desire for certain tastes? In any case there seems to be a big difference between whether people think it is justified and whether they care if it is justified. This difference is illustrated when you feel sympathetic to the cause of the RSPCA and yet eat at McDonalds or buy Tecso 'value' meat or battery farm eggs. This moral myopia is maintained through mental conditioning ('farmers are all good, honest folk in touch with nature and who care well for their animals', 'meat comes from clean shrink wrapped packages on supermarket shelves', grilled steak is a natural food), habit and deliberate avoidance of the hypocrisy. ehem.. Of course it's easier to care about something you spend time with. Of course not all livestock live unhappy lives. There are farmers who really do care about animal welfare and look after their stock very well, don't send them on horrendous journeys to their slaughterhouse and kill them humanely. These animals probably have a much nicer life in the farm than they would in the wild. The objections to eating meat from these animals are part of the other types of arguments. Does anyone still believe that animals suffer no more than vegetables? *snicker*. Almost as funny is that some people think its better to live a doomed life of pain and suffering rather than never be born, well, if we didnt eat them, they wouldnt even be alive. What are you going to be sorry for if you never exist? Or, put another way, is it better to raise an animal that lives most of its life in misery, make damn sure it reproduces, kill it after it does and then raise the little animals in the same way to the same fate ad-infinitum, or, just stop the whole cycle by killing what artificially high population we engineered that cant be sustained and, if we must, eat the last of it? Which is better from a moral point of view?



The practical (whether alternatives exist given the circumstances):



Sure if I lived in the north pole or the barren grasslands of north America I'd eat meat too (until I moved somewhere nicer anyway). I have no problem from a moral standpoint with people who live in harmony with the environment, respect it and eat meat out of necessity. Fine. But 99% of the population arent in that position.



The economic:



The fact as far as I can tell is it's a lot cheaper to produce grains, seeds and vegetables for human consumption than meat, simply because it's more energy efficient and there are less steps in the chain (generally). Producing meat as a very occasional addition to an otherwise vegetarian diet is a very different business to producing it on the mass scale it is for daily consumption. For mass production to be economically viable the animals need to grow fast, the food/weight ratio needs to be maximised which means steroids, unnatural diets and antibiotics to delay disease from the unnatural diets. You can't just let them roam around in fields eating whatever, they wont grow quick enough and space is a big expense. So the animals need to be packed in tightly. Even so the animals eat the kind of foods we eat (when they are fed on the grain and been rich diets in factory farms) and since their digestion is not 100% efficient and they use lots of energy for things other than growing, the whole process is much less efficient than just eating the beans and grains ourselves. Of course then there is the effluent disposal, the heating, the lighting, the water supply (and it's a LOT of water) and the transport (animals don't pack as tightly as beans, try as they might.). Basically eating animals as a main part of your diet is expensive. Eating animals that were well looked after and fed a natural diet is even more expensive because the throughput is lower and they require more land. I think at the very bottom end of the market (beef burgers, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, pet food) it is possible to approach the efficiency of a grain/vegetable based diet by totally disregarding animal welfare, environmental impact, health impact and sustainability. You just have to cut corners everywhere, feed the animals what are basically waste products with high calorific value and recycle all the bones and organs into God knows what, then you might say its almost efficient.



The environmental:



The animals we eat are mainly herbivores (omnivores in the case of some birds and fish). The more animals we eat, the more crops we must grow. The more crops, the more forestation we must destroy (much more than if we just grew the crops to eat directly since eating animals is far less efficient). The faster the animals have to grow (for meat to be economically viable) the faster the crops have to grow which means lots of fertilizers and pesticides and top soil erosion. Then there is the waste that lots of animals in a small space produce. It's fairly toxic and it gets flushes into rivers and streams causing death and disease to wildlife and people. Then there is the environmental impact of producing all the energy to fuel the whole inefficient meat production system. Also pumping animals full of antibiotics encourages diseases to mutate and become resistant. Apparently quite a few of these diseases also affect humans. oops! With fish the environmental damage caused by over fishing is to the food chain. Simply put, A eats B eats C eats D eats E. We fish too many C, B starves, so A starves. The population of D expands because C is eating it at a much lower rate, which putting stress on the population of E and also whatever creatures eat the same as D since there is now more competition for E. It just breaks the whole chain.



The health related:



Which diet will make you live longer, suffer from less diseases and feel better? Statistics and personal experience (about feeling better anyway) both say a vegetarian diet. This is actually less clear cut than the other arguments and people's metabolisms and enzyme production vary. But as far as I can tell from what I've read, for the vast majority of people it's a tie between a purely vegetarian diet and one that incorporates a small amount of animal protein. Large amounts of it appear to be bad, essentially because you have to cook it which denatures the protein making it less well digested, causing toxins in the body. besides the fibres (not dietary fibre) in meat make it more difficult to digest than most vegetable foods anyway. The longer food spends in your intestines the more it rots and festers But a little, every now and then isn't too bad apparently. Then there's the fact that it's much easier to get food poisoning from meat than vegetables. B12? If we ate organically grown veg, and perhaps a little dairy or eggs no problem. Also brewers yeast has plenty.



The evolutionary:



Obviously meat was a critical part of our diet when we were living in caves and huts, before we developed agriculture. It's winter, you're out of seeds and roots, what are you going to eat? An animal of course. Does that mean we should eat them now, because when we were cave or hut dwellers it was eat them or starve? Does it mean it's healthy to eat meat on a regular basis? I don't see why. Just because we evolved to be able to cope with certain foods doesnt mean they are good for us, or necessary, where alternatives exist. From an evolutionary point of view (but not necessarily a biological one) grains, beans and pulses arent a very natural food, and there is some evidence to suggest we are better off sticking to seeds, nuts, roots, vegetables and fruits. However since cooked grains, beans and pulses are loosely speaking nutritionally roughly halfway between meat and vegetables they seem to be a good compromise for calorie and protein dense food. You can live on rice and beans alone but most could not live of a 100% meat diet.



The culinary



This seems to be the clincher for most people. Everything else is secondary, if it tastes nice then it gets the thumbs up, regardless. All the other arguments are rendered void in the face of a satisfied tongue. There is a certain texture and mouthy feel to meat. That protein and fat, (and all the herbs and salt added to improve the flavour) tastes good. Once it's on the supermarket shelf, it's very convenient to eat. Meat, two veg, seasoning. Simple. However... since it's the denatured protein (denaturing usually improves the taste), fat and seasoning that make most of the flavour, the effect can easily be recreated with a little knowledge using vegetarian substitutes. The convenience point sticks, but only because society goes to great pains to make eating meat convenient, not because it is naturally.



In conclusion, if you are concerned about reducing unnecessary animal suffering, economic burden to society, environmental damage and health risks to yourself its very difficult to recommend eating meat. The evolutionary argument for eating it seems mute and pretty tenuous. The practical justification is only valid for a minute fraction of people. So of course the main reason people do it is because they just like the taste and cant be bothered to change their habits. What was it Forest Gump said?
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#33 Old 01-17-2004, 09:23 PM
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why post this twice? Edit and Delete one of the posts so you don't get in trouble for spamming. ; )
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#34 Old 01-17-2004, 10:31 PM
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maybe one of the moderators turned it into a seperate thread...
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#35 Old 01-17-2004, 10:42 PM
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I don't eat anything that has to do with a living creature that once had a soul. I believe it will mess up my karma. That's my simple rule of thumb.



Secondly I did it for health reasons.
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#36 Old 01-17-2004, 10:48 PM
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I always tell people who ask, "One day I just got tired of eating meat."



And really, that's the truth. I wasn't trying to loose weight, and at first no other thought occured to me than, "I don't want to eat meat anymore." I had been vegetarian in my very early twenties so I knew I could do it. Also, the first time I went veggie, I remember feeling really good. I mean....just all around, I felt better about myself, and well...at peace. But in central Louisiana in the eighties, there weren't many like me, and I just didn't sustain it.



Still, even after I went back that first time, I never ate as much. I've always loved veggies and fresh fruit, so giving up meat isn't a big deal.



In the past two years since becoming vegetarian again, I've read so much that I know that even when/if the desire were to strike, I wouldn't eat meat again. Any desire I might have to eat meat,(for some reason the smell of bacon is still attractive to me, though I hate how it sticks to everything...the smell), is not as great as my desire to live the life I want to live. Which is most definitely, a vegetarian one.



To me there are a lot of reasons for being vegetarian. After having sorte through them time and again, I've decided that it just very simply...makes sense.



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#37 Old 01-17-2004, 11:02 PM
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I went vegan cause I didn't want to contribute to animal suffering. I've never looked back! Being a vegan rocks!
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#38 Old 01-18-2004, 09:09 AM
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I went veg because I was conscious of being a hypocrite: I would buy meat at the supermarket but I knew I would not kill an animal with my own hands.



My sentiments exactly!



Though I started the journey toward a vegetarian diet for health reasons alone. However, the more I looked for information on vegetarian nutrition and recipes the more information I found about where our food comes from ... and now I'm in process of evolving into an "all of the above" kind of person.

I am the user formerly known as MrsKey
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#39 Old 01-18-2004, 11:42 AM
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I went veg by accident. I was looking on the internet for info about shark dissection (yes, i had to dissect a shark for zoology class.. i know, wrong and disgusting) and i came upon some links about dissection being wrong. I clicked on them, just to see what other ppl had to say about it and kept following links that led to all kinda of factory farming and animal rights sights. After reading some of them, i became veg immediatly and bawled for the rest of the day because i felt so bad for the animals. My roomate brought me home a chicken ceaser pita from her work, and i was like "sorry, but i'm not eating that, and i'm never eating meat again".... and that was that.
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#40 Old 01-18-2004, 01:58 PM
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Environmentally, it is hands down a terrific solution, and even if the masses don't believe or follow YET... I can only have faith that someday the tides will change and most people will understand.



Personally, my emotions started to overcome my desire to eat anything animal. It started to make me feel "wrong" and sad and guilty and "blind" when I ate animal stuff.



Even spiritually, I may be crazy, but I feel more "connected" and in tune and "awake" being veg.
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#41 Old 01-20-2004, 10:30 AM
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at first it was because of the disgusting, deplorable conditions of the meat industry and not wanting that **** in my body.



but all along it was because i find it morally wrong to kill an animal for food.
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#42 Old 01-20-2004, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Jags View Post

I went veg by accident. I was looking on the internet for info about shark dissection (yes, i had to dissect a shark for zoology class.. i know, wrong and disgusting) and i came upon some links about dissection being wrong. I clicked on them, just to see what other ppl had to say about it and kept following links that led to all kinda of factory farming and animal rights sights. After reading some of them, i became veg immediatly and bawled for the rest of the day because i felt so bad for the animals. My roomate brought me home a chicken ceaser pita from her work, and i was like "sorry, but i'm not eating that, and i'm never eating meat again".... and that was that.



i had a bad experience with a piece of chicken back in november and right then i stopped eating meat. it was THAT quick.
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#43 Old 01-20-2004, 10:57 AM
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i'm vegetarian for ethical reasons.
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#44 Old 03-21-2004, 09:52 PM
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Initially it was just because I disliked the texture of meat. I never ate ham for example, and would only have red meat every couple months. Then I read into slaughterhouse conditions and became completely disgusted with all of it. I still eat fish though, because I like it and I don't believe the conditions in which they are caught are completely deplorable.
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#45 Old 03-21-2004, 10:09 PM
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I did this twice in the past and then went back to eating meat, don't ask me why. And then I met this wonderful man and we just recently got married. And over the last few months (before the wedding) we were talking about how we both wanted to live "away from it all" and we could have lots of lands and grow veggies. And then the discussion turned to farm animals. And how I knew I couldn't raise an animal we would later eat. It was the hyprocrite factor - I was eating meat - but I knew I couldn't kill an animal myself or "know" the animal. Then one night out of the blue, he says, "What do you think about going vegetarian?" And that was it. By that weekend neither of us could look at meat or see the boys eating it. So we shopped and got all kind of veg*n goodness. It's only been about 10 days, but every time we fix a good veggie meal we look at each other and say, "I feel so good about this, don't you?" or something along those lines. And my 4yo will tell you that he doesn't want a hamburger cause "we've gone granola man!"
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#46 Old 03-22-2004, 10:56 AM
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I started to get uncomfortable with the thought of an animal dying for my food. I absolutely love chicken, and have grown up eating beef, so i cut down on eating meat gradually over a yr and then gave it completely a short time ago. I feel great, i love eating without feeling guilty.
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#47 Old 03-22-2004, 03:15 PM
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Reasons-?..All of mine are well stated in the others answers. they sum it up nicely. Greatest though was captured by Ruthie.. Messes up your Karma man. No, seriously, when I thought about all the suffering I was directly responsable for my head almost exploded. "Old MacDonalds factory farm" was the awakening moment. The week I read it, I was working in a veterinary clinic, and a friend of mine was killed through a foolish mistake with an anesthetic error. They wanted to test a new piece of equipment and anesthetised a sight hound dog with an injectable form of sodium pentothal. They should've known better. He died after an hour of CPR. I was the only one there, as they left while he was waking up from the drugs. I don't know why that flipped the switch right then and there. But it did. Almost an audible 'snap' in my head. Miss ya' Dave......Tash.
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#48 Old 03-22-2004, 05:42 PM
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i watched this documentary on street people / mental health and this dude was showing how they would go to the supermarket at a certain time and get all these bbq chickens that the store tossed cuz they couldn't sell it. i started thinking about the amount of meat sold / not sold in the supermarket near me and how much more of that quantity was sold / not sold in other markets all over the world and it made me sad and angry that we, as humans, were so greedy. it kind of just ballooned from there. the pickton (pig)farm, mad cow and avian flu slaughters were added incentives ick
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#49 Old 03-22-2004, 05:48 PM
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Animal welfare and environmental reasons mixed with some anti-big business reasons



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#50 Old 03-23-2004, 02:06 AM
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quote: "i think that the only reason to eat meat is because "it tastes good" and since meat-eating in a modern society is done for pleasure at the expense of animals, then I think taht if i do eat meat again, then I may be quite selfish in doing so."



That's the main reason I went veg, although I also did it for environmental and health reasons. Red meat also tastes disgusting.

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#51 Old 03-23-2004, 05:20 PM
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I became veg because I didn't want to cause the death of animals if I could avoid it. Meat and fish still smell appetizing (go figure- I think that's a bit schizo of me) but they're hardly irresistable. I can't truly say I miss eating it.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#52 Old 03-23-2004, 07:04 PM
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i think that the only reason to eat meat is because "it tastes good" and since meat-eating in a modern society is done for pleasure at the expense of animals, then I think taht if i do eat meat again, then I may be quite selfish in doing so.



I couldn't have said that better Loki, my sentiments exactly. I've been veggie for 2 weeks now. I tried to be veggie last year and failed miserably as i couldn't cope without meat (how sad). But this time i stumbled upon the Animal Protection Institute, and with the facts in front of me have finally did it! I admit i like the taste of meat, ive ate it all my life, but any thought i have of eating it again is diminished by thinking about the information i have read on the internet (and some awful photos i found).



I'd love to be vegan, but i can't cook for s**t, not proper food anyway, and since im new at all this, my first step is veggie. I feel so good having done this! I've felt like such a hypocrite all my life, claiming to love animals and hate animal cruelty whilst munching on a big mac or a KFC! Now i can truly say, animals........



Bring on the veggies!



Oh, and this is my first post, hi to all!
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#53 Old 03-23-2004, 08:03 PM
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To become more spiritual!



I was told that in following the tradition I was looking into, that not eating meat was a fundamental practice. He said, "I know it is hard for Americans to stop eating meat, but go ask Krishna for help, and He will do it."



That night I took his advice, and haven't had a bit of meat since! (July 2002)
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#54 Old 03-23-2004, 10:46 PM
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I did it for a lot of reasons, initially. Spiritually, I thought is was the right thing to do. Physically, my body is healthiest! Eventually, though, I went back to my old omni lifestyle.



However, recently I was remembering how healthy I felt as a veggie, and decided to go back, even if I had to really work at it and plan well to afford it all. And, thanks to a recent bout of either the stomach flu or food poisoning, I've become lactose intolerant in less than a month. It's the weirdest thing. Also, eating meat gives me stomach cramps.



So, I am vegetarian because my tummy likes it.



I stay with it for two reasons:



Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser



and
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#55 Old 03-24-2004, 01:28 PM
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To become more spiritual!



I was told that in following the tradition I was looking into, that not eating meat was a fundamental practice. He said, "I know it is hard for Americans to stop eating meat, but go ask Krishna for help, and He will do it."



That night I took his advice, and haven't had a bite of meat since! (July 2002)
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#56 Old 04-03-2004, 03:47 PM
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I found that there was no reason for me to eat meat but loads of scientific and moral reasons why I shouldn't. The more I read-the more I convinced myself. I actually became a vegetarianbefore I knew a lot about it. I picked up this book that was on display in the libray called 'dirty planet' it was about the environmet and I found it really interesting and informative. I liked the layout and it was easy to understand. Ages after I read I found another book called 'Born to be Wild' and noticed that it was produced be the same people. It was all about the conditions for animals etc. and recommended reading 'going, being and staying veggie'. Everything rolled on from that. I read 'the silent ark' went on the internet, watched films: and have never turned back since. I suppose it was kind of an accident although I did try it ages ago and it lasted a week....

....If only someone didn't put the book 'dirty planet' on that display.

I don't know- I'm just glad that I woke up. I just find it hard to believe that omni's prefer to bury their heads in the sand.
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#57 Old 04-03-2004, 10:23 PM
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I feel so good having done this! I've felt like such a hypocrite all my life, claiming to love animals and hate animal cruelty whilst munching on a big mac or a KFC!





I couldn't have said it better myself. I have always had a wierd guilt relationship with food- and only recently realised that eating animals made me feel really guilty. Eating meat was so engrained into my counsiousness that I didn't even know how it really made me feel.



The absolute catalyst for me going veg was writting a paper on 'the social construction of the vegetarian identity' for school. After all my research I realised that now that I know what I know, I can no longer justify eating meat, even if it is tasty and convinient! My guilt would overwhelm me!

I guess ignorance was bliss!

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May the whole world be joyous'
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#58 Old 04-04-2004, 03:42 AM
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Moral and animal rights reasons, and I also have come to think that there is some very good health benefits in being veg*n
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#59 Old 04-04-2004, 03:43 AM
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I did it to be the first boy on my block to have a pet tofu pup.
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