New Commentary by Gary Francione - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-15-2010, 07:50 PM
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Hello everyone.
Just wondering if you guys have yet listened to Prof. Gary L. Francione's new commentary. I find it very interesting. Its regarding ways to better communicate veganism to non-veganism.

What do you think?

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/...mentary-19.mp3
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#2 Old 09-16-2010, 02:35 AM
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im really pleased to hear him criticise something which has always pissed me off a bit, and that is the all too common misanthropic discourse that tends to runs thu the vegan community. vegans are going to disappear up their own arses with that ****e.
as for the rest of it, i agree with him on a lot of what he says, but from my perspective, hes still too much of an idealist when it comes to getting the rest of the world on board with veganism. like a lot of intellectuals, he clearly doesnt spend much time hanging out with everyday omni folk cuz if he did, he would be far more pragmatic about the role that animal welfare [as much as we all dislike a lot of the aspects of it] has to play in getting omnivorous eaters & big business to make the transition into a more compassionate and ultimately vegan way of thinking.
i would love it if society could make that transition in one leap, but i dont hold out much hope for that being possible at this point in time, so unfortunately, concessions with the omni & corporate world have to be made in order for them to come to the party.
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#3 Old 09-16-2010, 05:55 AM
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I loved that he spoke out against the anti-humanism.

That is waaaayyyy too common these days.

Francione played a big part in my conversion to veganism and I agree with about 80% of what he says. I disagree with him on some of his views, but they are often non-animal related.

Animal abolition = libertarianism evolved
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#4 Old 09-16-2010, 09:11 AM
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hes still too much of an idealist when it comes to getting the rest of the world on board with veganism. like a lot of intellectuals, he clearly doesnt spend much time hanging out with everyday omni folk cuz if he did, he would be far more pragmatic about the role that animal welfare [as much as we all dislike a lot of the aspects of it] has to play in getting omnivorous eaters & big business to make the transition into a more compassionate and ultimately vegan way of thinking.
i would love it if society could make that transition in one leap, but i dont hold out much hope for that being possible at this point in time, so unfortunately, concessions with the omni & corporate world have to be made in order for them to come to the party.

Hi, i disagree with your statement that he is too much of an idealist. I think Francione is right that we have to be clear in our message and consistent. We have to take veganism to its full conclusion, because otherwise we are just being hypocrites, and expressing a confused message to the general public.
I also agree with him that welfare reform does little to nothing for animals and moving towards veganism.
You think differently, so could you expand on your opinion?
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#5 Old 09-16-2010, 09:11 AM
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I loved that he spoke out against the anti-humanism.

That is waaaayyyy too common these days.

Francione played a big part in my conversion to veganism and I agree with about 80% of what he says. I disagree with him on some of his views, but they are often non-animal related.

Im curious about what you do not agree with? Would you care to elaborate?
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#6 Old 09-16-2010, 09:40 AM
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Hi, i disagree with your statement that he is too much of an idealist. I think Francione is right that we have to be clear in our message and consistent. We have to take veganism to its full conclusion, because otherwise we are just being hypocrites, and expressing a confused message to the general public.
I also agree with him that welfare reform does little to nothing for animals and moving towards veganism.
You think differently, so could you expand on your opinion?

actually i dont think differently, i said i agree with him about welfare, i just dont think that the view is applicable to our current society. its ivory tower intellectualisation as far as im concerned. in other words, its good on paper, **** in practice. if you dont think thats the case, ask yourself whether all the people you know in your life are intellectually ready to move into a vegan lifestyle right now. for me, the answer is a resounding no. how about you ??
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#7 Old 09-16-2010, 11:19 AM
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actually i dont think differently, i said i agree with him about welfare, i just dont think that the view is applicable to our current society. its ivory tower intellectualisation as far as im concerned. in other words, its good on paper, **** in practice. if you dont think thats the case, ask yourself whether all the people you know in your life are intellectually ready to move into a vegan lifestyle right now. for me, the answer is a resounding no. how about you ??

intellectually ready? That sounds super elitist to presume that others cant go vegan too. Im not saying everyone would be open to it, however, i dont think you and i are all that special. You dont need to understand the issues fully to start. I went vegan and i have been learning more about it since then (8 years). I feel i keep learning, and adapting my lifestyle to be the best role model i can be.
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#8 Old 09-16-2010, 01:37 PM
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intellectually ready?

means >>> not in the right head space as this point in time.

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That sounds super elitist to presume that others cant go vegan too

i didnt say they cant go vegan, i said theyre probably not ready to.
its something like barely 1% of the population thats actually vegan right now. and theres apparently been no change in those numbers in 20 years. im hoping that those numbers will increase with the influence of internet activism in the next 20 years, but im not expecting a totally vegan world before i leave this earth, thats for sure. am i depressing you yet ??
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#9 Old 09-16-2010, 01:44 PM
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im not expecting a totally vegan world before i leave this earth, thats for sure.

Gary Francione doesn't expect a totally vegan world, either, but he also doesn't believe in encouraging half-steps simply because that's easier than getting people go vegan. I actually think his approach is quite practical.
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#10 Old 09-16-2010, 01:53 PM
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Gary Francione doesn't expect a totally vegan world, either, but he also doesn't believe in encouraging half-steps simply because that's easier than getting people go vegan. I actually think his approach is quite practical.

you dont have to explain franciones theories to me, i have listened to them for myself. i just see it differently to you, and most people who live overseas from me to be honest. i really do think its to do with the culture im from.
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#11 Old 09-16-2010, 09:17 PM
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you dont have to explain franciones theories to me, i have listened to them for myself. i just see it differently to you, and most people who live overseas from me to be honest. i really do think its to do with the culture im from.

I do agree that Francione is an idealist. However, the part I don't understand is how do you think so called welfareism is good for veganism?
I mean Happy meat, is still death...it's not even a pleasurebale death...it's just death! It's not like they are killing them with chocolate, or friendliness, or happiness for that matter. It's just death. I am starting to sound like a broken record here! Not only does it not make a good case for veganism, it actually makes a bad case for it! Because if I feel good about myself for eating happy meats, what is there to push me to stop eating that meat? The reason why most people go vegan is because of the horrors of the meat industry....if meet your meat showed cows roaming in pastures, how many do you think would turn to veganism?

btw, I live in Canada now, but I am not originally from N. America either....I've lived in a total of 5 countries that spanned in 3 continents...so not exactly sure what you mean when you say overseas ppl.
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#12 Old 09-16-2010, 09:27 PM
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I think that much of the debate within the AR movement about the Reform VS Abolition issue is missing the big picture.

As one example to illustrate this, I would like to talk about a hunter who received a "Why Vegan" pamphlet from me. Although he is a hunter, he says that this pamphlet changed his life. He was horrified when he learned about how farm animals are treated, and he is now almost a vegetarian as a result. He now never eats meat, with the only occasional exception being the animals which he kills himself. He says that refuses to eat any animal unless he can be guaranteed that it was not tortured.

So, since he still hunts, he obviously has not adopted an animal rights philosophy. Nevertheless, even with the reform initiatives promoted by PETA, HSUS, etc. implemented, this still would not be sufficient to satisfy his requirement: He must be guaranteed that the animals were not tortured.

However, when groups like PETA and HSUS pass these initiatives, it makes it appear that they are guaranteeing this very fact, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth, as the conditions are still an abomination even by the standards of people like this hunter.

In my opinion, if we were to pass reforms which would mean that farm animals are treated well prior to slaughter, based on the standards of people like him, then I think this would be an enormous step forward. Or, if we passed minor reforms, but with the public explanation that animals are still being tortured to death even with these reforms implemented, then I think this too would be a positive improvement.

However, for practical reasons, this is not the way it is done in practice. You dont want the reform initiative to be too ambitious, as otherwise it is not going to be successful in passing, and people will complain about how it drastically increase meat prices. So, they pick a very modest reform initiative.

However, you are not going to get a bunch of volunteers dedicated to winning a campaign if you tell them that all the animals are still going to suffer in abominable conditions even if they succeed, so they instead adopt slogans such as end animal abuse, etc.

Hence, the problem is that after the campaign is won, it appears that groups like PETA and HSUS have given their seal of approval to these factory farms, stating that they are now humane. Or at least this is the will it makes can make it seem to people, since they have limited time to research all these issues for themselves.

And this has the potential to do far more damage than the animal agriculture can ever do on its own. If spokespeople for the industry insist that all the conditions are humane, then they have limited credibility on this topic. But when PETA and HSUS state that these conditions are humane (or appear to be saying this), then most people will believe them.

Although it would be nice to get everyone to believe that it is wrong to kill animals for food in principle, there are nevertheless people like the hunter in my example who reject this principle, but are nevertheless very conscientious about not wanting to cause any suffering to animals. (They wont shoot an animal unless they are 100% sure it will be an instant kill.)

It seems to me that the animal protection movement is so worried about being perceived as "too extreme", that they end up adopting a position condoning abuses of animals which are even condemned by many hunters. And when hunters like him condemn factory farming, they use far stronger language to do so than any AR advocate ever does.

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#13 Old 09-16-2010, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by veganTRUTH View Post

Hello everyone.
Just wondering if you guys have yet listened to Prof. Gary L. Francione's new commentary. I find it very interesting. Its regarding ways to better communicate veganism to non-veganism.

What do you think?

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/...mentary-19.mp3


He has some very good advise about how to deal with non-vegans.

Too bad he doesn't seem to know how to deal with people who are vegan but are non-Francionians.


-Eugene

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#14 Old 09-17-2010, 12:50 AM
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there are nevertheless people like the hunter in my example who reject this principle, but are nevertheless very conscientious about not wanting to cause any suffering to animals. (They wont shoot an animal unless they are 100% sure it will be an instant kill.)

So what if the babies from an animal he kills die of starvation or lack of survival skills because they still need their mama? Or sometimes animals rely on each other in ways we don't tend to think about. There are stories in which a blind animal will rely on a helper animal, for example. He seems to think that only humans can suffer when someone close to them dies.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#15 Old 09-17-2010, 03:00 AM
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I am not defending the behavior.

I am just pointing out that even someone like him would want to avoid supporting the abuse of animals which many AR organizations are giving their seal of approval to.

In their own minds, AR and AW organizations think they are raising the bar for society's moral standard regarding animals, when in reality they themselves have managed to sink far below it.


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#16 Old 09-17-2010, 05:26 AM
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Im curious about what you do not agree with? Would you care to elaborate?

No problem!

I forget which exact podcast he talks about this, (he talks about it more than once) but he talks about the U.S. being a patriarchy and I don't think that's true anymore, or not nearly to the extent that it used to be.

I've listened to all the commentaries and from what I gather he has fairly left leaning politics. I'm a Libertarian which puts me in the other camp so naturally we're going to disagree on certain things.

Again, I find almost everything he says about animal rights to be spot on.

Animal abolition = libertarianism evolved
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#17 Old 09-17-2010, 05:40 AM
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Francione drives me crazy. I think he's a shallow, simplistic thinker who is out of touch with reality.
However, he is appealing to a significant portion of vegans who just might be inspired to stand up and DO SOMETHING if they take his "peaceful vegan education" mantra seriously.
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#18 Old 09-17-2010, 07:15 AM
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Francione drives me crazy. I think he's a shallow, simplistic thinker who is out of touch with reality.
However, he is appealing to a significant portion of vegans who just might be inspired to stand up and DO SOMETHING if they take his "peaceful vegan education" mantra seriously.

Thats harsh. How is he in any way shallow? In what regards is he a simplistic thinker?
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#19 Old 09-17-2010, 09:15 AM
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Too bad he doesn't seem to know how to deal with people who are vegan but are non-Francionians.

Even though I'm the anti-Eugene, I have to agree with Eugene on this point. I wish Francione would sometimes show the same courtesy to people within the movement who disagree with him as he wants people to show to omnis and animal exploiters. And no, that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be allowed to disagree. You can present all the same arguments without being condescending or aggressive.

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#20 Old 09-17-2010, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Francione drives me crazy. I think he's a shallow, simplistic thinker who is out of touch with reality.
However, he is appealing to a significant portion of vegans who just might be inspired to stand up and DO SOMETHING if they take his "peaceful vegan education" mantra seriously.

Are you kidding? His definition of single-issue campaign has in one sweep motion silenced many vegans!
Francione reminds me of my Profs at Uni...living in a cloud of chalk dust and seeing the world in a fantastic vision...kinda like when your crappy neighbourhood somehow looks romantic when it's foggy!
I am actually quite surprised that he shopped at Whole Foods! He is human after all!!
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#21 Old 09-17-2010, 09:46 AM
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...You can present all the same arguments without being condescending or aggressive.

But what would the fun in that be???
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#22 Old 09-18-2010, 03:38 AM
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Even though I'm the anti-Eugene, I have to agree with Eugene on this point. I wish Francione would sometimes show the same courtesy to people within the movement who disagree with him as he wants people to show to omnis and animal exploiters. And no, that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be allowed to disagree. You can present all the same arguments without being condescending or aggressive.


To be fair, the leaders of animal advocacy organizations on both sides of this debate use extremely derisive and condescending language when writing and talking about this issue, and the acrimonious nature of the debate tends to feed on itself. So this is not entirely Gary Francione's fault.

I think this is common for all social movements: For people to have far more hatred and animosity towards the people within their movement who they disagree with, than for the institutions which they are campaigning against.

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#23 Old 09-18-2010, 07:06 AM
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MOD NOTE

I've split this thread so that the posts discussing gender equality/inequality are now in their own thread in the heap.

Please continue as you were regarding Francione's animal rights commentaries
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#24 Old 09-18-2010, 08:35 AM
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This was interesting enough to look up some web postings of Gary Francione's heartburn with other animal organizations, including PETA. It seems to me like a false conflict, or at least one where the principals would have room to speak kindly of one another's efforts. Francione is very mocking of attempts to change the living conditions of slaughter animals, and I understand that's not what his effort is about at all. He's all about why people should go vegan. But Francione is not trying to change laws, and the the welfarists are. It's the welfarists who lobby to have regulations and laws changed so that the industry is forced to make changes in how chickens, cows and pigs are treated. And that can happen only at the margins, with small changes that do lend themselves to ridicule compared to his own efforts to get people to stop using animals altogether. But again, he is not changing laws, and they are. It seems Francione thinks of the welfarist reforms as blessing the principle of consuming livestock, and he has a point. But I think some of these reform efforts also force members of the public to consider these conditions through the point of view of the animals, in a way they had not before. And I think that is something that ignites the spark in people who are ready to take that consideration all the way to its logical conclusion.
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#25 Old 09-18-2010, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by veganTRUTH View Post

Thats harsh. How is he in any way shallow? In what regards is he a simplistic thinker?

Here are some examples of things he's said:
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Originally Posted by Francione View Post

“Most people regard animal use as “normal” in the same sense that breathing and drinking water are considered as “normal.” They demand animal products. If you destroy ten slaughterhouses today, as long as demand remains, ten more slaughterhouses will be built or ten existing ones will expand production (and probably make production more economically efficient). If you shut down a supplier of animals used for vivisection, and the public continues to support vivisection, which it clearly does, then another supplier will emerge.”

link to quote: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/on-violence/

He acts as if a simplistic supply = demand capitalist model can explain everything about animal exploitation, regardless of evidence to the contrary. He acts as though the Oscar Mayor commercials on TV are irrelevant to consumer demand and as though McDonald's could survive without advertising Happy Meals to toddlers.

There’s very little evidence to support his idea that we could simply eradicate all animal exploitation simply through peaceful vegan education. Factories and warehouses of all sorts are destroyed all the time (due to weather, taxes, mismanagement, etc.) yet even a strong continued demand for the products won’t always resurrect them. Other factors come into play. A small group of wary investors, for example, can change virtually everything, as in the example of SHAC.

The reality is, consumer demand is influenced by many things. It doesn't necessarily drive the market and there are ways to influence it other than peaceful vegan education. The reality:
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Originally Posted by MFA View Post

According to a September 16 report by livestock economists Glynn Tonsor of Kansas State University and Nicole Olynk of Purdue University, consumer demand for all types of meat decreases significantly when media attention is given to animal welfare issues – regardless of the production practices involved. Not only does media exposure of modern animal agriculture make consumers lose their appetite for all types of meat, consumer demand for meat remains low for as long as six months after the media report.

source: http://www.mfablog.org/2010/09/new-s...-for-meat.html

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Originally Posted by Baltimore Sun View Post

A 2009 survey by Pew Charitable Trust found that 93% of scientists support animal research though only about half of the general public is in support.

source: http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2010/08/27/4978009.htm

Consumer demand is NOT the primary motivating factor for the production of meat or the continued use of animal experimentation. Francione is just plain wrong about that.
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#26 Old 09-18-2010, 08:47 AM
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The public supports animal experimentation by using the drugs and products tested on animals, whether or not they agree with the practice in principle. Which is every one of us who ever take medicine, because it all involves animal testing and I don't see that ever changing.
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#27 Old 09-18-2010, 08:57 AM
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It's the welfarists who lobby to have regulations and laws changed so that the industry is forced to make changes in how chickens, cows and pigs are treated.

Which, in his point of view, is welfarists using precious resources like money, time and energy to implement changes that would be implemented anyway, since they economically facilitate animal use, and to give free PR to the exploitative industries.

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made of weak and useless men"

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#28 Old 09-18-2010, 08:58 AM
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The public supports animal experimentation by using the drugs and products tested on animals, whether or not they agree with the practice in principle.

That would be true if there were two different types of drugs available -- those tested on animals and those not tested on animals -- and if the public always chose the former. That's not how it is, though, because animal experimentation is required by law.

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#29 Old 09-18-2010, 09:03 AM
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Consumer demand is NOT the primary motivating factor for the production of meat or the continued use of animal experimentation. Francione is just plain wrong about that.

I'm sorry that is not true. It defies pretty much everything known about economics. If there were zero demand for a product it would not get made and sold. Note the fact that it gets sold is proof positive that someone somewhere has a demand for animal products.

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#30 Old 09-18-2010, 09:06 AM
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That would be true if there were two different types of drugs available -- those tested on animals and those not tested on animals -- and if the public always chose the former. That's not how it is, though, because animal experimentation is required by law.

I didn't explain that because I give people credit for already knowing the broad strokes of How A Chemical Becomes A Pill. We support it even if we disagree with it, because our actions prop it up. And there are two different types of cosmetics available. Which kind do you think the public mostly goes for?
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