GG riles PETA and other humane societies

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jacki-mo
GG riles PETA and other humane societies

In celebrating Innuit traditions GG Jean has caused an international stink.

I for one support her symbolic support of the traditional ways of life in the north:

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/640588

A_J

That's some great racism coming out of PETA; comparing the Inuit and their traditions to "neanderthals" Frown

Coyote

PETA is a joke. If we stop paying attention maybe they will just go away.

Ghislaine

This was a great statement for her to make in support - it got international media coverage.  Proud of our GG today, but ew! It is not my idea of a good meal. -18 and flurries didn't sound very appealing either :)

 

PETA has made racist statements before and uses sexist advertising, so yes they are a joke.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2009/05/25/gg-nunavut-visit.html]CBC: [/url]

Quote:

"It was absolutely delicious," Jean said. "These are ancient practices that are part of a way of life. If you can't understand that, you're completely missing the reality of life here."

Earlier this month, the European Union voted to impose a ban on seal products after years of intense lobbying by animal rights groups that at times enlisted the support of celebrities like rock legend Paul McCartney. The ban still needs the backing of EU governments, which could be a mere formality since national envoys have already endorsed the legislation.

Expected to take effect in October, the ban would apply to all products and processed goods derived from seals, including fur, meat, oil blubber and even omega-3 pills made from seal oil.

People in the Canadian North warn it will be one more shock to a region that already suffers from chronic economic woes and a staggering array of social problems.

 

 

al-Qa'bong

A_J wrote:

That's some great racism coming out of PETA; comparing the Inuit and their traditions to "neanderthals" Frown

 

Whatever everyone thinks of PETA, or the seal hunt, at least get your quotes straight:

 

 

"It's amazes us that a Canadian official would indulge in such bloodlust," said Dan Mathews, senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

"It sounds like she's trying to give Canadians an even more Neanderthal image around the world than they already have."

 

The PETA guy isn't calling Inuits Neanderthals, he's calling all of us Neanderthals. Personally, I don't find this offensive; if I had a piece of flint for every time someone called me a Neanderthal...

 

Also, the criticisms were not solely from PETA:

 

Quote:

A spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas offered no official reaction.

"No comment; it's too bizarre to acknowledge," Barbara Helfferich said.

 

Barbara Slee, an anti-seal hunt campaigner at the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Brussels said she was disgusted by Jean's actions.

"The fact that the governor-general in public is slashing and eating a seal, I don't think that really helps the cause, and I'm convinced that this will not change the mind of European citizens and politicians" because the deal is largely finished, Slee said.

 

A spokeswoman for Humane Society International called it a "repugnant attempt to legitimize" the sealing trade.

 

Coyote

I've no doubt there are legitimate voices of concern, with whom I largely disagree but for whom I have a good deal of respect. My main concern is that the seal hunt is such a small player, it appears to me that an economically vulnerable and socially margianalized community is being subject to the approbation as a feel-good measure.

al-Qa'bong

Yeah, I don't suppose there are too many of those Europeans who criticise the seal hunt who would turn up their noses at veal, caviar or fois gras, never mind others who eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Ghislaine

Well, the EU claiming that it is "too bizarre to acknowledge" has some type of racial/class component no? Those Inuit and their traditions are just too bizarre to even contemplate or comment on!

What is the difference between sushi? Just because you didn't see the kill happening? Perhaps if the EU showed the same outrage over white Euros eating fois gras or chicken or whatever, we could take them seriously. But, this is a campaign against Inuit and rural East Coast lifestyles and traditions. There are places in this country where people don't get all of their food from a plastic package.

I thought the community feast idea is a beautiful one and actually results in a lot of respect for animals. I bet GG Jean is one of the most popular people in Rankin Inlet today.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

...doesn't quite make up for the whole 'proroguing' thing, but I've regained a little respect for Michele Jean.

zazzo

 

Unless the people from PETA are professed vegetarians, it seems to me that it is hypocritical of them to attack the Governor-General for eating seal meat.  She was being respectful, for eating what was offered to her. I applaud her courage.  We also have to remember, that in the far north, eating raw meat was a necessity.   In that harsh, unforgiving climate, there is not too much in the way of energy to cook food that can be eaten raw.

 

Let us be real here. The seal hunt, although it is cruel in some of its aspects, is not anywhere as "barbaric" as the way that domesticated animals are treated for our meat consumption.  In factory farms, there is a shocking lack of respect for these animals, who are forced to live in cages or restricted in their movements  under horrendous conditions, artificially fattened for the market place, and slaughtered, who knows in what manner.  Who speaks for the cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys who have to live this way.

 

The seals, until they meet the hunters' weapons, are free to live as they always have.

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

Yeah, I don't suppose there are too many of those Europeans who criticise the seal hunt who would turn up their noses at veal, caviar or fois gras, never mind others who eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

 

Or, if they're not hungry, they can always go watch a bull get tortured to death just for the entertainment. Toro!

Michelle

Actually, PETA is a vegan organization, not even just vegetarian, so they're not being hypocritical.

Racist, classist, and colonialist?  Absolutely.  And I'm totally disgusted - and I'm not someone who has much of a problem with PETA normally.

Ghislaine

The EU, however, is being hypocrital Michelle. And the humane societies - I don't think they advocate veganism.

josh

I do no think there is anything "racist, classist or colonialist" about it.  I suppose they should have remained mute.

 

As for this:

 

"Jean helped to gut the seal before swallowing the slice of the mammal's heart after a European Union vote earlier this month to impose a ban on seal products on grounds that the seal hunt is cruel."

 

 

I just wonder why she didn't take part in the clubbing.

Michelle

This is also an unbelievably racist comment:

Quote:

That doesn't mean animal-rights activists approve of Inuit seal-hunting traditions. PETA today likened Jean's sampling of seal heart to "taking part in the beating of women in the Middle East because it is part of local practice."

Um, what?  Excuse me?  I've got news for you racist assholes, beating women is part of local practice EVERYWHERE.  Racist stereotypes much?

Like LTJ, I've regained some respect for Michaelle Jean.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Yeah, I don't suppose there are too many of those Europeans who criticise the seal hunt who would turn up their noses at veal, caviar or fois gras...

...not to mention carpaccio and steak tartare - just in case it was the 'raw meat' part that they found barbaric.

Michelle

No, josh, they shouldn't remain mute.  But they should maybe show a tiny bit of awareness of racist and colonialist discourse and not compare indigenous or black people to "neanderthals" with "blood lust".

Nor stereotype people from the Middle East as woman-beaters.

Michelle

Ghislaine, you're absolutely right - the humane societies (which are NOT vegan and not even vegetarian) and the EU (home of foie gras, bullfighting, and steak tartare) are being TOTALLY hypocritical.  They're picking on an "easy target" while ignoring their own glaring inhumanity towards animals.  It really pisses me off.

Ghislaine

Michelle wrote:

This is also an unbelievably racist comment:

Quote:

That doesn't mean animal-rights activists approve of Inuit seal-hunting traditions. PETA today likened Jean's sampling of seal heart to "taking part in the beating of women in the Middle East because it is part of local practice."

Um, what?  Excuse me?  I've got news for you racist assholes, beating women is part of local practice EVERYWHERE.  Racist stereotypes much?

Like LTJ, I've regained some respect for Michaelle Jean.

Wow, very nice. I seem to recall they had a campaign comparing black American slaves to animals as well?

Michelle

josh wrote:

I just wonder why she didn't take part in the clubbing.

I don't know.  Do you take part in the slaughtering of the animals that you eat?  Do you go visit the abattoir and slit the throats of your own chicken dinners?

She was participating in a traditional Inuit hunt.  I have way more respect for people who hunt for their meat in the wild than for people (including myself) who buy their meat in the store after it's been tortured its whole life in a factory farm and slaughtered in a factory slaughterhouse.

josh

"Do you take part in the slaughtering of the animals that you eat?"

 

No, but I usually don't avail myself of a photo opportunity when I do.

Michelle

See, Ghislaine, I have no problem with comparing the oppression of animals to the oppression of humans.  The idea being that we're as inhumane to animals every day as people have been in the past to oppressed humans.  I'm fine with that - it comes from their animal rights philosophy that says that the life of an animal is just as important as the life of a human. 

This is completely different.  In this case, they're using epithets to describe people from traditionally oppressed groups that reinforce racist tropes.  Perhaps they didn't "mean" to invoke racist stereotypes by describing black and Inuit people as "neanderthals" and accusing them of "blood lust" and perhaps they would have said that about them had they been white.  But the fact is, they described an Inuit tradition as "barbaric".  These are the kind of epithets that have been traditionally used against black people and indigenous people by colonialist invaders and enslavers. 

That's different than comparing the oppression of animals to the oppression of humans when you want to get the point across that animal life is just as important as human life.

Michelle

josh wrote:

"Do you take part in the slaughtering of the animals that you eat?"

 

No, but I usually don't avail myself of a photo opportunity when I do.

That doesn't even make sense.  :D  If you don't do it, then obviously you don't do a photo op "when you do" because you don't!

Jean was there to express support for traditional Inuit seal hunting.  It was a gesture of solidarity with a people in our country who have been beleaguered by racist Euroweenies who are picking on an easy target instead of cleaning their own house.  I applaud her for it.

Ghislaine

Michelle wrote:

That's different than comparing the oppression of animals to the oppression of humans when you want to get the point across that animal life is just as important as human life.

However, by that logic then the Inuit are wantonly murdering beings whose lives are just as important as theirs. It makes no difference by that logic whether animals are kept in cages or roaming the artic prior to being "murdered". By that logic, there would also be a new criminal code section for killing animals and huge swaths of this country would be charged with murder.

 

 

remind remind's picture

The woman from the Humane Society on last night's CBC National news, was very disparaging of the Inuit leader speaking about how they perceived Ms Jeans actions. She refused to hear the honour bestowed to the Inuits by Michelle Jean by her taking part in all aspects of the seal hunt and kept repeating that Jean was playing politics as far as they were concerned and they wanted clarification of Jean's actions.

By her refusing to acknowlege the Inuit leader's comments, she was tacitly stating that she believed the Inuit were playing politics too then.

But really one as to ask then what she was doing? Was/is she not playing politics with the Inuit's seal hunt? Moreover, it is indicative that these racist idiots believe that by getting rid of the commercial seal hunt, they will also get rid of the Inuit seal hunt, without having to take culpability for destroying a traditional way of life, and the means of income for the Inuit. As they of course would never directly target the Inuit, too much blow back.

However, the reality is they have just done so by trying to target Jean's actions with the Inuit. They have clearly indicated that their sites were on the Inuit as well, as the commercial hunt, and that in the end they are just racist supremists. They are not deserving of respect nor consideration.

They EU are just hyprocrits looking for ways to bolster their own allegedly "progressive" creditials, if not local markets for other products that are not seals.

Michelle

Hey, I have no problem with making the point that humans are wantonly murdering animals.  I have a big problem with expressing that in racist terms.

The animal rights movement is a movement that is desperately wanting in anti-oppression analysis when it comes to pretty much every "ism" except speciesism.

Michelle

P.S. I also think that other anti-oppression movements are sadly, sadly lacking when it comes to animal rights analysis.

Ghislaine

Michelle wrote:

Hey, I have no problem with making the point that humans are wantonly murdering animals.  I have a big problem with expressing that in racist terms.

The animal rights movement is a movement that is desperately wanting in anti-oppression analysis when it comes to pretty much every "ism" except speciesism.

Well I have a huge problem with that point, as the inevitable conclusion is that Inuit hunting is murder, as well as hunting by every other racial group that does it. Inuit hunters, Nfld. sealers or any other group are not murderers. Murder is a term used solely around willful killing of humans by humans. Very few people would call killing an animal for food murder. I think most people (I hope) would call a lot of treatment animal abuse. It is this difference between animals and humans that makes the previous PETA campaign comparing POC to animals so offensive - and why so many black people were outraged and complained to PETA.

Humans are different from all other species. Animals deserve to be treated humanely and with respect (and I think the Inuit approach comes closest to this), however the day they have the same rights as humans would be a frightening one and one that Canadians of all races would vehemently fight, however it would affect those in rural/remote areas the most. I wonder the cost of shipping packaged tofu is to Rankin Inlet? Or how one would go about growing soybeans in permafrost?

 The EU exempted Inuit seal hunting from their resolution - as long as those uppity Inuit didn't try to sell any of it or make a profit. Jean's trip and advise to the public "to take from it what they will" is a huge statement of support of their right to livelihoods from the land in which they live.

melovesproles

Quote:

Yeah, I don't suppose there are too many of those Europeans who criticise the seal hunt who would turn up their noses at veal, caviar or fois gras, never mind others who eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

 

Or, if they're not hungry, they can always go watch a bull get tortured to death just for the entertainment. Toro!

Maybe but I bet there is a strong correlation between the people who support the European lobby to ban the seal hunt and the those who support the lobby to ban bullfighting.

 

I thought there was a general progressive consensus that the 'hey look over there' deflection was a pretty weak response to social criticism.  There are clearly people who are consistant and believe both are bad(and probably believe factory farming is bad too).  If people are prohibited from taking an international stance until all of their national problems have been taken care of then that has pretty unproductive implications

I also think its silly to say its racist or colonialist for Europe to ban seal hunt imports.  The 'traditional' relationship between European markets and exported products from North American hunting has been extremely devastating to a lot of species.  If Canadians are so enthusiastic about the seal hunt then build a bigger market for it here.  Who on this board buys seal products?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
The EU exempted Inuit seal hunting from their resolution

 

Chickenshits.

 

I find exemptions like this ridiculous. "Killing animals is MURDER!1!. (uh, except when traditional cultures do it, in which case we believe the animals to be on board with it, and in some cases even assisting with their own killing). But to be clear, if you're white, it's MURDER!!!!1!"

 

If it's really murder then all that means is that many traditional cultures are based on murder, and I think that animal rights activists -- and the EU -- should take a deep breath, spit the mealy out of their mouths, and say so.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Ridiculous. This is a good example of what happens to thinking processes that depend on mutually exculsive binary opposites.

Snert Snert's picture

Like "murder" and "not murder"?

Jingles

Quote:
France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Britain are among the top 10 largest arms suppliers. Between 1994 and 2001 the EU exported nearly $10bn of arms to developing countries - approximately one-third of all deliveries to such countries. Strong government support for some large deals has enabled many [url=http://mondediplo.com/2006/06/11armscontrol]EU countries[/url] to compete in a market dominated by the US.

Fucking barbarians.

Ghislaine

What are you referring to as ridiculous Cueball?

Bookish Agrarian

Given the stuff we put in out mouth around the globe and call it yummy a little seal heart is no worse than much else.  The only real difference is that seals have nice big eyes to let us humans anthropromorphize over. The anti-seal hunt movement is mostly about the survival of the cutest.

 

 

G. Muffin

Ghislaine wrote:
Humans are different from all other species.

Only from a human point of view. 

remind remind's picture

BA :D

A_J

Excellent coverage in The Economist a couple of weeks ago:

The Economist wrote:
Roughly handled, and incompetently stunned, terrified animals may awaken several times before they are slaughtered. Some have their throats slit fully conscious. Europe’s industrial farms dispatch 1m sheep, cattle and pigs every day. You cannot cater to the welfare of a large animal like a pig when the line must kill five in a minute.

If the European Parliament were really interested in animal welfare, then it might look rather more closely at the farming industry that the European Union so lavishly rewards with subsidies.

. . .

Every year, 300,000 seals meet their end not by mauling from a polar bear, but instantaneously from gunshot or a blow from a club. Four years ago the WWF, an environmental organisation, commissioned an independent vet’s report which concluded that seal clubbing is not cruel if it is properly done by competent and trained professionals. The report judged that the Canadian hunt was professional and highly regulated.

. . .

By the grim standards of Europe’s farrowing sheds, millions of seals enjoy a blissful life fishing and breeding on the Canadian ice. At least Canadian seals have the luxury of being stunned before they die. Compassion in World Farming, a lobby group, says that half the sheep killed in France are conscious when their throats are slit. Such treatment is possible through a loophole that allows for religious slaughter—a loophole that the same champions of animal welfare in the European Parliament voted to avoid closing on May 7th.

A few seals are killed to protect fish, others as a source of blubber or food. Most are indeed killed for their fur. That may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is hardly unEuropean. Europe’s fur farms produce over 30m mink and fox pelts a year. Every four or five days Europe kills more animals for their fur than the entire annual Canadian hunt does in a year.

. . .

Why did the European Parliament overlook all this? Seal-murdering foreigners are a soft target and animal-welfare groups have been lobbying MEPs for years. It may not be a coincidence that they finally voted for a ban just a month before they face elections. Having been invisible to their constituents for the past five years, what better way for MEPs to save their own skins than to fight valiantly for those of baby seals?

Snert Snert's picture

Excellent indeed.  I had no idea that the EU had an opportunity to prevent animals from having their throats slit while conscious but was too cowardly to do so.  Then they have the nerve to bleat about some seals?

Michelle

It happens in slaughterhouses here, too.  But it's much easier to pick on subsistence Inuit hunters and working class hunters from economically depressed regions than it is to look at their own plates.

remind remind's picture

Well now, interesting article and indeed indicates what I said above the EU is probably looking at their own revenue streams that would be undercut by seal fur in their market place.

"Europe’s fur farms produce over 30m mink and fox pelts a year. Every four or five days Europe kills more animals for their fur than the entire annual Canadian hunt does in a year."

betcha the fur farm lobby has had input!

and this is sheer pandering to a religious group:

"Compassion in World Farming, a lobby group, says that half the sheep killed in France are conscious when their throats are slit. Such treatment is possible through a loophole that allows for religious slaughter—a loophole that the same champions of animal welfare in the European Parliament voted to avoid closing on May 7th."

The EU and the other groups that are being exploited by them deserve no respect!

Ze

Good for the G-G! 

Tommy_Paine

 

Seems to me I remember a human interest story about Chucky Windsor (aka, Charles Hanover, aka, Prince of Wales)  going to the arctic and doing much the same as what the GG just did.

 

The fishing policies of the E.U. and individual European countries have done more to imperil those cute baby seals  than what the Inuit or Newfoundlanders have ever done.

 

martin dufresne

An old nugget from French punk band Les Garçons Bouchers: Carnivore 

KeyStone

I'm fairly dissapointed with both the Governor General and left-wing Canadians.

Firstly, the timing of this solidarity with the Inuit people is not a coincidence. It seems pretty clear that this is a response to the EU effort to ban seal products.Given that the EU is not against Inuit use of the seal, which is far different in many aspects than commercial sealing, it is very disingenuous to try and protect the commerical seal hunt by using the Inuit culture and way of life. Incidentally, the Inuit have an exemption in the EU ban.

I've seen the Inuit seal hunt. They cut a hole in the ice, and then they wait patiently for a seal to come up for air before they harpoon  it. They go after adult seals not two month old seal pups and they eat the meat, as opposed to skinning the seal, and leaving the carcass to rot.  There is really no comparison between the two practices, and it is sad that the Governor General is using these people to defend the commerical seal hunt, and market herself as a great Canadian.

Granted, Europe has many horrendous practices when it comes to animal rights. However, that is not really the point here. Assuming that this banning is not disguised protectionism, I feel that every country should have the right to ban products that they feel are produced unethically.

Similarly, I feel that Canada should have the right to ban products using child labour They should be able to ban products made by workers in appaling conditions. They should be able to ban products that are made through great destruction to the environment. They should be able to ban products that are made through animal cruelty (ie shark fin soup).

We need to respect the right of other nations or trading blocks to ban what they consider unethical products, with the caveat that they are not in fact engaging in protectionism. I find it sadly ironic that when NAFTA and the MAI were being proposed, Canadians were up in arms at the prospect that nations could sue us if we didn't allow their goods. Yet, it is Canada suing the US (Glamis Gold- California), and thinking about recirpocal actions against Europe.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives and Liberals have succeeded in making the seal hunt the second national sport. They have succesfully convinced Canadians that the seal hunt is deeply patriotic and a part of our heritage, all in an attemot to pander to Atlantic Canada and the precious swing votes. Call something patriotic, and people are tripping all over themselves to defend it, particularly when villainous outsiders (Mccartney) interfere. These same people would defend the whale hunt if they were Japanese, foie de grois if they were French, or shark fin soup if they were Chinese. It is simply astounding how they have let the government propaganda machine manipulate them into associating the seal hunt with being a patriotic Canadian.

I can not count the number of people I have encountered who are fully convinced that the sealers do not kill baby seals anymore. In fact, the only reason the whitecoat (generally 12 days or under) was introduced, was so that animal rights activists could not use pictures of white coats anymore. Now the seals are a month old, instead of ten days. 

I say let the Canadian people decide if the seal hunt should remain. But first, let's give them the proper information that they need to make the decision. Let's show the footage of what happens on the ice floes. Incidentally, the sealers an the government go to great lengths to avoid any footage being taken of the seal hunt. Once Canadians see the truth of the seal hunt, I think it will quickly lose support.

remind remind's picture

Fair enough, I am disappointed with your stance too.  That you would think people here commenting are not educated on it boggles the mind. It even further boggles the mind that you think we are patsies of political shenanigans of the Cons and Libs.

Michelle

I think it would be much more useful, and alleviate much more suffering, to go after veal producers than seal hunters.

But seal hunters are from an economically depressed region of the country and therefore a much easier target, right?  The EU are being total hypocrites on this.

Bookish Agrarian

You see food it so very, very complicated.  It really doesn't matter what you are- total carnivore or total raw fruit vegan you create negatives every where.  It is all about what negatives you are prepared to ignore to help yourself sleep at night.  All food production interacts with the environment and all commercial food production (food raised for someone else) takes something out of the environment in one form or another.

I'll use Michelle's comment about veal to show how complicated it can be.  There is red veal and white veal.  White veal is the kind people think about and the French in particular partake of.  It is raised in cramped spaces with a very restricted diet.  The goal is to restrict muscle development to get that tender cut of veal.  Yuck if you ask me - but then I wouldn't eat steak tartare either.

Red veal, which is primarly what is produced in Canada, but by not means exclusivly, is usually dairy calves raised to about 500 lbs.  Red veal means that the animals are fed a normal diet and are not restricted in their movements (beyond you know not being allowed to wander into town)

Nothing is simple when it comes to food.  And as I mentioned above every culture on the face of the planet puts stuff into their mouth that makes someone else cringe.  I mean who could imagine stomach eating brussel sprouts. GAACCKK

KeyStone

Remind - I don't recall saying that people commenting here were uneducated. As it happens, I do think that they are ignorant of the truth of the seal hunt - but that is a general observation based on what I have seen on other forums and not a reflection of babble itself. As for being patsies of the Cons and Libs - the posts seem to speak for themselves. I see a lot of the government talking points being repeated here.

Do you honestly think it is a coincidence that Canadians support the seal hunt, while the rest of the world is opposed to it?
Similarly, do you think that it is coincidence that the Japanese support the whale hunt, while the rest oppose it.
Pawns of government PR campaigns aimed at making Canadians think that the seal hunt is patriotic.

Michelle - again, you are missing the point. The EU should have a right to ban products that it feels come from unethical practices, just as we should have that same right. Rightly or wrongly, the EU sees a difference between veal and the seal hunt. They are not the same things, although personally, I would quite like to see veal banned as well.

Bookish Agrarian

I think you might want to spend a wee bit more time in the Artic if you think all traditional seal hunting takes place at an air hole.  Ignorance in supporting what you want to believe in seems to be a pretty universal trait not limited to Canadians or us disappointing left-wingers.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Rightly or wrongly, the EU sees a difference between veal and the seal hunt.
 

Put that through your "coincidence" test.

Do you suppose their opinion has less to do with animal cruelty, and more to do with the fact that they don't hunt seals, and they like to eat emaciated newborn calves?

I don't disagree with you that they have the right to ban what they want, but considering their own barbaric traditions, and their evident refusal to consider them in the same light as sealing, I think it's perfectly appropriate to point out what a bunch of hypocrites they are, and to dismiss them as such.

Quote:
I see a lot of the government talking points being repeated here.

That will happen from time to time, unless the government is consistently 100% in the wrong.

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