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 Post subject: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting cope
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:54 pm 
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My husband eats meat although less than he used since I don't buy it for our home, nor milk or eggs. He was vegetarian in college so he at least had a concept of the idea. He's pretty decent about it but it's not always been easy. I was wondering if you could list the stages of "grief" that your partner has gone through when you've made your dietary changes.

It's like you became a new person they never knew and there's things you no longer share so it can set off a chain of reactions which normally begin with anger and resentment. I hope this doesn't seem odd but I suspect other people have observed this.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:06 pm 
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People change all the time. I used to rock climb but now I don't. I used to knit but now I don't. I used to eat meat but now I don't. If a partner has to 'adjust' to that - that's not a relationship I want to be in. In my opinion, either you are in the relationship (changes included) or you aren't.

btw. married to a meat eater for the last 5 years. He eats the non-meat meals I cook and loves it. I ate meat when I met him.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:39 pm 
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wingedsnail wrote:
People change all the time. I used to rock climb but now I don't. I used to knit but now I don't. I used to eat meat but now I don't. If a partner has to 'adjust' to that - that's not a relationship I want to be in. In my opinion, either you are in the relationship (changes included) or you aren't.

btw. married to a meat eater for the last 5 years. He eats the non-meat meals I cook and loves it. I ate meat when I met him.


Why should he not be allowed to "adjust". He was eating a certain way, and now he's not, and there's going to be stuff that goes along with it - especially considering we know meat and dairy can have addictive qualities.

I have had to adjust to my husband filling our yard with mechanical eyesores, he's had to adjust to my cooking and grocery shopping differently. Because these things affect both of us. He's not so involved when I get back into knitting, but still and adjustment because a basket of yarn takes up a chunk of space in the den when it didn't before.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:14 pm 
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The stages of grief concept is a myth to begin with! Grieving is a very individual process.


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:20 pm 
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Moon wrote:
wingedsnail wrote:
People change all the time. I used to rock climb but now I don't. I used to knit but now I don't. I used to eat meat but now I don't. If a partner has to 'adjust' to that - that's not a relationship I want to be in. In my opinion, either you are in the relationship (changes included) or you aren't.

btw. married to a meat eater for the last 5 years. He eats the non-meat meals I cook and loves it. I ate meat when I met him.


Why should he not be allowed to "adjust". He was eating a certain way, and now he's not, and there's going to be stuff that goes along with it - especially considering we know meat and dairy can have addictive qualities.

I have had to adjust to my husband filling our yard with mechanical eyesores, he's had to adjust to my cooking and grocery shopping differently. Because these things affect both of us. He's not so involved when I get back into knitting, but still and adjustment because a basket of yarn takes up a chunk of space in the den when it didn't before.



True. But it should be quick and painless to adjust to such things. If his adjusting takes forever or is rude then that's a no go for me. But changes and adjustments are par for the course in relationships. Both parties have to be willing to do both things.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:40 pm 
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wingedsnail wrote:
Moon wrote:
wingedsnail wrote:
People change all the time. I used to rock climb but now I don't. I used to knit but now I don't. I used to eat meat but now I don't. If a partner has to 'adjust' to that - that's not a relationship I want to be in. In my opinion, either you are in the relationship (changes included) or you aren't.

btw. married to a meat eater for the last 5 years. He eats the non-meat meals I cook and loves it. I ate meat when I met him.


Why should he not be allowed to "adjust". He was eating a certain way, and now he's not, and there's going to be stuff that goes along with it - especially considering we know meat and dairy can have addictive qualities.

I have had to adjust to my husband filling our yard with mechanical eyesores, he's had to adjust to my cooking and grocery shopping differently. Because these things affect both of us. He's not so involved when I get back into knitting, but still and adjustment because a basket of yarn takes up a chunk of space in the den when it didn't before.



True. But it should be quick and painless to adjust to such things. If his adjusting takes forever or is rude then that's a no go for me. But changes and adjustments are par for the course in relationships. Both parties have to be willing to do both things.


Rudeness isn't acceptable. But just because you flow seamlessly though changes, doesn't mean you can expect other people to do the same. My husband doesn't handle change well due to his severe anxiety problem. He thinks every new thing will be a trigger for him. He knows I do not expect him to be vegan, and he is more than welcome to make something else for dinner if he decides he doesn't like what I'm having. We do keep some meat and dairy in the house, but much less than before and I do still cook omni meals for him - about twice a week. This compromise has worked ok for us, but that doesn't mean there weren't some adjustments for him. When he tried my vegan pepperoni and preferred it to the meat pepperoni he was using that night, he actually looked sad when he admitted it. The realization of vegan faux meats being delicious was a BIG adjustment, lol.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:40 am 
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Yeah, you can't really dictate how people "should" adjust.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:24 am 
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IsaChandra wrote:
Yeah, you can't really dictate how people "should" adjust.


Quoted for truth. In an ideal beautiful world, your partner would just accept it and move on. In the real world, not so much necessarily. I don't have a partner, but the guys I've dated, I've gone into dating them as vegan and it's been mostly a non-issue. My parents have been mostly supportive but will have bouts of non-understanding. They aren't mad that I'm vegan but they'll say stupid shiitake like vegan baked goods aren't real baked goods (my mother to this day, every time I make a vegan cookie will be like 'oh this is the best vegan cookie you've made' and when I ask about the other ones she'll say they weren't as good as this one, that she was just trying to be nice. Too bad I know my vegan cookies are just as good as her non-vegan cookies). I can't remember anything else but there've definitely been some annoying comments that I have to vent about here and then get over.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:46 am 
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i was vegetarian when my husband and i met so ive never eaten meat during our whole relationship but i only went vegan a little over 2 years ago after a few failed attempts.
my husband's parents are/were definitely hippies and he vaguely remembers being veg for awhile as a kid and possible dairy free at another point so the concept isnt new or weird to him.

that being said he still is technically an omni.
ive never cooked meat for him and i wont wash things that had meat on them. he's not one of those dudes who ties his masculinity to eating meat so most of the times at home he is vegan because i enjoy cooking so much.
he is also one of those people who: #1 has no planning/decision making skills and #2 forgets to eat and if he could take a pill to fulfill the food-eating need he would (FREAK!)

so if im cooking a nice big vegan meal he is 80000% more inclined just to be a vegan than plan ahead and buy chicken then decide what to do with it then cook it and store the leftovers and then eat said leftovers. that is way too much for him to handle.
he likes almost everything i cook. every once in awhile we hit a dud of a recipe but overall he enjoys everything. the only things he doesnt like are raw tomatoes and Indian food. lol.

however i do see him getting frustrated with my veganism from time to time even though he does a really great job of keeping it to himself cause i think he knows i will freak out on him if he suggest i just be easier and eat meat.

on nights i dont feel like cooking it presents an issue cause he literally cant think of himself in terms of food (im not putting him down he literally can make these decisions)
going out to eat is an issue because we live in an area where there are not tons of vegan choices so for example one of his favorite places to go because of the large craft beer menu we almost never go because there is like 1 thing i can maybe eat if im lucky enough they actually remember to keep the cheese off it.

so in that sense im not sure he'll ever fully "adjust" i think it's just something that will kind of annoy him even though he is supportive of me being vegan. and i think that's fine.

i havent pressed my views on him at all even though he 100% knows how i feel and since going vegan he has (of his own accord) stopped eating beef and pork. at home when he's not eating food i cooked he is basically lacto-ovo.
the only meat in our house is usually for the dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Honestly, it only has to be a big deal if one or both of you makes it a big deal.

It sounds like he understands the ethical reasons why you are vegan, so hopefully there won't be too much friction in that respect. Maybe it's just a matter of simply figuring out what your meals together will be like and what kinds of things you will have in the house?

My boyfriend and I are extremely different and not just in terms of diet. But, our differences don't have to bother each other on a daily basis. We grocery shop together and he decides if wants to buy meat or cheese that week. I don't say we can't have those things in the house because it's his house too. And sometimes he does want a piece of chicken with his meal or something, sometimes he doesn't. When we go out to eat he usually orders a meal that we wouldn't normally have at home and it's become more of a treat for him. In this way, he eats considerably less meat than he used to but he doesn't have to go through the "grief" of feeling like he's given something up.

If you find the right balance, even big differences between people don't have to register as such.


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:12 pm 
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I was a vegetarian looooooong before I ever met DH. But he is from one of the most meat eatingest cultures I know. So it was a pretty major change for him. But he has always been welcome to cook whatever he wants (except when I was pregnant and my super smell meant that he could not use certain ingredients or I would hurl) and sometimes he even exercises that option and cooks for himself. We made a lot of changes regarding eating healthier because of his autoimmune condition, and while he would probably go days without eating a vegetable if I didn't make him, he sure likes that he's been able to get off his meds. But again, he is welcome to eat whatever he wants if a really strong urge hits him.

The biggest change has been since we had kids. We agreed before kids that I would not cook meat for them, but if he wanted to he could, and the kids could try it or not as they saw fit. My daughter once licked a piece of chicken, looked betrayed, and threw it across the room. That is the closest she has ever come to eating meat. My son, at almost three, has tried things a few times but never really liked anything that much. Now he will tell you he is an herbivore if you ask, and he chooses not to eat animals. He has such a tender heart that I think the idea of bringing harm to any creature would just devastate him. That may change, but for now, it's who he is. So my husband has had to adjust to the fact that neither of his kids will ever eat most of the foods from his culture, and that is a bummer for him. At least all of the desserts are vegan or easily made vegan, so he has been able to share that part with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:00 am 
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There's a difference between having an adjustment period and wallowing in it - I think as long as it's the former and not the latter, I think that's fine.

People's identities are often all tangled up in other peoples' identities. Veg*nism tends to be a pretty strong personal identity for veg*ns, so I can understand it requiring a little bit of an identity shift in close friends/partners and the like.


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:01 pm 
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I am very lucky with my partner. I was a meat eater when we met, then went veggie, then vegan.

He is really great about it. I won't cook meat for him at home, but he keeps cheese and milk in the fridge, and cooks burgers and steaks in the summer on the grill. I cook 100% vegan, and he can add cheese if he wants. We compromise like that. Over time he has come to love what I cook. I won't cook stuff he hates (like mushrooms, not much tofu)

Even though he is great, he still gets frustrated sometimes with me, and me with him (mostly in the summer when burger smoke smells up the house)

At first, he was kind of upset. "what will I eat?" "What will YOU eat?" "What about cheese/ice cream/etc?"
Honestly, the completly exected me to fail at first. He tried to get me to 'cheat'. Tempted me with cheese and stuff I used to love. Teased me a bit. The first month or 2 was rough. That was almost 5 years ago.

The main take-away is: He respected my choice, since he knew it was not just me being picky, or on a diet. He understood very quickly that this was an ethical choice for me. And I love him so much for that, and he knows it.

So perhaps I don't have the best advice since I have such a great partner. But having a Omni's and Vegans being happy together IS possible! Really! I think he will come around. Start involving him in the food process, cooking and shopping with you. Mr. Chicki and I make our meal plans together, and we shop together. He loves vegan food, but still eats meat. That's my advice. And good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:55 am 
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When my husband and I met (ten years ago), we were both omni. A couple of years later, he had done some thinking about animals and food, and we decided we would only eat organic meat at home (I know, right). I think if I had been interested then, we would have gone vegetarian, but I was the one who really wanted meat. So, we ate mostly vegetarian, and organic meat about 2-3 times/month. We would also eat meat when we were at other people's houses etc, so we felt very virtuous and environmentally sound and socially acceptable.

We started eating meat every week three years ago when I got pregnant and was afraid of malnutrition (I know! I am ashamed!).

So, about five months ago, I decided to go vegan. My husband was really surprised, but his attitude is that if it's important to me, it's great that I'm doing this. He misses some things (mainly cheesy stuff) and is sometimes annoyed because it's harder to come up with food ideas now that some of our old favourites don't work. I do most of the cooking, but he compensates for it by doing more of the other household stuff. It's working better than I thought it would, but then of course we're not that far into it. We haven't been out to eat yet, for example. And yes, I'll buy animal bits for him if I'm the one doing the shopping, I don't mind using the same utensils etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:02 am 
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I had attempted to be vegetarian and failed a few times.

Then, one day, when my daughter was just a few months old, I woke up one Sunday and decided that once and for all I was going vegetarian, with a long-term goal of going vegan. I didn't care what he ate, but I wasn't cooking meat anymore, and that was that.

So, I got some Moosewood books and started cooking vegetarian. I converted a few old favorites. He would still occasionally order pizza. Then, after less than a month, he mostly joined me 100%.

So I would say our phases were:
I went veg
He went veg (mostly)
He went veg (totally)
We gradually cut back on dairy and eggs
I ordered VWAV and no one missed the animal products anymore.
We both screwed up here and there along the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:57 am 
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My boyfriend is Argentinian, his family eats more meat in one week than I did in one month growing up eating omni raised off my Dad's cooking. When I met him I was in an omni-phase of my life (albeit very brief) I had been vegetarian for 13 years prior. When we met I basically didn't eat that much meat but I ate it once in awhile when it was offered.

Now I'm doing the vegan thing and I've been loving it. We don't live together so I basically didn't tell him. I made meals for the two of us whenever he came over and just never made a big deal about what I was serving and for the most part for a couple of months I went under the radar. He never brought anything up, just ate the food I served him.

During the past summer at a farmers market he asked me if I had officially changed my diet, and I counter-attacked by asking him if he had an opinion about it. He basically said, he wasn't crazy about it but deep down he didn't really care. That I'm a good cook and whatever I make he'll eat just don't preach to him or expect him to always want vegan meals.

I have not forced my views upon him, we are in a very trusting respectful relationship he knows I wouldn't do that. I'm lucky to have such an accepting guy in my life who doesn't care, so long as I don't make it a big deal which is fine by me.

Now the only thing I'm concerned about his approaching a family dinner with his folks. It's been awhile since we've had one and I just hope I can slip under the radar about the whole thing cause I know they are gonna have an opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:06 pm 
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I was vegetarian when I met my husband. He went through a period of grieving that we would "never be able to eat chicken together". Really. If I ask him about it now he denies he ever said that but I remember it vividly. Our meals together were mostly vegetarian. If we went out he ordered meat.
I went vegan a little while after we started dating. He was supportive. We eat vegan meals. HE will sometimes add cheese. Sometimes we have "fend for yourself" nights where we eat separate meals.
He can cook meat in the house if he wants but he rarely does. One thing that I think helps is that he is a chef, so he eats whatever he wants including meat at work. Also his restaurant has vegan offerings, so he was already familiar with tofu scramble, vegan burgers, substitutes. I am really lucky in this regard. He is overall supportive but I think he finds it somewhat limiting, quietly, to himself. On the other hand I don't think he thinks he has the right to criticize my diet because he eats a lot of cheese and junk food and he wants to lose weight, where I am satisfied with my weight. I think he thinks I eat "better/healthier" than him so he doesn't criticize me, if that makes sense. Sometimes it's a little annoying trying to eat out because theres limited places I can get a good meal, but we dont eat out that often so it's not that much of an issue. Overall he is used to it now, after 7 years with me. It is mostly a non-issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:12 pm 
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I was a vegetarian with i met my partner. He was a meat eater who didn't know how to cook anything without a microwave. I am lucky in that he's always been very open to the different foods i eat and cook. I guess since he didn't really care much about food, it didn't really make a difference what he was eating, as long as it was yummy.
He became a vegetarian about the same time i took the plunge and became vegan. I think he said something like "awww, no more getting takeout pizzas." Of course we still order papa john's periodically, and as long as it has jalapenos he doesn't seem to mind not having cheese.
I feel totally awesome about him being a vegetarian. I'm not a pushy person; i never lectured him or said anything when he ate meat. Of coarse he still heard my talk about why meat is bad, but it's not like i yell about it all the time. It's just really great that he decided to be a vegetarian on his own.
He makes comments now about how if someone had told him when we started dating that two years from now, he'd be a vegetarian and would be eating things like chickpea cutlets and fermented bean water (rejuvelac) he never would have believed them.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:44 pm 
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I was already vegan when I met my ex, who ate meat at the time. I didn't push it, mostly because I'm not that pushy of a person, but also because I ate meat when I started dating a vegan and he never once tried to preach to me about it, and I eventually became vegetarian and then vegan on my own. I think that's the way to do it, if it's going to happen. People need to come to their own conclusions. Anyway, the point is that my ex eventually stopped eating meat after awhile and the only grief he ever went through was missing sea food and 5 Guys burgers. It's different for everyone, though. We were able to cohabitate pretty well when he did eat meat. he had a separate drawer for his meaty and cheesy things in the fridge. I did not allow him to cook meat when I was home, just because the smell is overwhelming for me. Now my stance on that is a little different. My current manfriend is a big meat eater and doesn't eat a lot of veggies and won't eat tofu/tempeh/seitan. He keeps telling me to ease him in slowly. Obviously, no meat will be cooked at my place, but I'm not going to tell him he can't cook/eat meat at his house if I'm there. He recently had a party and there was tons of meat being cooked on the grill, but he dutifully put down a little piece of foil for my veggie sausages and there was no problem. I'm mostly irritated at him refusal to eat almost ALL vegetables, just because that makes it difficult for me to cook for him.

I felt like I just babbled there for awhile. Don't know if any of that was helpful, haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:03 pm 
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Biker boy is omni and I'm pretty sure he always will be; I was vegan when we met and he knew that upfront. He's sometimes a little bummed by restaurant difficulties (I swear we have found every pretentious little gastropub in Seattle that doesn't have the decency to have a hummus platter) but all in all, I don't think it's been a hard adjustment for him. Really the only meat he's cooked around me is when we've grilled outdoors and that doesn't bother me. I have a dedicated clean section on his grill and we do lots of veggies. It hasn't been a hard adjustment for me either because this man loves his vegetables, loves quinoa, and willingly eats tofu in multiple forms. Other than the meat thing, we have a pretty similar palate. I know it will be a bit weird if we move in together but one of the ways I knew I was in love with him was when I realized that the thought of sharing a fridge with him didn't make me anxious and upset. I guess that's not helpful if your omni partner IS having difficulty adjusting, but it doesn't have to be super hard on either party.

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 Post subject: Re: Stages of grief: Omni in meatless relationship reacting
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:58 pm 
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I'm curious about this and can only imagine that I'd find it frustrating to be in a relationship with someone who visibly mourned the loss of animal products from their diet. Mr8 and I both became vegan on the same day and have been very happy with it (He often receives his dinner and says "I love being vegan") so it's quite an alien concept to me.


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