Monday, March 2, 2009

Why don't Sikhs eat meat?

veg dishes sikhs
Fed up with this question and many other like this -Can Sikhs eat meat? Why do you eat plants?

Here is my reply to all this. Hope you will be satisfied by the reply.

So why can't we eat meat?


If I simply say, "We don't eat meat because we don't eat anything after killing it. " I know many will reply -"Plants and crops are also living." So I think it is better to explain it in detail. I support my statement by two giving out two reasons.

First,Out of Mercy. Causing pain is not justified. All animals, insects, killed by any means feel pain of being killed. They have a nervous system that makes them feel the pain of being killed. Cow, pig, hen, fish, crab all have a nervous system and thus feel the pain. So it's unjust to eat them as a diet.
Plants on the other hand are without nervous system. The various chemicals present in them make them respond to the various physical factors such as light, heat, minerals etc. but they are devoid of nerves and can't feel. So bring them on.

Second reason is- Who you are? If you recall the evolution of life on this planet, that you must have studied in your junior classes - you will find - plants came first, follwed by creepers,carnivores herbivors, and then humans ( I know it's more complicated). If you observe the pattern of diet of the animals as per the evolution you will find, the later animals I mean the animals that evolved later are herbivores.

The complex the digestive system of a ceature is -the lower level of food it takes. Let me explain it a bit. Grass, leaves, fruits are lower levels of energy. We humans, cow, buffalo, deer all have a good developed diegestive system that can extract maximum energy from these lower level energy sources (grass, leaves etc. ) Whereas the lower level animals -don't have a that developed digestive system that can extract/convert the energy present in the lower level foods into their own blood. So they don't have any option but to eat other animal who has capability of eating lower level energy food. That's why carnivores rarely eat carnivores.

We humans have been blessed by the Almighty to accept both types of food. But we should be merciful too. (consider the first reason). So if other options are available then you should go for them rather than taking meat you should go for vegetarian food. Leaving the flesh for the hard days. I think I'm able to drive the point home. Isn't it?

Please: There must be some other reasons too but my micro sized brain at this time is capable of getting these two reasons only. If you have a different and scietifically true reasoning, do put it below in the comments. I would be happy to read it and will also include in the post.
Again I would like to say - the explanation is based on my understanding.

veg food plan

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49 comments:

Devindersaid...

I never knew these reasons. Good job Navjeet Ji.

Puri Waves said...

I like this stuff. Sikhs are great, they feel the pain Of Others...

Sandhu Singh Navjeet said...

Yes this is true , Sikhs feel the pain of others. you can see this from this post also.

Anonymoussaid...

Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh
This is a nice and good explanation.Thanku very much. I'd like to comment something. We are what we eat. I hope I can explain it in English...This is like: when we are used to eat fruits and vegetables we are light, and we are used to eat meat we are heavy. For example, and apple has a high vibration otherwise meat has very low vibration cause it comes from death and when u kill the animal meat starts to rot. Apple has fast digestion, meet long digestion. So if u wanna be aware all the time, better u eat fruits and vegetables cause u can canalise ur attention to another things more important than ur stomach ;-)Like if u wanna play gatka or if u wanna meditate. So thats all friends, I hope my words may help u in some way.
Fateh ji.

paramveer said...

nice information...(reminding me our environment studies classes of this sem.)
n i support ur thoughts.....

Sukhmandir Kaur said...

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
Waheguru jiki Fateh
Purely from a health standpoint very bad conditions exist with commercially raised animals which can affect those who consume them. But even healthy animal can have ill effects on the human body which not have the intestinal track digestive system or teeth of a carnivore. Also it is healthier for the emotions, psyche, and spiritual advancement to have a sense of compassion and not induce suffering in other beings.
Commercial meat consumption is also detrimental to the planet as it requires 20 times the resources by pound for pound to produce.

Anonymoussaid...

wjkk wjkF...im a sikh bUT i cnt stop ma temptation of eatin meat.any tips on hw to avoid this temptation..tq:)wjkk wjkf:)

Sandhu Singh Navjeet said...

@ Anonymou ..

Guru has enriched us with feelings. We can use these feelings to stop ourselves from doing bad deeds.

When ever you see meat or your heart says you to eat meat - think of the animal (whose's meat it is) as alive and realize the pain he had felt when he was killed for the meat.
Have mercy.
Your temptation to eat meat will die there and then itself.

Afterwards - Pray to Guru Sahib for saving you from doing 'wrong' deed.

Gurfateh Ji.

Harjeetsaid...

A meat eater in response to your blog, might say, "well the animals, are stunned before they are killed, therefore they don't feel any pain."

A response you could use for this could be, that imagine if a man has been arrested, and charged for murder. The man says to the police "It is okay officer, i gave the victim anesthetic before i killed them, therefore this murder was okay as they didn't feel any pain." WE all know that this is absurd, it is still murder and the police would still arrest the killer.

If someone argues for eating meat, really they are being greedy. Ask them "would you eat meat if it taste like poo" They only eat meat and defend it because it tastes nice.

I use to eat meat, when i was first getting into sikhi, i was looking for excuses and exceptions to eat meat. Because it was hard to give up. But really you need God's grace, and to ask him for support.

Also in a way it is as if plants were made for us to eat. They don't feel pain, they do not run away, or try to defend themselves. They reproduce in large numbers. Where as animals, farmers have delibretly, over bred animals such as cows, to meet the demands. This has also caused an increase in methane gas in the air contributing to global warming. Plants give out oxygen.

Anonymoussaid...

No offence but this thinking is flawed and disingenuous. It does not relect the broad Sikh view.

* Professor Gurbax Singh Dhillon - Meat Eating and Rehat Maryada
* Video Showing Jhatka at Hazoor Sahib
* www.sikhs.org/meat_au.htm
* www.sikhs.org/meat.htm
* http://www.sikhs.org/meat_gn.htm
* http://www.sikhs.org/meat_gs.htm
* http://www.sikhs.org/meat_q.htm
* http://www.sikhnextdoor.org/teachers/faq.html
* http://www.sikhism.com/rehatmaryada
* http://popularsikh.com/node/65642
* http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Prespective_on_Sikh_tradition.pdf

Anonymoussaid...

yes exactly, the traditions of guru khalsa fauj still include khatka meat tradition, they eat mahaparshad. not all sikhs are veggies!

Anonymoussaid...

Just because the majority feel that meat eating is allowed it doest mean you have to follow them!!! Especially when you know they are wrong. If everyone jumps into the well i hope you wont be stupid enough to follow suit. One reason why more sikhs have started eating meat is 'coz when they see that the majority are doing it they dont want to be left out n would rather blend in than be true to their religion.

Go visit this website: http://www.info-sikh.com/PageM1.html

I hope you dont want to make your stomach a graveyard, 'coz I certainly dont want to!

WGJKK WGJKF

Sandhu Singh Navjeet said...

@ Anonymous

I have written 'Sikhs don't eat meat' this doesn't mean 'Sikhs can never eat meat'. My message of writting this article is to give a general view of the Sikh Dharma to all non-sikhs and Sikhs alike in simple words, where I don't need to mention 'exceptions' to keep the things simple.

I know Sikh history tells us Sikhs have eaten meat, they have filled their stomachs with horse meat, even today many in the extreme South East Asian countries and in the eastern part of India Sikhs eat meat. They do so because they have no option to live.

This is the greatness of the Sikh Dharma that allows people to live the life of truth keeping in view the harsh conditions of life.

I'm ready to reply to your questions and querries. I welcome you when you have a different view rather than what I have written. It makes me to read and study more and increases my knowledge. Thanks for it. Keep the good work.

jamos jhalla said...

human beings are blessed with such teeth denture which is not designed fo meat food
iread years ago that animals who eat meat are blessed with special ,different shaped teeth .
to maintain the balance in environment
animal should not be slaughtered for food. jhallevichar.blogspot.com

Anonymoussaid...

I am a sikh, and in our book it leaves it to us to justify if meat eating is good or wrong, I believe if we talk about slaughtering a animal, Halal is most best way then any other method. Scientifically, it is proven, that Halal meat is the best meat to have for health safety. Link:

http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/an/an_slaughter.htm

I am not against sikhism,so please which ever of my sikh brothers and sisters readng don't mind it, but Halal is the best way, even better then our method which is called, "one stroke". Anyone would like to discuss religion I love doing that :) my email dilshad40@hotmail.com

Anonymoussaid...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymoussaid...

Please do not use www.info-sikh.com. It is a brahmanical/RSS/VHP site.
See:

www.sikhs.org/meat.htm

Anonymoussaid...

I am Hindu and I eat meat but I never knew that Sikhs were not allowed to eat meat. All my sikh friends eat meat. But looking at the links, really, it seems Sikhism leaves it up to a person to decide eating meat or not. I like it. Looked at this link and good information. www.sikhs.org/meat.htm

I think in Hinduism eating meat is denounced but it can be taken if vegetarian food is not available. But I could be wrong, no scholar here.

Though I eat meat, I still have this thing in back of my mind about how the animals are killed. I never eat cow but I know the pain is felt by all animals. I really want to become vegetarian but in US it is so hard. But I am going to quit.

@ anonymous Sikh who said, Hallal is best way for meat, I disagree. How can you make that animal suffer while you recite prayer? It is cold blooded. You can give many reasons for hallal like it drains the blood etc. but you have a choice of not eating meat if you want but killing an animal so cruelly is not right. Sorry.

@ Navjeet Singh: Awsome work sir with your site! Keep it up.

Rajeev said...

ਜੇ ਰਤੁ ਲਗੈ ਕਪੜੈ ਜਾਮਾ ਹੋਇ ਪਲੀਤੁ ॥
ਜੋ ਰਤੁ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਮਾਣਸਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਚੀਤੁ ॥

जे रतु लगै कपड़ै जामा होइ पलीतु ॥
जो रतु पीवहि माणसा तिन किउ निरमलु चीतु ॥
If you get a blood stain on your clothes, they get spoiled and you wash them straigtway or discard them. Likewise if a man (Human) drinks blood then you can never be pure. In essence if you can't be pure how will you achieve salvation/God which is the prime aim of human life.
Hi Guys this is straightforward. People defend their decisions by building arguments like where is it written in SGGS not to eat meat or eat meat.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji and other Great Saints have given indications in the SGGS. It is not a descriptive text and people interpret it the way they want to. The above two lines from SGGS speak blatantly for themselves.
Bhagat Kabir have mentioned it numerous times in his speech about meat consumption. Kabir ji's Vani is incorporated in SGGS and is as sacred as anyone elses. If Sant Kabir is saying about not eating meat, then it does carry value, for me atleast it does. People would pull up one line which fits their thinking and then disregard all the other speech which is asking you not to eat meat.It was a bit long so I have made a blog for this purpose by accumulating Kabir Sahib's Vani. Please see Kabir Dohe on being Vegetarian. I would be interested in knowing what others think.

Navjeet Singh ji I think the step is in the right direction and you have done a very good job by bringing this sensitive issue up. Keep it up.

Rajeev said...

Sorry for the link. This is the correct link for the blog Kabir Dohe on being Vegetarian
Source website www.spiritual.comuv.com

Anonymoussaid...

Another Observation i have made. All Herbivore animals Suck to drink Water [Liquid] where as Carnivore animals Lick Water to Drink. We all humans Suck liquids to drink.

regards

Manjit Singh

Anonymoussaid...

The truth of the matter is Bani states over and over again there is life in everything. It even decribes the pain of plants (although in a metaphor), the point is it talks about plant, as living, breathing. It is more unfortunate than an animal because a plant has no mouth to scream or run, yet we breed it, fatten it and kill plants mercislessly for our own taste buds.

AGGS, M 1, p 1290.[3]

First Mehl:
ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਥਹੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਉਪੰਨਾ ॥ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਅੰਨੁ ਕਮਾਦੁ ਕਪਾਹਾਂ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਗੰਨਾ ॥

O Pandit, you do not know where did flesh originate! It is water where life originated and it is water that sustains all life. It is water that produces grains, sugarcane, cotton and all forms of life.

On Vegetation, the Guru described it as living and experiencing pain:

Page 143 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji


First Mehl:
Look, and see how the sugar-cane is cut down. After cutting away its branches, its feet are bound together into bundles,
and then, it is placed between the wooden rollers and crushed.
What punishment is inflicted upon it! Its juice is extracted and placed in the cauldron; as it is heated, it groans and cries out.
And then, the crushed cane is collected and burnt in the fire below.
Nanak: come, people, and see how the sweet sugar-cane is treated!

Condemming meat is pure Egotism!

Anonymoussaid...

Another point missed out is that scientifically, we are Omnivores. Our gut is designed to eat meat as well as vegetables.

Some of the science used here is fallacy.

MKhaira said...

They do feel pain, but no one here has mentioned karma. Be it wrong or right to eat meat, the pain anyone suffers, human or animal is their karma.

MKhaira said...

Me again. I didn't read through all the comments but some have mentioned in one way or another that the person who eats meat is greedy. In answer to that I'd like to share this link with you. I really like the following page and the phrases they've compiled. Nothing to do with meat in particular, but food in general.
http://www.sikhwomen.com/Guru_Quotes/guru_eating.htm

Anonymoussaid...

Sikhs should not eat meat that has been killed during sacrificial rituals. Guru Nanak served/ate meat if you read the Sri Guru Granth Sahib - he served it during a Hindu festival. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a hunter. I fail to believe that He would hunt just for the sake of hunting or 'releasing' an animal's soul. If that was the case, why not kill hundreds of other humans to 'save' them.

Eat meat if you wish, as long as it is not sacrificed as Muslims do. But do not take any intoxicants, as that is clearly indicated in our Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Anonymoussaid...

MKhaira tou are completely wrong. If that is the case then what about this. You are propagating Hindu philosophy not Sikh philosophy. The thoughts on Karma are different and distinct from Hinduism. If we believed the Hindu notion of Karma we would believe in Ahimsa. Sikhs are against Ahimsa.

*http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/8828-fools-who-wrangle-over-flesh.html
*http://www.sikhs.wellington.net.nz/meat.pdf Professor Gurbax Singh Dhillon - Meat Eating and Rehat Maryada
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_au.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_gn.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_gs.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_q.htm
*http://www.sikhnextdoor.org/teachers/faq.html
*http://popularsikh.com/node/65642
*http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Prespective_on_Sikh_tradition.pdf
* http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-news/24666-sacrifice-at-hazur-sahib-myth-truth.html The Myth of Goat Sacrifice and Hazoor Sahib
*http://sikhspectrum.com/112006/doris/ch8.htm Tenets of Guru Gobind Singh by Baldev Singh

Anonymoussaid...

I am sure the author and many who have commented mean well, but there are some facts that have to be cleared up.

Most Sikhs in this world eat "meat". Therefore, it is fabrication to claim that Sikhs do not eat "meat" and a complete lie that "meat" eating Sikhs are exceptions.

More importantly, rather than quoting one or more lines of Gurbani we should be authentic and quote the entire Shabad and do our best to make sense of any line within the context of the particular Shabad, as well as look to the surrounding Shabads.

There is a method at work and it is not haphazard. Gurbani is not to be misused to serve our purpose. Instead, we should accord our own life and paradigm to accord with that of Gurmat. This knowledge is elementary.

As for this issue, there is a Shabad that deals with the ridiculous arguments and judgments made of meat and those who eat it. But to GurSikhs (those who actually read and understand Gurbani) this is a non-issue. Please refer to the entire Shabad Malhar M.1 pp.1289-90

This is the Shabad that includes the line "Mas mas kar Murakh jhagrhe...", part of which was quoted above. If you can read Panjabi, then please go to Prof. Sahib Singh's translation of this Shabad on pg. 56 of the pdf, the Shabad that starts with "Pahilan mason nimia..." and read the entire Shabad, including the Paurhi. The link is here...
http://www.gurugranthdarpan.com/pdf/1276-1300.pdf
This is the Panth Parvanit interpretation of SGGS and not some cult or jathebandi's views. It was Prof. Sahib Singh that developed the study of SGGS according to its own grammatical rules.

This entire Shabad is perhaps the most illustrative of Guru Maharaj’s view on the so-called Meat controversy. Of course, we can also look to Guru-history to know that the idea of sin relating to eating meat is nonsense according to the Guru.

After reading this Shabad, people try and equivocate that "well, we are all fools, so let us stop arguing..." The Murakh (ignorant fool) that Guru is referring to here is the Pandit, or the self-proclaimed learned person who sits in judgment of others because of what they eat. Guru Sahib explains that we are all meat and that the ignorant fool does not eat what is fit to eat (food, including so-called meat), yet will eat that which is not fit for consumption (Paraya Hak - what belongs to others).

Historically, Maharaj had meat served in Pangat (Langar), especially testy to many Vaishnavs who came to the Guru (like Baba Amar ji, later Guru Amar Das). There are several verifiable historical details regarding the serving of meat in the Pangat (see Bhai Vir Singh’s Guru Nanak Chamatkar, Asht Guru Chamatkar and Kalgidhar Chamatkar). However, since Guru Granth Sahib gives us a very clear and direct pronouncement on the ridiculous nature of this controversy, those who actually wish to learn what the Guru thinks of this issue, rather than simply arguing their own opinions with others, should please go to Guru Nanak’s Shlok and Paurhi on Pages 1289-90.

And I believe that should resolve any Bharam that my dear brothers/sisters have harbored up until now. That is, if you are actually interested in according your views to Gurmat. Frankly, most people want Gurmat to match their own views and that is why they will quote one line or even half a line and completely out of context to "prove their point". In the end, that is what it is - their own, uninformed and unenlightened, view. It is not Gurmat!

So, let us be honest in our search.

Akal Sahai!

Anonymoussaid...

IMHO teh author should change the title of this, and not offer his opion on this subject. If Bhai Maskeen ji ate meat and stated that it was up to indivisuals, then who does the author think he is as a mere child to make comments on this issue?

A very poor blog with very poor understanding. I also noticed the scholars at www.sikhphilosophy.net rubished the authors claims and the author never replied back. Why was that?

Anonymoussaid...

This is very well done. I am about 90% vegetarian (meaning that I only eat meat very rarely) and want to eventually transition all the way. Thanks for reinforcing all the great reasons to make the change.

M.S.BHATIA said...

SOME OF THE FOOLS JUST TO JUSTIFY THEM SELF MADE THESE REMARKS SIKHS ARE NON VEGETARIANS ... JUST A BUNCH OF STUPID PEOPLE HAVING DOSEN'T MAKE ALL SIKH HAVE IT . GURU SAHIB HELPED THE ANIMALS N ALSO PEOPLE LIKE HINDU KASHMIRI PANDITS WHO WERE IN PAIN

M.S.BHATIA said...

TO BE KHALSA I NOT FOR ANY SIKH KHALSA IS DEPRIVED FROM KHALAS PERSON ...NOW KHALAS MEANS PURE NOW HOW CAN U BE KHALAS AFTER EATING A FLESH NNN
FOR UR KNOWLEDGE ANY FLESH U EAT IS IN UR STOMACH FOR 72 HOURSFOR DIGESTION(DISCOVERED BY UNIVERSITY OF USA APPROVED BY FDA)AFTER BEING DEAD DO U KEEP ANY DEAD BODY OF UR ANY PERSON AT HOME FOR 36 HRS? SO HOW CAN U KEEP IT IN UR STOMACH ...AND ALSO CARNIVOROUS ANIMALS HAVE VERY SMALL INTESTINE THEY CAN DIGEST IT EASILY BUT HUMAN IS NOT CARNIVOROUS THEY ARE HERBIVOROUS......BE VEGETARIN ENJOY MORE LIFE

Bavneet Heersaid...

basically you eating another LIFE for you own pleasure. thats something that all the sikh gurus tried to teach us. We share and give and make others feel the same delight we feel. Killing something is not making that thing happy obiously. Sada Sikha theee tharm ah. This is our mark.Example. You havre a couple of ppl around u and open a bag of chips. OFFER anyone if they want some then carry on

Anonymoussaid...

Moral of the this whole episode is that the sikhs who advocate that we shouldn't eat meat and flesh are basically unaware of the teachings of our great gurus and on the other hand the sikhs who eat meat only for the satisfaction of their taste buds are also illiterate. go get a life mates

Anonymoussaid...

and mr bhavneet and ms bhatia ji pls don't pollute these formus with your stupid facts and logics and restrict your baseless and useless thinking to yourself only.

WJKKWJKF

HSPwrsaid...

I'm Sikh, but I'm not a practicing Sikh.

I eat meat, but regardless of whatever view people have I know it's wrong to eat an animal that has died in pain.

Vegetables have no central nervous system, they can't cry out in pain. I think it's just that we're human, we know what pain is through experience. It's etched in us from the first time we fell or cut a finger.

As for sugarcanes thing, you're looking at it from the central nervous system angle. And it's personification, so you imagine it with human qualities. It's not an animal or human.

rajdeep singh said...

wjkk wjkf
even in guru granth saheb ji , its clearly mentioned to keep away from nonveg and nasha!!

Anonymoussaid...

This is very clear case of misinterpretaion of Gurbani . This promtion of Non-Veg is by a certain section of RSS backed SANTS , BABAS who are hell bent on undermining Sikh Rehat Maryada & create controversies trying to prove Sikhs as a sect of Vaishvinite Hinduism .

http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/8828-fools-who-wrangle-over-flesh.html

Harbinder Singhsaid...

Well the persons have various views in term of meat eating.Though meat eating is accepted world wide religiously,i.e Christianity,Islam,Jews etc..
It means 80% of the world is meateater.Gurbani and Sikh philosophy believes in modern day technology and encourages in higher studies and honest living.Eating meat is not necessary and vegetarian food is best when available.Meat eating should be kept for tougher times.

jasmeet said...

I am confused that weather a sikh should eat meat or not, as is eating non-veg a sin?
some one please make it clear to me as if it is not a sin then why cant we have non-veg. Also can we eat eggs?

ranpreet singh said...

Well I have a question then ????? I am sure you might have heard that herbivorous cant have meat and carnivorous cant have grass...... How can a man then digest both of these ???

ranpreet singh said...

Also tell me where guru granth sahib has cleared so many facts related to science which science is now discovering. Guru granth sahib ji has covered each and every aspect of life tell me where has guru sahab ji said about the things you mentioned in this article.

Anonymoussaid...

Please read
http://www.sikhs.org/meat_au.htm
Plants feel pain
http://www.department13designs.com/vegan.html

Anonymoussaid...

I absolutely agree that this vegetarian issue is from legacy of Hinduism. If not, please answer me this. During the initiation of the panj pyars, where guru gobind singh bought his sword out stained with blood, was this blood not that of a goat? So if the guru showed no mercy in killing the goat, then why the question of mercy now

Anonymoussaid...

the guru granth sahib says only fools argue of whether eating meat is good or bad, something you are all doing right now. Who is to say whats right or wrong. You could argue being vegitarian is wrong.. The most important thing is truthful living and spiritual enlightment.
Sikhism has been very misunderstood. The gurus taught us not to follow rituals, idol worship and superstitions. but to meditate on gods name. through that your spiritual awareness will develope and you yourself will follow your own rules to help you reach god. Each persons will find god in their own ways..That is truthful living. Not arguing about whether to eat meat or not

Anonymoussaid...

https://www.facebook.com/Vegetarian.In.Sikhi

Gurdip Singh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymoussaid...

Interesting. How can you also avoid non food products that have been produced at the cost of the lives of animals? leather for example. I have a Sikh friend whose car has leather seats. He also buys products from companies like apple and coke whose business actgivities cost the lives of countless animals through environmental destruction. If someones actions/purchases help feed environmental destruction and deaths of countless animals, is that not permitted?

Smritilekha C said...

All the Sikhs that I know, eat meat. So, I completely disagree with this post.

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