What does the Bible have to say about diet? Part 2

Diet and the finished creation

If scarcity and the food chain were a reality in the immediate post-creation world, we should detect this from the text of Genesis 1:29–30. Yet, what the text implies is that the resources at that time were sufficient for both animals and man. A good, loving, and just God would provide what His creation needed, so they could obey what He commanded.

There is no restriction, within each plant group, of what could be consumed.

We can see this sufficiency by examining the kinds of food God allowed for consumption. The English word every translates from the Hebrew words et kol. The Hebrew language often uses these words in an absolute sense. So these words signify that God meant all the plants that are on the earth. These words appear three times in these two verses referring to the food. God told man that he may eat of every plant and every tree that produces seed. He told the animals that they may partake of every green plant. The three uses of every suggest that instead of resource scarcity, there existed a sufficient quantity of food for the entire animal creation. This is true because there is no restriction, within each plant group, of what could be consumed.

The locality of this food supply also confirms the lack of scarcity. Observe that man may eat from anywhere on the surface of the earth. The word surface has two Hebrew words al pene, and they signify the surface of something, typically the earth. The word ‘earth’ is modified by ‘the whole’. This signifies that any location on the planet is acceptable to God. The directives given to the animals should be taken as concurrent with those issued to man in the opening chapters of Genesis. This can be observed by the connective and. Thus God allowed man and the animals to eat their food from any location on the earth, not just from one specific geographical area.

Some might attempt to raise the following objection. Only certain animals were to eat plants, while some might be allowed to eat meat. The words that God chose are clear as they relate to this question. The use of ‘every’ should be thought of in terms of a universal distribution. One should think of this as God looking at the various ‘kinds’ of animals and pointing to each group while He is issuing this command. This meant that these various groups of animals could consume only plants. So all the animals were subject to the command of God, and none of the animals would eat meat.

Another objection that might be raised relates to the dominion of man. It could be argued that man’s dominion included the killing of animals and possibly the consuming of meat. This objection focuses on the Hebrew words, kabas and rada, translated into English as subdue and rule (Genesis 1:28). Many assume that some animals were originally ferocious and carnivorous. Douglas Spanner, a Church of England minister and former chairman of Plant Biophysics at the University of London, states:

‘The Hebrew word for subdue is kabas and in all its other occurrences it is used as a term that suggests strong action in the face of opposition, enmity or evil … It indicates that Adam was sent into a world where all was not sweetness and light, for in such a world what would there be to subdue? The animals, it suggests, included some that were wild and ferocious, and Adam was charged to exercise a genuinely civilizing role and to promote harmony among them.’

Westermann observes that these words do suggest some form of domination, and when used of humans ruling other humans can include the idea of cruelty and slaughter. So it appears, on the surface, that Spanner’s objection is very formidable.

However, this objection can be answered by two points. The first is the meaning of the words rada and kabas within the context of Genesis 1:28. The term rada (English: rule) is:

‘readily employed in the Old Testament in contexts of a rule associated with kingship and of justice issuing from that kingship.'

The use of the word kabas (English: subdue) can be summarized:

‘This fact [that the Hebrew usage of kabas represents a narrow spectrum of the semantic range], with the conclusions reached about Old Testament usage, should caution against any view that the mere appearance of kabas in Genesis 1:26–28 requires one to understand a violent subjugation. Such a connotation would be present in the context. Yet in Genesis 1:26–28 the connotation is lacking.'

The appearance of rada and kabas does not signify violent subjugation, for the context does not suggest it.

The second answer to kabas implying a violent subjugation and the existence of carnivorous animals can be refuted by Hebrew syntax and grammar. This applies to the understanding of the Hebrew imperative. The rule for the string of imperatives connected by and, as it appears in Genesis 1:28a, is ‘the first imperative expresses a condition that carries with it the second as a consequence of the first. There are four imperatives in this clause. The first three, ‘be fruitful, multiply, and fill’ express the concurrent condition that was to be fulfilled. The human race, in obedience to God, was to grow in population and spread across the earth. The second and third imperatives should be seen as modifying and clarifying the first. It is at this point when the last imperative subdue occurs. Man is to kabas nature as he is being fruitful, multiplying, and filling. Nowhere is a violent fulfillment of these imperatives ever implied within the text or context.

The imperative subdue occurs referring to the earth, that which is non-living as opposed to the living. This is confirmed by the verbal suffix, a third feminine singular. The rule applying to the suffix is that it ‘defines the preceding substantive, to prevent any possible misunderstanding.’ This means that the word ‘subdue’ applies to the feminine singular, ‘earth’, and to nothing else. A second confirmation appears by the contrast of the singular to the plural nouns (fish, birds, living things). Thus the word ‘rule’ applies only to the world of living animals, and the word ‘subdue’ applies only to the non-living earth. So the use, context, and grammar of Genesis 1:28 denies that the dominion mandate suggests wild and ferocious animals ever existed on the earth before man's sin.

It must be kept in mind that the entire emphasis of this dominion was to be one of benign productivity and not one of destructive violence. It is possible that subdue is a reference to the tilling of the ground. So if one wishes to find a violent type of activity this is the place to look (Genesis 2:15). The context signifies that the animals would have cooperated with man, so there would not have been any need for man to be a violent despot. Although God commanded man to rule and subdue nature, he was to do so in a kindly manner. Thus, the stipulation that the occurrence of subdue suggests carnivorous activity cannot be supported.

We saw that Yahuuah’s directive in Genesis 1:29–30 suggests a sufficiency of resources in the finished creation. Man could freely consume plants and fruit from anywhere on the earth. The animals could freely eat from any plant that grew on the earth. What were the exact parameters of the diet of the finished creation? There are three words that give the boundaries of the diet.

The first term is the English word herb from the Hebrew eseb, which has the idea of some form of vegetation. This is the kind of food that both men and animals could partake. Yahuuah uses the word herb in Genesis 1:11–12 in connection with the results of His command to create plants. The use of herb in Genesis 1:29–30 signifies ‘The masculine noun ‘eseb' is one of four major synonyms for “vegetation, verdure, herb, or grass.” The English “herb,” found in the KJV, is used in the broader and older sense of non-woody tissue vegetation, rather than in the more restricted nuance of seasoning or medicinal plants. ‘Eseb and its synonyms correspond more closely to the American English use of the word “plant” than to “herb.”

This term would be similar to our word ‘grass’ or ‘greenery’. In using herb Yahuuah stressed that any kind of vegetation on the surface of the earth is available to be eaten. Thus He has supplied the needs for both man and beast with vegetation.

The second term is seed (Hebrew: zera). This word pictures something that contains a seed. The Old Testament uses zera in four ways:

  1. as a time of sowing,
  2. as something that is scattered,
  3. as sperm, and
  4. as the offspring of the promised line.

Its use in Genesis 1:29 appears to focus on the issue of reproduction. Man is to eat plants and fruit that can reproduce by seeds. The idea suggested by the word seed is that the vegetation was to possess some self-contained seed.

The final word deserving our consideration is fruit, the Hebrew word peri. The word can be interpreted in three ways:

  1. the kind of fruit that is edible,
  2. fruit as children, and
  3. the consequences of actions.

The word, when used of the plant kingdom, suggests something that grows on a tree or a vine. One could ask, ‘Why were not the animals told to eat fruit?’ The Scriptures simply do not tell us. Yet one would be safe in believing that man and the animals obeyed the directions of Yah. They would have eaten only those prescribed items for food.

We, in the post-Darwin age, have not readily accepted the idea that God’s creation was originally vegetarian. Many scientists tell us certain animals have always been meat eaters. However meat eating in all of nature was rare, the exception was maybe T-rex (as it was a scavenger) and the raptor. Applying their data on diet, the researchers found that 44 theropod species distributed across six major lineages were eating plants and that the ancestor to most feathered dinosaurs and modern birds had probably already lost its appetite for flesh alone (ie. never had it).

Because plant eating was found to be so widespread in Coelurosauria, the hypercarnivorous habits of T-rex and other meat eating coelurosaurs like Velociraptor should be viewed "more as the exception than the rule." There are lots of other types of evidence: fossilized poop, preserved stomach contents, marks on the teeth, and even stones inside the stomach that would have been used to digest vegetation which all provide clues to the dinosaur diet. The results were shocking. Many of the supposedly carnivorous theropod dinosaurs were actually eating plants. Over 90% of them were vegetarians!

http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/12/23/hipster-dinosaurs-t-rex-relatives-were-vegetarians/

https://io9.gizmodo.com/5715384/the-most-terrifying-meat-eating-dinosaurs-suddenly-went-vegetarian

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/dinosaurs/8214257/Most-dinosaurs-were-vegetarian-research-suggests.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1340447/Most-dinosaurs-vegetarian-T-rex-just-exception-finds-new-study.html

Even without the Bible, we can clearly see that God never intended for us to kill animals and eat their flesh. Animals were created with feelings so that they could feel pain just as we do. When they see danger they run away. When you try to slash their throats they cry and try to run away.

Dr. Zanno said: "The ability to eat plant materials may have played a pivotal role in allowing coelurosaurian dinosaurs to achieve such remarkable species diversity."

Researcher Lindsay Zanno explains in words that will surely come back to haunt her if ever a Jurassic Park scenario breaks out:

"Most theropods are clearly adapted to a predatory lifestyle, but somewhere on the line to birds, predatory dinosaurs went soft.”

You see, they think that they evolved to lose the taste of meat, I argue the opposite direction took place. We have evidence for this with the T-REX and Velociraptor as well. Paleontologists Lindsay Zanno and Peter Makovicky say in a research paper that most theropods—the family of the T-Rex and the Velociraptor—were actually vegetarians. Their study—Herbivorous ecomorphology and specialization patterns in theropod dinosaur evolution, which just appeared in the December 20, 2010 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences—has detected "21 morphological features that exhibit statistically significant correlations with extrinsic fossil evidence of coelurosaurian herbivory, such as stomach contents and a gastric mill."

https://gizmodo.com/5715569/most-carnivorous-dinosaurs-were-actually-vegetarian

After studying 90 theropod species, their conclusion is that vegetarianism was widespread and "contrary to previous thought, hypercarnivory was relatively rare and potentially secondarily derived."


Pass the Salad, Please: Many Theropods Ate Plants

Dr. Lindsay Zanno of the Chicago Field Museum suggests that even in the theropod suborder, usually considered the carnivorous dinosaurs, they were more the exception than the rule. Of theropods she and her colleague Peter Makovicky analyzed, 44 of them showed clear signs of vegetarianism: “the ornithomimosaurs, therizinosaurs, oviraptorosaurs, alvarezsaurus, several early birds, and the single troodontid Jinfengopteryx.”

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/pass-the-salad-please-many-theropods-ate-plants-89838067/

The fossil record, they claim, supports this belief and I'll prove to you later why that is wrong. There are also theologians who treat this statement as the authoritative Word of God. One can observe this posture illustrated by Derek Kidner:

‘This statement [of Genesis 1:29–30] is a generalization, that directly or indirectly, all life depends on vegetation, and the concern of the verse is to show that all are fed by God’s hand.

Kidner leaves open the possibility that animals might have been meat eaters from the beginning. Such a position is not in accordance with what God said in Genesis 1:29–30. The command God issued to the finished creation is clear. It leaves no room for debate: there were no carnivores when God finished His work of creation. Science now confirms this studying the limusaurus;  “it developed sharp teeth for eating meat soon after it was born, but lost them as it grew up and became vegetarian.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dinosaur-meat-eating-carnivore-vegetarian-herbivore-shuo-wang-biologist-capital-normal-university-a7491026.html

Several Jewish commentators have observed that a vegetarian diet will again be reinstated as the diet of creation during the Messianic Age. The commentators take the text for simply what it says, that animals and man were not originally meat eaters. They point to this Messianic Age as a time when God changes many things back to their Edenic state. Even the Cousin of T. Rex Was a Vegetarian! The new species is a member of the theropod group, which consists of mostly carnivorous dinosaurs. The pubic bone rotated backward allowed Chilesaurus more room in its gut to digest plant material, the researchers said. Carr told Live Science: "It shows that the dinosaurs across theropods and sauropodomorphs and even ornithischians tend to follow the same rules in changing their bodies," when they evolved from herbivores. Chilesaurus isn't the only herbivorous theropod. The therizinosauridae, which lived in present-day Asia and North America, also ate plants.

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14307

So then, according to Genesis 1:29–30, Yahuuah originally created men and animals to be plant eaters. Yahuuah’s statement in Genesis 9:3 strengthens this restriction placed on man. Here for the first time, He gives man permission to eat meat. God has not told us exactly when the animals become carnivores. Yet if man obeyed Yahuuah, he would not have eaten meat until after the Flood and most certainly not before the Fall of Adam.

There is another confirmation that the finished creation was to be vegetarian. We can see this by the change in both the animals and man, and that this change took place at the Fall of Adam. Edwin Monsma, who was head of the biology department at Calvin College, suggests this:

‘The eating of herbs, seeds, and fruits imply the death of these plant parts from a biologist’s point of view because they all contain living protoplasm. But there is no indication here of destructive and natural death of whole living organisms nor of the carnivorous habit upon which so many animals are dependent. Indeed, nowhere in the Scriptures is there any indication of natural or accidental death before the fall of man. Even immediately after the fall, the natural processes that culminate in death seemed to work much more slowly than they do now. This is evident from the great age of men during the antediluvian period. Reformed scholars have generally been of the opinion that the Bible gives no evidence of death among animals before the fall.’. When scripture is explored further we find that plants are not sentient, they have no spirit. Scripture tells us “where there is Blood there is life”. And it's not talking about Chlorophyll.'

When examining the perfect harmony of the finished creation, one can see no fear exhibited in either man or the animals. This, too, suggests that there was a change in the animals and man after sin entered the world.

Leopold says: ‘No beast preyed upon the other. Rapacious and ferocious wild beasts did not yet exist. This verse pictures, very briefly in Genesis chapter one what is unfolded at length in chapter two, that a paradise-like state prevailed at creation.’

If we accept this quotation, and the previous also, then belief in the goodness, love, and omnipotence of God is possible. These statements suggest that death, cruelty, suffering, and carnivory only came into existence sometime after Yah completed His creative work. If this is true, then a change has come into the world, the results of which we can observe today.

The change in the finished creation

As one currently examines nature and compares this with the biblical record, it appears that a change in creation has indeed occurred. The diet of the animal kingdom is one such example. One can see carnivorous behavior today even with cows, deer, horses, birds, humans, panda, and other pure vegetarian or fruitarian species. Yet the Bible declares that this was not the original diet of creation. Since there was a change, two questions surface: first, ‘When did this change take place?’ and second, ‘What kind of change might have occurred?’

A change in diet

If one believes what the Scriptures teach, then one should believe that a change took place, or at least began, at the Fall of Adam. If Yahuuah completed His creation according to His purpose, then one must acknowledge that He designed creation to eat vegetation, with a change taking place in the creation sometime later.

One might ask what empirical evidence exists for this belief. Yet, if the biblical record is correct, one should not expect to find any fossil evidence of this time period. The biblical record states that Yahuuah took six days to create and rested on the seventh. The text implies that a short amount of time elapsed between the finished creation and the Fall of Adam (in terms of years, not millions). If this were the case, then there may have been no occasion for death and fossilization to have occurred. Fossilization requires death, but death would not have existed before sin entered the creation. In short, such a model would predict that there would be no fossil evidence found supporting it.

Such a model, however, would predict that some remnants of this original, finished creation might still exist. If one could find such remnants, then the suggestion that eating meat resulted from a drastic change becomes valid. One could predict that original herbivory is a reasonable hypothesis.

One such prediction is that animals thought to be strictly carnivorous can and actually do survive on a vegetarian diet. The following discussion will survey several groups of animals. These groups, conventional thought says, are carnivorous.

The mosquitoes comprise the first group of interest. It appears that only the females of certain mosquito species actually consume blood. The reason blood is needed is because: 

‘females, at emergence, have only partly developed ovaries. This requires a source of nitrogen to complete ovarian development and reach maturity.’

Mosquitoes that do not draw blood find nutrition by feeding on plant nectar. So it seems that only a portion of mosquitoes use blood, and it is only mammalian blood. That's right, and logic would dictate then that no mosquitoes existed before mammals then as they did not suck dinosaur blood, but … we find them in the same state as dinosaurs and even in amber, frozen in time along with dinos. But since Mammals only came into being after the dinosaurs died out, this leaves a new mystery for evolutionists.

Since most of the mosquito population (not including males since they do not consume blood) are plant eaters, including those few species where the females use nectar, that leaves the percentage needing blood under 50% of the total mosquito population. This could suggest that at some point in history a change took place that caused only some female mosquitoes to use blood as food. I'm guessing genetic entropy.

The second group is the reptile family. Robert Sprackland claims that of the seventeen different lizard families, the Varanidae, is the only group that is strictly meat eating. The other sixteen families are mostly herbivores. There has also been a recent discovery of a monitor lizard that is a frugivore. This is most unusual to secular scientists since the large monitor lizard eats a great quantity of meat. The lizard group possesses very sharp teeth similar to those of the meat-eating dinosaurs. Could it be that the modern suggestions of the carnivorous nature of the dinosaurs are a denial of biblical truth? Once again, the rarity of carnivory is consistent with the idea that carnivory is a late introduction to God’s creation.

The next group is that of the Canidae or dog family. It is important to observe that most of the smaller Canidae are not carnivorous. Yet some of the small Canidae who do eat meat survive well on a mixed diet of meat and plants. An interesting point to observe is that most of the coyote diet is fruit. Where I live in Palm Springs, the coyote live mostly off of carob pods or mesquite pods, they love them! A large portion of the dry dog food purchased today has cereal as its base and they do more than fine on it. The coyote and other dogs, like the lizards, have teeth that appear to be designed to rip into flesh. Yet much of the diet of the wild coyote is fruit, with the domestic dog existing on a cereal-based food. When they eat more meat their lifespan goes down, when it shifts to plant-based, it goes up. Easy logic, easy science. It seems that the canine family still contains some remnant of the creation as designed by Yahuuah. As a matter of fact, in Part 3 of this series I will prove that all of creation can revert back to its original diet just like I have and thrive far better than the perception given by modern science even in 2019.

The bat is another interesting creature. Most bats, although they have teeth that can cut flesh, are either insectivores or frugivores. We often think of bats as ‘bloodthirsty’ creatures similar to those pictured in horror movies. But, the Vampire Bat is the only species which is mainly a blood drinker, and it's a relatively new species of bat that developed recently. The American Leaf Bat, thought to be a close relative, is predominantly insectivorous unless plant material and fruit are in abundance. The entire bat group has very sharp and ferocious looking teeth. Yet, they use their teeth in a manner inconsistent with their appearance. So then, it would appear that one can find in the bat group a vestige of Yah’s original creation.

Biologists call the bear family omnivores: this means they will eat anything they might happen to come across in the wild. Bears are very well known for eating fish and other animals, including man. Yet they survive well on just a diet of fruit, berries, nuts, and honey. As a matter of fact, even with fish as part of a bears diet, it makes up less than 1% total calories. My guess is that bears resort to calories from anything before hibernation and are dependant on location (like the polar bear) when resources are limited and survival is more important. There is one bear-like creature that is a classification problem for the biologist, the Panda. Until recently this animal was classified with the raccoons, but are now in a family all by themselves. The design of the Panda’s teeth are specifically for eating bamboo shoots. The Panda has flattened teeth that are large in diameter when compared to the jaw. Yet the teeth and jaw structure of the Panda are very similar to the brown bear. Although it eats only bamboo, the teeth and jaw structure of the Panda, like the other bears, appear to be designed for eating meat. It seems, then, that the bear group can thrive on a vegetarian or meat diet. I didn't even mention the Koala bear, another anomaly. The bear family in this sense could be the strongest link to the pre-Fall world among modern carnivores.

Many believe that lions can survive only on a diet made from the flesh of animals. Yet there are documented cases of vegetarian lions. One such lion lost her mother to a serious injury it had just after its birth, and so a human family raised it. They document that the lion cub, at ten weeks, would take one sniff of a bone then ‘she immediately regurgitated all the food she held in her stomach’. Even at four years old, the lion could not be trained to eat meat. This remarkable story seems to confirm the truth of the Scriptures. More veg lion info coming in Part 3. 

Even among the carnivorous groups, there are vestiges of vegetarian diets.

The last group to be examined will be the primates. Many believe today that man is a descendant of the primates. It is true there are many similarities between primates and man, but there are also many differences. One difference is that the primates are strictly vegetarian in their diet. It would be very peculiar for man, an omnivore, to have descended from a vegetarian ancestor. The primate jaw and teeth seem to function both for the carnivorous and the herbivorous diet visually. Should one say that because the primates have such an ability that they were originally meat eaters? The plain statements of the biblical record suggest just the opposite interpretation. Again, the data of the primate group is consistent with the idea that carnivory is a late introduction. Humans ourselves are fruit eaters first. Though it may look like our teeth are for flesh and plants, that is wrong for many reasons.

Most organisms are vegetarians. Even among the carnivorous groups, there are vestiges of vegetarian diets. This suggests that the Bible is correct when it claims that carnivory was not part of God’s original design. This raises the questions: ‘When and how did carnivory arise?’

Many have thought up theories suggesting how this change might have occurred, but there is no overwhelming biblical support for any single theory. John Whitcomb suggests that in the Edenic curse God reprogrammed the genetic material of all organisms and even man. This resulted in such things as disease-causing microorganisms, thorns in plants, and carnivory in animals. (There are some recent papers on the supposed evolution of carnivores).

An invertebrate biology textbook explains: “Most of the animal groups that are represented in the fossil record first appear, “fully formed” and identifiable as to their phylum, in the Cambrian, some 550 million years ago. These include such anatomically complex and distinctive types as trilobites, echinoderms, brachiopods, mollusks, and chordates … The fossil record is therefore of no help with respect to the origin and early diversification of the various animal phyla…” ref; R.S.K. Barnes, P. Calow and P.J.W. Olive, The Invertebrates: A New Synthesis, pp. 9-10 (3rd ed., Blackwell Sci. Publications, 2001).

If you have been told the evolution lie, then you have most likely heard about the “meat and brain size development connection” as well. The evolutionists really love this one. Meat was NOT responsible for the brain development of man. This paper shows that it was plant starch, as Dartmouth University Professor Nathaniel Dominy explains in the article “Nutcracker Man”, and the following paragraph from page 21 of the Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of Science Illustrated, also supports the aforesaid fact:

“The human’s ability to digest starch was likely a major factor in the development of our big brains, according to research from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Arizona State University. We have significantly more copies of the AMY1 gene responsible for the salivary enzyme amylase, which helps to break down starch. This made it possible for early humans to more efficiently digest starchy foods such as potatoes and corn.”

We have always had amylase in our mouth, part of our salivary glands. We were placed in a garden with fruits for food, that's why the more we move away from that system the sicker we get and the more we move back to it the healthier we get, plain and simple. Below are all secular science links using what they believe to be early man, which they call primate. Regardless, links are links and I know the majority reading this believe that we evolved from either a fish (Anaximander), a pig/monkey (Eugene McCarthy), by Aliens (Ellis Silver PhD), Life Formed out of literally nothing “a happy chemical accident(Richard Dawkins), or apes out of Africa (Darwin). So here you go ...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109003949.htm

https://review.ucsc.edu/fall07/Rev_F07_pp22-23_WeAreWhatTheyAte.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377015/

http://dnapunctuation.org/~poptsova/course2012/Perry.pdf

A study found that big brains appear to be linked to diet. According to the study, primates that eat fruit have about 25% more brain tissue than leaf-eaters of the same body weight. Omnivores were also found to have larger brains than leaf-eaters, although there was no difference when compared to fruit eaters.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/mar/27/fruit-foraging-primates-may-be-key-large-brain-evolution

Starchy carbohydrates were a major factor in the evolution of the human brain, according to a new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

Published in the Quarterly Review of Biology, the hypothesis challenges the long-standing belief that the increase in the size of the human brain around 800,000 years ago was the result of increased meat consumption.

https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2015/08/10/starchy-carbs--not-a-paleo-diet--advanced-the-human-race.html

The facts remain ... any experiments where animals are given meat never grow larger brains nor get smarter. Time to wisen up.

Stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon ...


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