Tourism

Episode 19: Ethical + Responsible Animal Tourism

We are heading out to Thailand in about 10 days and we are going to do lots of things...beaches, city, temples, and spending some time with my favorite animal, the elephant! Having this trip coming up got us on the topic of today’s episode of ethical and responsible tourism.

As we have mentioned before, we do our fair share of research before traveling and we try to understand the basics of etiquette, dressing appropriately, tipping, and all that good stuff. So when we knew we would be going to Thailand, it was an obvious choice to go spend some time at an elephant sanctuary. We started doing our research about places to go and found that you can have a variety of experiences with the animals...some offering that you can come feed them, and give them a bath, and just hangout in general. But, there were still some which offer riding the elephant, which I guess we both just figured people weren’t doing anymore?

Anyway, today we’ll be talking about some of those things we’ve seen people still doing on social media, why they are now starting to be understood as unethical, as well as alternatives to these. We’ll also give you some good companies that still allow things like elephant and tiger interactions, but who have taken the steps to make their experience an ethical one.

listen below!

Let’s get some context:

This is definitely something that is on the radar of some travelers, but we have talked to (and seen people on social media) who , I think, just don’t know some of these experiences are unethical. A few years ago, it seemed like there was plenty of photos on social media of people holding tigers, hanging out with lion cubs, and having all kinds of animal interactions.

In the past few years, there has been an increasing awareness that not every place which offers these animal interactions is the most ethical. We’ll get into some specific examples later, next!

As recent as 2016, TripAdvisor stopped selling tickets to attractions offering physical interaction with wild animals.

And there are still tour companies today, right now, that will let you ride elephants and cuddle with tiger cubs. I just saw an itinerary someone is putting together in Thailand that included an elephant experience that they would let them, “feed them, bathe them, play with them, and get on their backs with no saddle.”

So, why are these animal experiences unethical?

Examples of unethical + irresponsible animal tourism:

Keep in mind, not every animal encounter is UN-ethical. The goal of this episode and post is to emphasize the differences between those that are, and those that are not. Additionally, we hope to provide you with some resources you can use as you plan your own trips!

Elephant experiences

Ethical Elephant Encounters

In places like Thailand, you’ll see advertisements everywhere that show a variety of elephant encounters. Some of them having smiling tourists atop elephants, and they are plastered everywhere — inside the tuk tuks, on posters around town, and people will hand out cards to you for these places.

Here’s why riding elephants is not the best thing. Young elephants are taken from their mothers and introduced to kind of terrible “training” which allows humans to ride them. This process is called, “the crush” and those doing it to the elephants essentially torture them to break their wills. Elephants are only able to take a rider after this process and they pretty much just do so because they are scared shitless of the trainers who have abused them to do so.

The second reason this is unethical is because an elephant’s back is not meant to hold the weight of a person, or multiple people. The spot where the saddle is often placed, or where the rider sits, is the weakest point of the elephant’s back. And especially those elephants in these places who are taking tourist after tourist on their back every single day — you can imagine the damage.

The third reason, of course, are the conditions and standards. In places like Thailand where the daily wage is considerably lower than many of those traveling there, these elephants are money-making machines, and they are treated as such. Taking tourists on their backs and made to perform each and every day, as much as they can get out of them.

As with anything that is a business and the money directly affects these people’s liveliness, there are always people doing shitty, unethical things to make a living. In these cases, exploiting animals for tourism.

Now, there are more places that are making the extra effort to be an ethical, elephant sanctuary.

African safari + Big Game Drives

How to go on an Ethical African Safari

This is something we found out fairly recently: poachers are using social media to find out about recent game sightings and their exact locations. By using this tactic, they are able to know exactly where the prey they’re looking for was last seen and can, in turn, go poach these animals.

TIP: If you’re going on a Safari, a Big Game Drive or something similar, please wait to post photos OR just don’t make it obvious where the exact location is. Many game drivers and tour companies will make sure to emphasize this while you’re out there, but knowing ahead of time certainly helps everyone understand the effects such a harmless social media posting can be.

We know how exciting it is to be doing incredible things and want to share it, and it sucks balls that poachers are using these platforms to track down and illegally hunt these animals.

Tiger encounters

How to Avoid Unethical Animal Encounters

This seems to have gotten less popular in the past few years, but I think if you’ve done an amount of international travel, or spend lots of time on social media, you’ll have seen pictures of people at tiger encounters.

In these instances, those visiting are usually snuggling with full-grown tigers, or playing with tiger cubs.

We’ll again use Thailand as an example as there have been (and still are) several instances of unethical tiger encounters. While there are some places which are more ethical and then there are ones that are kinda scary the more you find out about them.

Why are they unethical?

Some of these places engage in something called “speed breeding” which means that right after cubs are born, they’re taken away from the mothers. This way, the mothers are ready to be bred again, right away. Since this is another money making tourist activity, the more tiger cubs they can produce, the more opportunities they have to make money.

And, of course, tourists didn’t want to take pictures with adolescent tigers, the most popular were the youngest cubs. This meant that those brand new tiger cubs were in demand.

The most striking example comes from The Tiger Temple in Thailand. This was THE place to go as a tourist if you wanted to get a picture with a tiger. Upon an investigation of the place, the tigers were found to be sedated, kept in poor conditions after closing time, and physically abused. If that’s not enough, there were also 40 dead tiger cubs found in their freezers, and another 20 cubs in jars of formaldehyde.

Overall, it was a massive mess.

The Tiger Temple is still open today and they still offer elephant rides, and tiger experiences and it is still both a heavily visited AND controversial place.

Sea Turtles in Cayman Islands

Another quick example where animals are being treated not so well and making companies money are the sea turtles in the Cayman Islands. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Cayman Turtle Centre every year. Some of these turtles are being raised for meat, and are kept in enclosures too shallow for their needs, and with wayyyyy too many in there together.

As of May 2017, there are plenty of Cruise Ship companies still offering excursions to the Cayman Turtle Center including; Princess, Carnival, and Norwegian.  

How to Avoid Unethical Animal Encounters

“Despite claims of cruelty at the Cayman Turtle Centre and concerns about the facility’s selling of the meat of an endangered species, almost all the major cruise lines passing through the Caymans offer shore excursions there, highlighting the opportunity to hold and swim with the animals. Some 70 percent of the Cayman Turtle Centre’s 200,000 yearly visitors are from cruise ships, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, which oversees the operation.”

You can read the full article here: Nat Geo, Cayman Turtles


So, what can you do about it?

If we had not done a shit-load of research before visiting Thailand, it’s easy to see why tourists think it’s normal and fine to engage with these places. There are advertisements everywhere and it is insanely affordable to have these incredible animal encounters.

So, what can we, as travelers, do about it?

Tour Companies

If you are going on a lengthy, multi-day tour, do your research and find an ethical company. As with any money-making enterprise, there are LOADS of companies that will be happy to take you to shitty places, because they are making money off of you.

Dig a little deeper and do your research on the company. Make sure they support local businesses that are playing by the rules and which are ethical.

To get you started, a few of our favorite tour companies are G Adventures and Intrepid Travel. Definitely check them out if you’re looking for ethical companies to do multi-day tours with!

How to know if a company is ethical or not:

  1. Do your research

    The internet is literally bursting at the seams with information, so take advantage! If you are wanting to have an elephant experience in Thailand, for example, Google that shit and do some reading about various places. Read reviews on all kinds of platforms, if there is some kind of consensus in the reviews about poor treatment, that’s probably the place to avoid.

  2. Contact the company

    Sometimes a good old fashioned email to the company can enlighten you on whether they are ethical or not! Ask the company questions — let them know you are wondering about their ethical practices and see what they can provide you with. If they are truly a sanctuary or are ethical, I would think they’d be happy to give you all the info you need. If you get a shady answer back, maybe that’s not the place you want to visit, or maybe you need to continue researching them if their information wasn’t clear.

  3. Go see for yourself

    Even if you’ve planned to go somewhere and arrive to find it’s not what you were expecting and the conditions don’t seem up to your ethical standards — don’t give them your money. Sometimes even after reading, researching and contacting places, you may really only get the answer you were looking for once you visit.

    Or, alternatively, if you do end up going inside the place and find that you don’t feel it’s ethical…feel free to use that little phone in your pocket and use your own experience to help educate others on why you feel that particular place isn’t ethical. That way, maybe future travelers looking into that place don’t give that place their money and they choose an ethical establishment!

  4. Things to look out for

    There are always indicators that something not quite right is going on! Look out for humanized behaviors, like animals riding bikes, or monkey’s boxing — these animals are obviously made to do ridiculous things strictly for your entertainment and probably aren’t experiences the best conditions. And, as we all know, animals would rather be doing what they normally do as animals rather than performing routines for our entertainment.

    Look out for certain interactions with wild animals, like the ones we mentioned above. Tigers and lions and sea turtles and monkeys and dolphins are supposed to be wild animals. They aren’t meant to be played with or cuddled, or be in 1000 selfies a day. We understand that there are legit sanctuaries that are helping to rehab displaced wild animals — but there is always a clear difference in those places.

Resources:

While it is certainly wonderful to use resources, like this episode, to educate yourself, here are a few of the resources we use when we are researching a destination and want to find ethical places to go.

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

WASP: World Animal Sanctuary Protection

Do you have any other tips for participating in ethical animal tourism? Share them in the comments below!

Episode 17: Over-tourism + Instagram

Instagram is a wild thing. Truly, it has the power to bring thousands upon thousands of people from every corner of the world to one specific location. That is a powerful thing. And as we all know from Spider Man, with great power comes great responsibility. There are places such as Vincunca Mountain, just outside Cusco, in Peru which have gone centuries without a single tourist coming to visit. Today, and yesterday and the day before and tomorrow and every day in the foreseeable future, up to one thousand people will go…every single day, because of Instagram.

There are cities which are struggling to keep up with the sheer amount of visitors and are actively trying to discourage tourists from visiting! In a time where cruise ships drop off thousands of people AT A TIME at ports and thousands flock to the same destinations, places like Venice, Barcelona, Reykjavik, and Machu Picchu in Peru are fighting to preserve themselves.

Maya Bay in Thailand had to be closed off indefinitely in 2018 and 2019 as tourists had destroyed the place; leaving piles of trash everywhere, snorkeling until the reef and coral was practically killed off, and all the natural wildlife had retreated.

As travelers, we have come to these beautiful destinations to SEE and appreciate their beauty and we leave them worse off then we find them.

This is not an episode to discourage people to not travel to these destinations, it is simply a guide on how to be more mindful of how, when and where you travel!

How do we travel consciously and make sure we’re not part of the problem?

Listen Below!

10 Things You Can Do On Your Next Trip to Minimize Over-Tourism

Let’s look at Iceland as a prime example

Iceland has blown up in the past few years, with WOW Airlines offering stop- overs and cheap direct flights to the capital city of Reykjavik. Combine that with Instagram photos inundating us with beautiful, otherworldly photos, and certain parts of Iceland have become over-run with tourists.

My sister went in the late 90’s, and it was nearly void of tourists! My grandmother was born and raised there on her family farm at the tippy top of Iceland in Kopasker, and my sister went to work the farm for the summer. The family drove her around the island and showed her the sights, because at the time, there were not many tours offered, or ways to get around if you were just visiting. And that was not really THAT long ago!

Over-tourism and Instagram

Less than 15- 20 years ago there were hardly any tourists; compare that with the sheer volume of visitors they experience now and you’ll surely start to get a grasp on the issue.

The past Statistics

In February 2009, the total amount of visitors from ALL countries was: 395,573 people

From the United States, those total visitors were: 37,061 people

AND, from 2008 to 2009, tourism from the US actually decreased by 22%

The most recent stats

In June 2016, the total amount of visitors from ALL countries was: 1,792,200 people.

That’s quadrupled since 2010!

Just from the United States alone, that amount of visitors was: 415,287 people. And in just 17 years, the amount of tourists from the US alone has increased by 378,226 people.

To give you an idea of the extremeness of this, consider that the entire population of Iceland currently is, 334,252 residents (Iceland Tourism Board).

Soooo, in just tourists from the United States alone, we outnumber the ENTIRE native population of Iceland. So that’s pretty insane.

What does this mean for these countries?

Well, it means a couple of things.

It means neighborhoods are increasing the amount of souvenir shops, bars, and trendy shops for tourists to visit and spend money at. Couple that with the masses of tour buses, environmental damage, and trendy AirBnB’s in certain cities that have caused the cost of locals housing to rise and it’s easy to see why locals in these places are pissed.

Over-tourism in Barcelona

Some cities, like Barcelona, are actively trying to get the word out that they do not want any more tourists; they have spent advertising money on de-marketing the city!

And while cities certainly use tourism as a source of income and something which creates jobs, tourism on this extreme scale has been detrimental to so many places. When thousands upon thousands of visitors are flocking to a single city at a time, you have to consider that these places were not made to hold that amount of people!

A great way to describe it is if you owned a house with 3 bedrooms. Normally, there are 4 people living there, but during the holidays your entire family decided they wanted to all stay in your 3 bedroom house. And suddenly you have 20 people in a space that normally holds 4!

There’s not enough bathrooms, the electricity and water bills soar through the roof, there’s TONS more garbage, there are 20 different personalities and sets of beliefs co-existing, there’s not enough room in the refrigerator for all the food and groceries, cooking dinner for all those people is a pain in the ass, and there’s not enough cars to get all those people from place to place.

It’s the stress of additional people that the home is simply not equipped for. Extrapolate this example, and you have the stress that thousands of people place on a city that is simply not meant for that amount of visitors.

And imagine that some of those 20 house guests you have are just kinda assholes and don’t pick up after themselves, leave garbage all over the place and have no regard for how they leave your home.

Here’s another example from Thailand

There are certain places plastered ALL over Instagram and made famous from television shows and movies — think Dubrovnik, Croatia and Game of Thrones fans. Maya Bay in Thailand was made popular in the movie, ‘The Beach,’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In the movie, Leo was on the search for the most perfect, pristine and secret beach and finally came across Maya Bay.

Over-tourism at Maya Bay

Since the movie, Maya Bay has been consistently over-run by tourists. In fact, the situation there has gotten so bad, that the Thai Government actually had to close off Maya Bay to EVERYONE indefinitely late in 2018 and it is still closed as I write this. Why? Because tourists were fucking trashing the place…literally. There were mountains of garbage there, and so many people snorkeling off of this tiny beach that the coral reef was essentially dead and all the native animals retreated from the hell-hole the humans had caused.

10 changes to make a difference

Well, shit. I bet that’s what you’re thinking, right? Well, shit….what do we actually DO about it? What changes can we, as travelers, make to ensure those beautiful places stay…beautiful? Well, it’s your goddamned lucky day; I already thought about it and here are 10 ways you can make a difference!

1. Travel in the off season

Not only will this save you lots of money as airlines and hotels like to charge up the wazoo for everything during peak season, you’ll also help to alleviate some of the over-tourism issue. If you can take vacation time whenev’s, don’t head to Italy in July when everyone and their fucking mother and children are there.

Over-tourism and Instagram

Italy in September is lovely, it’s also great in the Spring time. There are way fewer tourists, it’s not hot as balls, everything will be less expensive, and the locals will probably be nicer to you because they haven’t been inundated with tourists all day!

2. go to alternate destinations

Be thoughtful about where you want to travel. With an entire world to explore, there are SO, SO many amazing cities and regions that don’t experience this kind of mass tourism that could also use the money and the economic benefit of your tourist money. While we have certainly done the bigger and more touristy places, we are trying to make an effort to visit some towns and cities that are not quite so popular. It makes it difficult when tickets and flights to bigger cities are less expensive and you may have to pay a little more to get to these places.

See! Look how nice Slovenia is; it’s a fantastic alternative!

See! Look how nice Slovenia is; it’s a fantastic alternative!

Here’s an example: Instead of visiting the ever-popular and currently over-run destination of Dubrovnik, Croatia(I’m lookin’ at you, Game of Thrones fans!), look into visiting Ljubljana, Slovenia, just next door. There are amazing parks, the landscape and nature is pretty wonderful and the city of Ljubljana is fuckin’ beautiful and full of picturesque canals.

3. don’t geotag the absolute piss out of special places

There are certain, special locations. There are places in my hometown that locals love to keep to themselves and certainly would cut my head off if I went telling people the exact longitudinal coordinates to. I think it’s totally fine to post pictures of these places and enjoy them, but there’s no need to geotag all of them and let masses of people know exactly where to find (and ruin, might I add) these special places. That’s how we got into this mess in the first place, for crying out loud.

I have seen plenty of people on Instagram who have hundreds of thousands of followers posting photos of secluded areas. In their caption, they’ll say something like, “if you’re interested in visiting this place, send me a DM and I’ll be happy to take you there.” This helps control things from getting out of control and makes the amount of people who seriously want to visit, put in a little more effort and, maybe even, have some more appreciation of these places.


4. wait it out

Both Audriana and I have wanted to visit Iceland for a few years, but kind of agreed we would rather wait until it’s not such a super hot destination. If there’s a trendy place you want to visit, you can always hold off and visit later down the line. And go to a less-trendy, but equally awesome place for your next trip.

Consider a place like Bulgaria that looks…amazing!

Consider a place like Bulgaria that looks…amazing!

Here’s another example: Audriana and I have talked about what we want to do for our next big trip in 2019. And we’ve kicked around a few ideas, such as; Morocco (super popular right now), exploring more of Spain (the Andalucia region), and talked about some maybe less trendy places like Bulgaria or Romania and decided to visit there this autumn.

We would rather wait to see Iceland and Morocco in a few years when the trendiness of it maybe dies down a little bit, hopefully!


5. always, be respectful

This one should go without saying, but I’m going to write it anyway because we see lots of people disrespecting the people and places they are visiting. For example, thousands, if not millions, of people are visiting National Parks every year. Most visitors are flocking to these Parks because of their natural beauty…for their mountains, lakes, river, and picturesque forests. And even though people are going because of their pristine beauty, and to get out in nature, they do stupid shit like leave garbage all over the place. They do backcountry camping and don’t pack their stuff out, or they have camp-fires when they’re not supposed to, during wildfire season and then they start fires.

Instagram's effect on tourism

Something which always helps me, is to remember I am a guest. And just like I wouldn’t go to a friends home and trash it and be disrespectful of their space and home, I apply those same principles to being a guest in others’ home country.

Pick up after yourself, take pride in representing where YOU come from, be polite, and take note of local customs and mores. If you come across a place that has historical, or cultural meaning and there are signs requesting you to stay off the grass, not touch certain things, or to keep your voice down, please do so! You’ll help to preserve these special places and you won’t be the one giving everyone from America a bad reputation as the loud, obnoxious, non-trash-picker-uppers!

6. try to stay in local accommodations, when possible

We love staying in AirBnB’s sometimes. It’s SO nice to have a whole place to yourself, and when you don’t feel like staying in a hostel or hotel, it can be a great budget option, or give you the chance to splurge on an amazing place!

However, businesses like AirBnB have been causing trouble in major cities. With people from all over the world coming and going out of one apartment in a given neighborhood, there can be several issues. As a neighbor, you never know who will be coming and going, nor do you have a say in it.

Another issue is that since having these properties has become so profitable, it’s now a side biz for people. This means there are now large property management companies in charge of loads of AirBnB’s, which means instead of your money going to someone renting out their home while they’re away to make some extra money to cover expenses, many places now are ONLY AirBnB’s, where no one lives there full-time and your money has now gone to someone who manages lots of properties. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I guess it’s not really what these home rental business started out intending to do.

What you can do:

If we decide to book an AirBnB, we do our best to ensure the person we’re renting from only rents out the one property. We do this by clicking on the profile of the Renter, and here you can see how many other properties they have! This way our money is actually helping out that one person and not someone who owns 100 properties in Barcelona and is making bank off all of them and has never lived in any of them.

Other cities, like San Diego, are experiencing the prices of homes shooting up, because of the huge business of ‘home-sharing.’ And unfortunately, these new ways of booking accommodations are kinda ruining locals home towns and making it so they can’t afford to live there anymore.

Another option would be to book accommodations elsewhere. If you’re in Spain, take advantage of the Pensions, which are budget-friendly hotels with basic amenities. If you’re not looking for a super luxury experience and 5-Star resort, there are great local hotels, hostels, Bed and Breakfasts which are owned by a family, and plenty of other local accommodations you can book, in every country.

I’m certainly not saying any of this to sound like a dick, or seem pretentious, but these are all good options to try to help out on the ‘home-sharing’ issue that many cities are experiencing.

7. be aware

Do things like read this blog post ha! Be aware of the places you’re going and take note if they are experiencing any of these issues with over-tourism. You can do research on the cities you’ll be visiting and a simple Google search will get you some more information!

For example, if you’re going to Thailand and know that Maya Bay is getting destroyed because of over-tourism and you have no other reason to go there except because you saw some amazing photos on Instagram…do some research and find another beach to go to! We just did this and found some insanely beautiful beaches that we pretty much had to ourselves — don’t just go to a place that’s struggling with over-tourism because you see it all over Instagram! That’s part of the problem, ya know?!

8. travel with responsible + ethical companies

Pfffff I KNOW how much research goes into planning a trip. Usually if you’re looking for a tour company, you’re looking for the tour that is exactly what you want, the price you’re looking for, and you’ll be reading a ton of reviews to make sure it’s what ya want. On top of all of that, something to take note of, is that not all companies are really helping you travel responsibly or ethically.

Well…what in tarnation does that mean?

Okay, here’s an example. You’re going to Peru and you want to do some hiking, so you’re looking for an excellent tour company to take you through Peru. You want the company to take care of everything; transportation, accommodations, meals, and your 5 Day Trek to Machu Picchu. Cool. And just like with everything, there are good and bad tour companies.

In this example, you could choose the tour company G Adventures. They use local accommodations, transportation, and work with small, locally owned businesses for each portion of the trip. In addition, they were one of the first big travel companies to bring awareness to animal tourism — that is, any place which uses animals as tourism for profit. They no longer take guests on experiences like elephant riding, or petting and snuggling tigers and instead brings focus on places which are trying to preserve and genuinely care for animal that need it.

You can listen to another of our episode’s about Ethical + Responsible Travel, including animal tourism HERE.

9. eat outside the main area

We do this anyway, because it’ll always cost you a shit-load more to eat in the main squares of touristy places! Not only will it be more expensive, it probably will be far less delicious, because most of those places are just looking to make money off of the thousands of tourists visiting and in turn, they are not really that authentic food and drink of the country you’re visiting.

How to prevent over-tourism

AND! You don’t really have to work that hard to get away from these places. Usually, it’s just a few blocks away from the city center that you’ll need to walk.

Consider this: many of the cafe and bakeries near The Louvre in Paris have thousands of reviews on Google and an average star rating of about 3.0 - 3.5. That’s because alllllllllllll these people go to the main areas and eat and drink around there and neglect some of THE BEST bakeries and cafes in the world, because they’re too lazy to walk a few blocks.

And actually, I wrote about my favorite bakeries in Paris. So if you happen to be going, be sure to check these places out rather than those shite ones by The Louvre. You can read it HERE.

Do yourself a favor, and do the city you’re visiting a favor, and eat and drink outside the main area. You’ll get a more authentic and tastier meal for less money if you just walk your butt a little ways down the road!

10. don’t be dumb

If you’re going to places experiencing over-tourism issues, use ya head! Many of these places have signs posted to help preserve the place and keep it awesome for the next people who want to visit. I’ll give you an example, so you don’t think I’m just being an asshole!

Uluru Rock in Australia is considered a sacred site by the Aboriginals (Anangu people) who live there. In fact the Indigenous Anangu people are considered the original owners of Uluru Rock and the surrounding land.

How to prevent over-tourism

There are signs that encourage people to NOT climb the rock, as it is a sacred place. While the climb up Uluru has just recently been prohibited by law (in Oct. 2019), people were still climbing right up that thing! Hopefully that has changed since this law has been passed!

This is a prime example of people not respecting this historic and meaningful area and doing damage to something that has been around for what is believed to be millions of years. There are also ancient paintings on Uluru which can certainly be destroyed by the 300,000 visitors that flock to Uluru every year.

What if you just really want to go to these places?

To be crystal-clear, we’re not trying to discourage anyone from going to these big tourist destinations; if it’s somewhere you have always wanted to visit and have some sort of intrigue about, by all means GO! But keep in mind this issue of over-tourism, make a conscious effort to respect the city and, if you’ll be exploring in nature, or doing some hiking, for goodness sake, clean up after yourself, or others, and mind the rules which are likely there to keep the place beautiful. We are always shocked by people who visit a place because it’s an exceptionally beautiful piece of nature, and then they have no regard for keeping that place beautiful. It’s the entire reason they came there in the first place!! So, I’ll be the first to say it, if you’re going to go and fuck it up and make it less beautiful, please, just don’t go!

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