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So how did you become vegetarian?

(51 Posts)
AmIVeggieNow Sun 24-Feb-19 01:57:42

Obviously not an aibu but posting here for traffic.

So I made a bet for to stop eating meat for 5 days. It’s day 6 today and I haven’t cracked. Usually I eat meat most days, save a few days a month when we have salmon or other fish. I didn’t think I’d be make to make it for full 5 days but here I am! Not even craving meat. On the contrary, my body feels good. Probably psychological but I feel less sluggish. I have actually enjoyed my meat free meals and want to eat more vegetarian meals than meat-based meals. I might even become vegetarian or pescatarian but it’s early days. I might crave a steak in a little while but right now that does not sound appealing at all.

So all you veggies out there, I’d love to hear how you became vegetarian. Was it a gradual process or did you wake up one morning and decided that’s it, no more bacon rolls! 😀

Littlechocola Sun 24-Feb-19 02:16:00

I stopped eating meat. Simple.

IncrediblySadToo Sun 24-Feb-19 02:18:06

Ha ha. People always assume it’s the bacon rolls that make veggies fall off the wagon 🤣

I had wanted to do it for a longtime, but wasn’t allowed at home. I left home and life got busy/fun and very social so it didn’t happen. I didn’t live in the uk at that time and was living in a very meat centric country. Then I booked a flight back to the uk and booked vegetarian meals. Never looked back; never missed/craved/wanted meat. I was vegan for 5 years but I was travelling extensively for work and it was incredibly difficult to the social events required for my job and so ended up back ‘just’ vegetarian.

Graphista Sun 24-Feb-19 02:27:05

I wanted to before I did but mum refused to be cooking 2 meals every night after working a full day which I now accept as perfectly reasonable.

So I went veggie when I started college as I was no longer going to be home for dinner same time as rest of family, was happy to cook for myself or eat out. Parents were also supportive at this point as it was several years later and so clearly not a passing phase.

But essentially yes I was a meat eater one day and not the next. And it was a damn site harder then (over 30 years ago) than now too!

I've since found I believe I'm intolerant to red meat. Within a few months of going veggie stomach problems I'd suffered all my life practically vanished, but there were a few occasions (labelling and info in restaurants not being what they are now) where I was accidentally given red meat products and I was very ill the next day.

I don't find it difficult at all, even though there's a few things I used to enjoy eating and sometimes miss (not bacon though which is the usual one cited) I'm just used to eating like this now it's my normal.

I do get annoyed that some restaurants and ready meal makers seem to think veggie = bland tasteless underseasoned food but I generally cook for myself and give my custom to those who DO make good veggie food.

It's good you've done 5 days but I have to say I'm more impressed by a friend who did veganuary (whole month vegan plus she's a VERY busy working single mium)

What did you find easy and what difficult?

heeblejeeble Sun 24-Feb-19 03:11:33

I stupidly watched a video of pigs being forced into slaughterhouses and they were screaming. Okay squealing but it sounded horrendous, that in the last moments of their lives they knew what was about to happen to them. Then I discovered the Facebook page of Esther the wonder pig (couple bought a teacup pig but she grew to a normal sized pig) and she's so smart and funny and I just can't bear the thought of eating animals now it really turns my stomach. It was an overnight thing just completely stopped all meat and then stopped eating fish about a year later.

Buccanarab Sun 24-Feb-19 03:56:57

@heeblejeeble

Same for me, watched a video of pigs being gassed before slaughter and that was it. Haven't eaten anything from an animal since. Been over 5 years and don't miss it at all.

lljkk Sun 24-Feb-19 04:27:52

I read Diet for a Small Planet so vegtn seemed like right thing to do.
I was vegtn for 17 yrs.
I started eating meat again b/c...
*I was very fed up with people thinking I was an insane animal rights supporter
*Bacon
*some meats in Britain are raised differently from the model that D4aSP assumed (ie, grass fed lamb). The reality didn't fit the argument against.

Also stayed non-veggie b/c it was less thinking & planning, and I was constantly prone to slight anemia while vegtn. A little heme iron in my diet sorted that out. 19 yrs later, DH (does most the cooking) is experimenting a lot with meat-free meals lately. I am making sure to put some meat back in my diet coz I don't want to have the anemia again.

PotatoesAndJelly Sun 24-Feb-19 04:33:31

Aged 11. Felt like a hypocrite because i was known for being the animal loving kid. Just stopped. Family werent helpful but they were all big meat eaters, into game and hunting and fishing.
Im late thirties now and haven't touched it since. Went vegan at 18, give or take a few mistakes ive stuck to that too.

snitzelvoncrumb Sun 24-Feb-19 04:42:00

My 7 year old daughter wants to be vegeterian, she has refused to eat pork for a while. Not sure if it's a phase or not.

Raven88 Sun 24-Feb-19 05:22:55

I had never enjoyed meat and would eat it so it was easier for everyone else. Last year I stopped eating it. I don't miss it, I was only eating it if DH was home for tea or if I was at someone else's house.

Plump82 Sun 24-Feb-19 05:27:15

Id be humming and hawing over it for years due to animal welfare issues and then one day decided today was the day. I find it easy because im a good cook and its "trendy" just now so eating out is easy but dont get me wrong my mouth waters when my partner is tucking into a steak! But i stay strong!

Laura221 Sun 24-Feb-19 06:52:04

I watched vegucated on Netflix over 4 years ago and that was enough for me. I've always felt weird about drinking milk any way. So I went vegan over night and stayed vegan for about 6 months and then went veggie. I'm not Mega strict I allow myself to eat a little bit of fish if we are on an abroad holiday but that's the only time I eat fish now and never meat. I know it's hypocritical but I feel like doing your absolute best is better than doing nothing at all. Also we go on holiday abroad less than once a year. I've actually not eaten anything meat/fish since May 2017 so it just works for me. My parents in law have 3/4 meat free days a week now which they gradually increased and that is massive for them as they are huge meat eaters. Anyway what I'm saying is that's great what your doing and doing your best and if you have a little slip up it doesn't mean that it's all over. I suggest you what some programmes around how the amount of meat affects the plant. Education is great to help connect the dots on something most people don't question as we are mostly all raised in meat eating house holds.

IAmNotAWitch Sun 24-Feb-19 07:35:08

I am not a vegetarian but I don't eat any "obvious" meat and am pretty much off dairy now as well.

I don't check packets and don't worry about stocks and stuff though.

I just went off it gradually, even bacon.

We eat a LOT of vegetables in this house and I cook meat for the family if I can be arsed, but mostly I can't.

For instance tonight I made stew, all of the usual ingredients (including split peas and lentils and barley etc) I just left out the meat. It wasn't veggie though as it had beef stock.

I am happy with this level of meat consumption, I don't think I could be bothered going full veggie. Too hard.

IAmNotAWitch Sun 24-Feb-19 07:37:06

Milk weirds me out if I think about it. Bizarrely though I am A-OK with cream in my coffee. I just roll with it these days. grin

EmpressAdultHumanFemale Sun 24-Feb-19 07:50:27

I was more or less veggie by default & then watched a programme about battery hens, which swung it. I know the logical extension would be veganism but I’m not ready yet.

I never really liked bacon anyway.

DerbyRacer Sun 24-Feb-19 08:04:35

I watched Celebrity Big brother one year when there were a couple of vegetarians in it. Don't know why but it made me decide I wanted to be a vegetarian. I just stopped eating meat.one day and haven't had any since. I think it was 11 or 12 years ago.

DerbyRacer Sun 24-Feb-19 08:08:23

Wow it was actually 13 years ago I became veggie. Time goes so fast.

HoraceCope Sun 24-Feb-19 08:14:51

I was 14 announced it to my mum, she got the rose Elliott bean book and went from there, i carried on until i was about 30 and had to cook for dh, ds and myself, 3 separate meals.
when ds was away recently i really enjoyed just cooking vegetarian meals, dd is veggie. Now tend to cook veggie meals once a week or so.
I dont like steak or lamb or beef burgers and am not really keen on bacon

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Sun 24-Feb-19 08:15:32

I always felt a bit weird about eating meat, and I’d told my parents I wanted to go veggie a few times as a teenager, but my mum had always told me to stop being so ridiculous and eat my chicken grin When I went to uni I was suddenly in charge of making/choosing my own meals, and one day I just decided I wasn’t comfortable with eating meat any more, and I stopped literally overnight. I’ve never felt tempted to eat meat since. I actually think that if you’re an animal lover who eats meat that there’s a fair amount of cognitive dissonance involved. Once you make the connection between the animals you love and the animals on your plate, it’s a bit of a pandora’s box effect and you can’t easily go back.

GirlFliesHome Sun 24-Feb-19 08:15:34

DH became vegetarian a few years back for animal rights issues, then became vegan a year ago. I have continued with meat and yesterday decided 'enough'. So today is my first day!

NameChanger22 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:16:43

I stopped eating meat when I was 11. I just realised what I was actually eating and the thought of it made me feel sick. The thought of eating blood, arteries and bones etc. I've been vegetarian ever since and last year I became a vegan. I do eat some meat substitutes so I can eat things like sausages and mash and lasagne. I cook tofu lots of different ways and I love it. I cook a vegan version of nearly everything. I've never missed meat and now I don't miss dairy or eggs. Cheese was the hardest thing to give up because I was a big cheese lover and vegan cheese isn't that good but I've learnt to make a great vegan cheese sauce.

NameChanger22 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:19:42

My mum also refused to cook 2 meals, so from the age of 11 I cooked all my own food. I think that was a good thing, because now I can cook well.

HoraceCope Sun 24-Feb-19 08:22:50

I became vegetarian because I read that we have enough food in the world to feed everyone but due to feeding animals, to fatten them up for our own consumption, there is now not enough food to go round

NameChanger22 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:24:26

I was a vegetarian for 34 years. I've been a vegan for 9 months. I tried to become a vegan 3 times before, but found it too difficult because there weren't many vegan foods around. This time I found it easy, there are loads of foods for vegans now and I can eat out almost anywhere and buy plenty of ready made stuff when I can't be bothered to cook.

I also noticed that since becoming a vegan I have lots more energy and I feel a lot more positive. I thought it would be the opposite. I would recommend it.

Somuchroom Sun 24-Feb-19 08:24:53

I was 12, I’m 31 now, vegetarian girl in my school. Told me why she was vegetarian and it just clicked. I went home and told my mum I refuse to eat meat.
Became pescatarian when my DS arrived. After 6 years of being married my DH announced he wanted to become pescatarian too, that was 3 months ago. Absolutely no influence from me, he’s concerned about his health rather than animal welfare whereas I was the other way round.

thecatsabsentcojones Sun 24-Feb-19 08:29:28

I was 12 and now 43 so it's been a long time! My school had a farm where you looked after an animal for a year and during that time I realised that the animals I was eating were as sentient as my pet dog. Then my lamb went to market and I thought never again.

Now meat doesn't feel like food to me, just a bit of dead body which to be honest is pretty repellent.

BeBaBoBa Sun 24-Feb-19 08:31:31

I’ve been vegetarian for 26 years (since early secondary school) I didn’t really like meat so just gave it up. It was easy for me as I never once missed it. I toy with the idea of becoming vegan sometimes but a) I love cheese b) it just seems so socially awkward (eating out, eating at friends houses etc) One day I’ll do it!

Frazzled2207 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:32:51

Well done you.
I'm not veggie but have become almost veggie since my dh and ds (aged 5!) decided to become veggie just before Christmas.
Dh's reason is environmental.
Ds just doesn't want to eat animals.
I've stopped buying meat for the family but will have some occasionally when out. It has been a surprisingly easy transition tbh we are enjoying trying out the very good variety of veggie stuff on offer in our local Sainsbury's. So far it seems cheaper too. I predict holidays abroad will be less straightforward.

Personally I think a little bit of sustainable fish is ok if you're following the environmental argument so I'm hoping to get my ds to have a bit from time to time.

Nnnnnineteen Sun 24-Feb-19 08:33:04

I was a big Smiths fan... just never stopped being vegetarian (or being a Smiths fan).

BikeRunSki Sun 24-Feb-19 08:35:10

I was 18, 30 years ago. I just stoped eating meat. DDad didn’t eat meat, so it was t a big deal. I do eat fish now, largely for other people’s convenience. I have never craved meat. Despite being wean on hummus and lentil bake, my own dc are never happier than when they have a plate of roast meat in front of them.

mydogisthebest Sun 24-Feb-19 08:38:48

DH was vegetarian when we met. When we got married I started off cooking 2 different meals. Quickly decided to try becoming a veggie and if I missed meat I would go back to it. Over 30 years later have never missed it.

I never liked meat much anyway. Beef, lamb and pork always made be feel bloated and lethargic when I ate it. The smell of pork cooking turned my stomach. I quite liked chicken but not enough to miss it. Never really liked bacon. I always thought it smelt lovely cooking and then was disappointing to eat.

I love all veg and things like lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts. Also salads so being veggie is no problem. I think there are far more interesting veggie meals than meat meals

IchWill Sun 24-Feb-19 08:41:06

I was 14 (I'm now 42) and saw a documentary about abattoir. I'd always been a huge animal lover, but ate and loved meat and fish. This documentary absolutely horrified me. I told my mum I was giving up meat and she refused point blank to support it, saying it was a fad, so I started to learn how to cook and stuck at it.

A few years later. I was still eating fish and read a quote, I think by Linda McCartney, talking about how fish slowly suffocated after being caught. So I gave up fish that day. (I still miss fish, don't miss meat at all).

Then recently I started learning about the dairy industry, how fluffy yellow baby chicks are ground up alive for being male, how female cows are impregnated (some people say raped) and have their babies taken off them and the female cows are then pumped of milk like some machine, while often the babies are sent off to veal farms.

I then saw a video of a baby cow being taken by a farmer, put into his 4x4 and the mother cow was mooing, chasing after the truck as fast as her legs would carry her, to try and get her baby back. Broke my heart.

So I started slowly replacing my Quorn products, cheese and butter with vegan alternatives, became vegan January 1st in 2018, there was loads of great support as it was Veganuary. I've been vegan over a year now. Wish I'd done it sooner TBH.

My DP is a chef and eats meat, fish and dairy. But as he's open to trying new foods he's become quite partial to a lot of the foods I eat and eats vegan a couple of days a week, he's never going to be vegan though. Which I accept. He's been very supportive of my decision and I respect his choices, even if I don't agree with them.

Finding vegan food is so much easier than a few years back. Shops, restaurants and fast food outlets surprise me daily with vegan options. But sadly there's still times where there is nothing to eat for me.

I'm not a "preachy" vegan, meaning that I tend to only talk about veganism if asked, also I've not been vegan long enough to be any kind of expert. If people ask me, I'm happy to talk about why I follow a vegan lifestyle (it's much more than just the food) and I'm happy for a polite debate. But I do take umbrage with someone noticing I'm vegan by what I've ordered in a pub or restaurant and seeing that as a green light to start attacking me verbally about my choice, often followed by bacon "jokes". Yawn.

Likewise, I saw a man post on a vegan FB page last week, he'd pointed to a shopper's goods on a supermarket conveyor belt and loudly exclaimed to his DP that the man in front was a "murderer for buying chicken", the man in front wasn't happy with this and a row ensued, the vegan came onto FB expecting support and never got it. Got told he's the kind of idiot who gives vegans a bad name.

SallyWD Sun 24-Feb-19 08:50:21

I heard and read a lot about factory farming and it sickened me. I just stopped eating meat overnight. I've never missed it. This was 25 years ago. My body craves vegetables, pulses etc. not meat. I find vegetarian food much more interesting and creative.

GirlFliesHome Sun 24-Feb-19 08:50:44

I saw that post also IchWill. DH is a member of that page.

BictoriaVeckham Sun 24-Feb-19 08:56:48

We watched Cowspiracy and What The Health on Netflix and literally stopped eating meat overnight.

We were HUGE meat eaters and decided we’d cut down for health reasons but actually it ended up being similar to you OP and we just did it.

Body felt stronger and better within days of stopping.

Lots of recipes and easy to buy things in the shops now too. It helped both of us doing it together, dd came around after 6 months and she’ll have what we’re eating at home and chooses herself at school so does eat meat still. And like the other pp, I’m not too particular about stock / ingredients.

Just run with it and see how you get on.

The problem with the vegetarian / vegan lifestyle is that other people seem so critical fascinated in the “why’s” around your choice; that you end self analysing and reflecting on your decision and choice to cut meat and/or dairy out, which turns into justifying it by research. This then becomes “vegans/vegetarian’s are so opinionated” because you hold information and data that makes other people uncomfortable.

Don’t fall for that. If you don’t want to eat meat, don’t eat it.

As other pp have said - health, ethicalness, environmental, taste and cost are all valid reasons to stop /reduce meat intake. Pick your reasons and don’t read too much into it wink

IchWill Sun 24-Feb-19 08:59:01

@GirlFliesHome yes, that vegan OP on FB was a self righteous arsehole. I did wonder if they were trolling though. 😂

trilbydoll Sun 24-Feb-19 09:02:19

DH is veggie, read a few articles and decided he didn't really agree with the meat industry. We substituted Quorn initially but it doesn't work in all dishes. Since Xmas I've tried to cook one proper veggie dish from a recipe book per week, sometimes me and dc eat it, sometimes we don't. He still eats fish so we eat a lot of fish pie!

polkadotpixie Sun 24-Feb-19 09:12:21

I gave up meat when I was 11 due to animal rights reasons. I continued to eat fish until about 5 years ago but am now fully vegetarian

I would like to be vegan eventually and we use vegan alternatives often, dairy free spread, rice milk etc but we do still eat cheese

DH is also veggie and we are raising DS as veggie too. I really hope he chooses to remain so as he gets older

motherheroic Sun 24-Feb-19 09:19:14

I did it because every meal I ate contained meat. I thought that cutting out meat would make me more creative with my meals, but actually all I do now is eat Quorn crispy nuggets and Asda's vegan popcorn chicken grin .

crosser62 Sun 24-Feb-19 09:25:32

I just don’t like meat.
As a kid forced to eat liver and mince with hard unidentifiable bits in and fat/grissle just turned my stomach then and did as I got older so I stopped eating meat at an early age.
A year ago I cut out all dairy too and now follow a plant based diet. Did this for health reasons.
I’m not an animal rights person at all, I just don’t eat animal products.

Graphista Sun 24-Feb-19 20:39:08

Girlflieshome go you! Excellent if you want any tips, recipes or recommendations ask away I'm happy to give those and I'm sure others on the thread will too.

My dad always had similar stomach issues to me but liked meat well enough. The combination of bse, other production scandals and the research on red meat and bowel issues mean he's given up red meat and even the chicken and fish he eats is organic/locally sourced from known suppliers with known supply chains. Much of his stomach problems have gone and he's feeling better for it. Mum went along with him just so as not cooking 2 meals again and has also noticed she's less gassy, less heartburn etc.

"So far it seems cheaper too." Omg yes! Dd also doesn't eat red meat - just doesn't like it (apart from bacon 🙄) I was with a friend a while ago she was kindly giving me a lift back from somewhere and she wanted to pop into supermarket to get for her and other halfs dinner and wanted to do it before dropping me for some reason I forget - nope just remembered it was cos she was buying wine too and needed to buy within licensing hours! Anyway! So I picked up some milk and bits too, found her in the chiller getting admittedly steaks as a bit of a treat £4.50 for 2 tiny steaks!!!!! And meat shrinks too! Stuff that for a lark.

Dd will eat meat when out but I don't cook a lot of meat at home although it doesn't bother me. But again the cooking 2 meals nonsense so dd is largely happy to eat veggie at home and I was surprised to learn she sometimes orders veggie when out too simply because it's something she knows and knows she likes - so there's maybe hope for her yet. I've been asked why I didn't raise her veggie and that's because I felt it should be her own informed choice, I've friends who were raised veggie even vegan and as soon as they could they "rebelled" by feasting on meat. I thought I might have more success taking a gentler approach but ultimately it's her choice.

"I predict holidays abroad will be less straightforward" not necessarily if you're not fussy and you're flexible. I've lived and travelled all over Europe and never gone hungry yet. I gather it's trickier in parts of Asia and Africa but generally you should be ok.

Ichwill yep I've had the arseholes (mostly exs friends) who purely from observing I've ordered a veggie dish start with the bacon and blue jobs bollocks, they're not too bad - the REAL arseholes are the ones who try and "catch you out" "I bet those shoes/belt/bag are leather though" nope "I bet that scarfs silk" etc nope! And they hate not being right!

Crosser62 there were many mainly red meat foods I plain didn't like either which made it much easier. I loathed mince! Which we seemed to have nearly every bloody meal time!

cariadlet Sun 24-Feb-19 20:49:10

I was about 10 or 11. I was having an argument with my sister, she said "If you like animals so much why do you eat them?", I said "OK then, I won't" and went vegetarian on the spot.

That was just over 40 years ago and I've been vegetarian ever since (vegan for the last 25 or so years).

dirtystinkyrats Sun 24-Feb-19 21:01:58

I was 14. I'd been thinking about it for a while but my Mum didn't agree. At 14 I had a major freak out and started dreaming about eating fish and them coming back to life i nay throat while I was eating them. At that point Mum agreed and other than a brief period - maybe 3 months - at uni when I tried to eat oily fish for health reasons - I've been vegetarian ever since so 21 years. I don't wear leather either, check things like wine/cheese/sweets and I don't drink cow's milk. I have my own ethical levels though - so for example I will take prescribed medicines that aren't vegetarian. My kids also aren't vegetarian, however they know I am and they understand why (to an age appropriate level - they are only 4 and 7).

I now have a B12 deficiency though so take vitamins if you are vegan or eat very little meat and dairy.

nomorespaghetti Sun 24-Feb-19 21:20:36

DH has been pescatarian since a bout of food poisoning at a bbq 8 years ago (dodgy chicken wings envy not envy). I pretty much stopped cooking meat at home after that, although I didn't eat that much anyway. I still ate meat out, but since Jan 1st this year i decided to cut out meat (although not fish) for environmental reasons. I've actually eaten meat once since Jan 1st, last month, my sil cooked chicken and i hadn't told her I'd become veggie. But i have started to declare it now. I am cutting down on fish now too, i only really have tuna for sandwiches. All our evening meals are veggie, and I try to do a couple of vegan meals.

Gorse Sun 24-Feb-19 21:27:38

I became vegetarian at age 10, my mother was ok but dad was disgusted, he'd known very hard times, and even when more affluent would pick up roadkill! Anyway, 55 yrs later I'm still vege, and have brought up two children who are vegetarians, their children are, too. I'd like to be vegan but am too weak and selfish to give up cheese.

slippermaiden Sun 24-Feb-19 21:32:16

Well done you! I don't eat what I call land meat but I do occasionally eat fish, so not really a vegetarian, even though most of my diet is meat free. It's better for your health, the animals and the future of our planet. Make sure you are getting enough protein by adding nuts and pulses to what you eat, there's lots of yummy recipes out there x

pourmeanotherglass Sun 24-Feb-19 22:05:16

I went veggie during the BSE scare in the early 1990s. I just stopped eating meat, and found that I didnt really miss it. I lasted 12 years or so, then lapsed when I was pregnant with DD2 as I craved meat. Now DD1 ( age 16) has been veggie for a couple of years and DD2 not very keen on meat, so I cook mostly veggie meals but have meat once in a while when I fancy it.

flirtygirl Sun 24-Feb-19 22:15:18

I had a childhood of being forced to eat meat then my mum was told not to feed me red meat because of eczema. Thank goodness as I hated it.
She had to force feed me and I often went to bed hungry before this.

I don't even like most animals but I would never harm one or eat one.

rosiejaune Sun 24-Feb-19 22:50:01

My mum was vegetarian when she had me. She tried feeding me meat baby food (the rest of my family were omnivores then) but I wouldn't eat it, so I was vegetarian from the start.

I became vegan (15 years ago) after I got an email from the RSPCA boasting about their Freedom Foods egg standards. I remember reading it and thinking "those hens don't sound very free...".

Now I am older and wiser, I understand that speciesism is philosophically identical to other forms of discrimination such as sexism and racism (obviously the practical details differ), so welfare is irrelevant anyway.

sadeyedladyofthelowlands63 Sun 24-Feb-19 23:36:40

I was 20, a boy I wanted to impress was vegetarian, so I thought I would give it a go for a few weeks. 35 years later, I am still vegetarian though I would be hard pressed to remember what the boy looked like!

beargryllshasabigrope Sun 24-Feb-19 23:43:50

I've been slowly eating less meat for a few months now. I keep putting off going fully vegetarian for daft reasons.. eating out might be hard, I like my GMILs roast dinners etc... but after reading through this thread I am going to take the veggie leap as of tomorrow

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