News

ABC, easy as 123, simple as do re mi, pls set the animals free.

Warning: graphical description ahead. 

My first thought when I read this article was “they’ll just shape the law to make “animal abuse” an arbitrary, meaningless term. This will never work.” I feel so jadded.

When animals in cages smaller than their wing span isn’t considered abuse what is? When forced vaginal entry and permanent fornification until insemination/lactation isn’t considered abuse what is? How are they intending to measure this to determine abuse – will efficiency, profit, quality or quantity of meat/dairy/eggs/produce be factored in? Just what exactly will and will not be classified as abuse?

The entire process seems so horrifically abusive that to have any compassion at all for the animals the entire industry would be shut down. Since that isn’t likely to happen via this potential new law it can be argued that their concept of what is and isn’t abuse will be skewered.

Summer Tay.

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Day 102: Blackfish

After many months of knowing about this documentary and hearing of it’s amazing eye opening cannot look awayness I have finally got around to watching the doco known as Blackfish. For those who live under a rock, Blackfish is a doco about Orca whales, focusing on those kept in captivity. The main location is Seaworld, Orlanda USA but also includes other locations, countries and companies. The big question in the movie is why did the Orca Tilikum kill his trainer?

It’s like taking a Chinese man who speaks only Chinese and an American woman who speaks only English, then torturing them, starving them, using twisated logic of blame sharing and cruel and unusual punishments, playing sick mind games with them to the point they even turn on each other and kill their own. Forcing them to play tricks at the sound of a whistle or a flick of the hand, just to recieve the bear necessities of life.

The whales come from all different areas of the globe. They have different languages and so would not be able to understand each other and communicate. They come from different family and community backgrounds, which means they have never seen the other whales before they are placed with them and have limited to no friendship with the others they are surrounded by. They are a large animal kept in a tiny enclosure. They are used to having an entire community of whales around them and the entire ocean at their dorsal fin. Instead they have a tiny enclosure, with random others who speak not their language, stuck within the small confides being unable to break away and get space when emotional.

when they took away a mother Orcas baby, she cried for so long, calling deep cries that in the ocean would have spread as far as a whales pitch could, searching for her baby. The other female whales tried to console every few hours, but quickly ran (swam) away again. Noone had ever heard the whale make much noise at all, let alone anything like the noise she made when they took her baby away. Her greif was clear and peircing through the video footage.

Imagine being stuck in a broom closet, with a person from the other side of the globe, unable to speak each others languages, and you find you guys don’t particularly like each other. You’re both being tortured and underfed daily and the only meal is the same thing every single day. And you only get fed if you do exactly as they say. The two of you are pitted against each other every day for training, making you despise each other even more. When you have a baby, they do the same to the child, for a while. Then they steal it from you and sell it.

As for the trainers, they have their own story. Almost all of them are picked very young, around 19 years old. Always beautiful and friendly. Always very naive and trusting of the company. Always uneducated and oblivious to the actual life of a non-captive orca.They don’t know that Orcas live much the same life span as a human at 60 to 100 years old – int the wild. In captivity it’s 25-35 years. Trainers are taught to say that is how long they live in the wild. In the wild less than 1% of the orca population experience a curving of their fin. In captivity all of them do. The trainers are taught to say that 25% of wild orcas experience it. And the trainers believe all of this, because as far as their youthful and trusting ways are concerned why would Seaworld lie? 

There is something else the trainers don’t know. Every time a trainer has been injured or lost their life doing their job around the animal, there has always been a perfectly good and reasonable explination. Trainer error. An accident occurred. When you’re fresh to the job you genuinely believe that this is how the person whose job your taking had passed away. It’s your first day on the job of a billion childrens dreams, you’re not asking questions. You’re just so happy to be here. It’s when you’ve settled in that you quickly realise these aren’t really your friends. Friends don’t lunge out of the pool and try to kill you. It doesn’t take long for it to happen to them or a coworker. The orca lunges out, grabs a trainer by the arm or foot or, possibly, the ponytail, drags the person under the water and doesn’t let go. The trainer dies. The theme park calls it ‘trainer error’. The other trainers know damn well that it wasn’t. The theme park lied.

Trainers are getting seriously injured and killed. Orcas are getting tortured and killed.Seaworld is fighting to keep things this way. They don’t want safety precautions. They don’t want animal rights. They don’t want to have to give accurate information to the public or to their own staff. And if you think like dear Bindi Irwin does that Seaworld a) takes care of the animals and b) provides accurate information in regards to animals to inform and entertain the public, then I’m sorry you’re wrong. I really am.

These animals are dangerous only in captivity. In the wild, they love humans and want to be our friends. Except when we’re chasing them down and stealing their babies in front of them, cutting open the ones that die from the process, filling them with lead and dropping their carcass back in to sink to the bottom of the ocean.

I’m sorry this post was a little late, but I had much to say. I too am now boycotting Seaworld. If you haven’t seen Blackfish, you should really watch Blackfish. I swear you won’t regret it.

Summer Tay.

Day 89: Zombie Apocalypse Survival – Options And Strategies

The Zombie Apocalypse is here! You’re freaking out! They seem to be everywhere, but they walk super slow. You judge you have 5 minutes left in this place in which you are in (maybe your own home, maybe a friends, maybe – god forbid – you’re shitty work place, heck maybe you’re in the supermarket getting groceries, decided to check your wordpress and got this special bulletin and when you looked back up, dammit if it wasn’t true, zombies be everywhere. After 5 minutes however, they will start coming through the entry ways. Within 7 minutes they’ll be in every space of the place.

Naturally you have thought about this before and have already figured out a trusty weapon or two to use when required. You now have the task of grabbing supplies and determining where, if anywhere, you’re going to go from here. Which food, drinks and medicine did you grab? Why those ones? And where to now?

Somewhere with maximum survival opportunity. Where do you go? Remember you’re two key factors here are 1) safety, and b) food (and medicine) supply.

In 3 months time, you are still alive, still doing what you gotta to survive. Where are you, and what does your food supply look like? The Walking Dead prison + garden scenario, The Governors gated commune – with armed people going out to scavenge as required, An army stronghold or a government base, your bomb shelter, go to the Winchester and have a pint whilst waiting for it to all blow over, or boarded up in your own home occasionally risking your life to grab more supplies?

Would a vegan diet be more or less feasible in a zombie apocalypse? Would your diet change and move toward or further away from being plant based? Here are the pros and cons as I see them:
Meat eating
Pro: They’ re technically everywhere. There are cows just down the road from me. Not very well fed cows, but they exist, and if I were so inclined… in Australia we also have snakes, crocodiles, many different fish life (if you choose to stick near the water), we even have many dogs, cats and birds.

Con: They get sick easy. Eating them increases your chances of many diseases and health conditions which have suddenly become a lot harder to help fix, like heart attacks.

Pro: it has protein.

Con: if you have to hunt it, you are actually taking your mind off- not on – what is around you. By hunting another animal you leave yourself vulnerable to attack. Don’t believe me? Then think back a few years to that time a certain vice president shot his lawyer in the face whilst hunting. The reason (he says) this happened is because you’re in the moment, you don’t notice much around you as you focus on the kill. Unless that was a lie and he really just wanted to shoot the guy in the face. He was a lawyer after all. Either way, see how this hunting business could be a bit dangerous?

Con: meat requires cooking to be eaten. That means lighting a fire/using some form of cookeryness that is bound to attract zombies.

Megacon: If a flesh eating zombie curse did break out among the earths populous it seems likely that it happened via food. The most likely food source to cause such an epidemic is meat. Or am I biased here?

Vegan diet
Pro: you can store a lot more vegetables when you run than you can meat products – it doesn’t weigh as much. Then once you get there, you can use what you have to cultivate more. Even one bulb would do. It is very difficult to get animals to procreate, and you forget running with Betsy the cow in your hands.

Con: variety of fruit and vegetables would be hard to come by. Eating a salad is boring enough sometimes, imagine being stuck at an onion farm? It’d be enough to make you cry.

Pro: growing fruit and vegetables can be done indoors and quietly, which means it is much safer for those who have settled into a place.

Con: some fruits and vegetables are poisonous. Can you tell which ones which? Because I can’t. Mushrooms might just go off my menu. Sadness.

Pro: They’d make the place smell much nicer. Add a bit of colour.

Pro: can be eaten raw. If you’re in a less than peachy place and cannot cook, this is perfect for getting you through.

EpicPro: fruit and vegetables would not require to eat your food in order to survive too.

Epicpro: fruit and vegetables have more nutrients in them than meat, meaning your body will be harder, better, faster, stronger.

After much consideration over the course of a few hours looking into different zombie movies and TV and how they survived I have decided to remain vegan during the apocalypse.

What do you think? Something I’ve missed? What would you do and what would you eat when the dust is settled and you’re still alive and realised you’re in it for the long haul?
Also, in the event of an Apocalypse, I think I’d put extra care to grab medicine that others find particularly important for their survival, such as asthma medicine and the like. Make it much easier to find a friendly face to barter with or keep new companions alive. At least until people figure out how to use their diet for that.

To making like the Bee Gees,

Summer Tay

Day 86: Home Economics (High School Edition)

Ever thought high school left you in want? Math – when have you ever used algebra in real life? Science – understanding why adding mentos to coke makes it blow up. Did they think we were going to sue this as a skill in real life? Is there something they know that I do not? Until the zombie apocalypse happens I don’t see how this knowledge is important in our everyday lives. 

Home economics. The structure of the class (as I remember it from my humble public high school days) was you choose your recipe the week before. You then purchase the ingredients (parents a grumbling about the cost along the way), lug them next to your vulnerable text books and writing pads in you already over stuffed back pack and bring them to school. You store it in the schools fridge until class (hopefully there is room for all you kit) and when it is time, go back and get it all out again in a cluster of 30 other people scrambling to grab theirs too. You cook you food, you clean your dishes,and then the teacher comes around and tastes everyones food and grades them on how much they enjoy it. Then you store it again until home time, run back to the fridge at 3.15 when you remember it’s there, beg the bus driver at 3.20 to let you on with food (again. This happens every xday, why cant he just let you on???). Awkwardly stink up the bus with your foods for 30 minutes then walk it all the way up the steep hill to your home. Good times. 

What I feel is missing. Nutrition. Understanding personal nutrition and meal needs and ability to out knowledge into practice (from grocery shopping to cooking methods). Knowledge of food industry practices from dairy to junk food ‘restaurants’ to agriculture. How to find out the actual nutrient value of non labelled food (fruit and vegetable. Just because the standard nutrient of apples is x, doesn’t mean that the apple you picked up from the grocery store or even from you friendly neighbourhood food market has x nutrient it. Also explain to them why.). Standardized testing.

The Theory. 
The students learn their bodies personal factors from bone density, metabolism, allergies and personal taste preferences.Then they make a meal plan based of their knowledge of food and beverage and their own personal bodies. they will also need to express nutritional figures and explain their choices using rationale. Then the teacher, who will also be a nutritionist (we’re swamped with underemployed nutritionists here so that shouldn’t be hard) will grade them on how well they completed one, and give advice on what they ought be doing. 

Learning to understand your own body and its limitations is important at that age.  I personally doubt anyone gets harassed more openly or are more unabashedly, insensitively scrutinized by their elders, peers and everyone else about their meal habits and appearance as when they are in  high school. The damage from inappropriate dieting can be devastating. 

Practical
Cooking skills. Each cooking class should have a standard recipe. Simple to make ,very few ingredients and cheap to buy ingredients for because lets face it, these kids will either go to uni or enter lowest level employment at a fraction of minimum wage because they’re under 21 (and those guys only get a percentage of minimum wage) and they’re not going to be affording much for a while. Then grade them on how well they followed the method of cooking. Grade them extra marks for things that show ingenuity and creativity. But most importantly have a standard grading system for each one that makes the grading fair and is comparative to others. 

Multiple Choice + Essay.
For this test I would have them watch a documentary the week prior to the test.
A multiple choice including everything they have learnt. 
Essay.
1. A person is sick with x disease, what meal do you make them, whats in it and why that meal?
2. Make a hypothesis based on movie x, explain the documentary and why you feel it supports this theory. 

Students should also be taught about the food industries. What are the practices of the agriculture side? The dairy side? The meat side? The Corporate side of things. Should we care if Nestle ties to force their formula on 3rd world countries, or that palm oil fiasco? Should we care that the *junk food companies created a union for its industry to fight any government regulation they dislike (even at the expense of the people)? What about the addition of GMOs? Should our schools be teaching our children to look out for these things when determining what brands to buy? This is the sort of knowledge I feel would be great for a M.C. test. Each term a different doco is selected for testing. The manuscript for the movie is available online. Print off for students who learn better reading.

How does this relate to being vegan? How many children do you think will be vegan – or at least vegan-curious – if they watched Food Inc, Earthlings or even read about the meat industry killing practices? How many people will cut down on meat when they realise how it is affecting their health or even weight? Even those sporty sports who want to be best of the best will feel their ears prick up when they learn how much better they would be on the field without meat. The “I only get A+’s” crowd will get to feel more superior as their brains become stronger and smarter and increased concentration and memory on a vegan diet. Everyone gets moderate their own body effectively and become impervious to looks based teasing. It’d be very liberating. 

As a non-mother, non-education related worker with no official background in nutrition, what are you thoughts on my suggestions? Like them, dislike them, see issues or holes in the theory, or have your own you’d like to throw in the mix? 

1st day of high school was like magic: Pick a crowd, any crowd…

Summer Tay.

*What? You thought corporations were anti union? Nooo not at all! They’re against you having a union. 

Day 72: The Raw Diet (Is Disgusting)

Raw meat is now a thing. What the what? A news article today claims that, of all people Natalie Portman is an advocate? I’m not that much into celebrity “news” but even I managed to hear about her being vegan(ish – there was that time with the pregnancy [I like me a little less for knowing this]). Less surprising and more believable is Gordon Ramsay and the articles claim that he too is down with the sickness of eating raw beef and raw chicken. Never heard of salmonella? What about e-coli? Maybe if he got a good diet he wouldn’t be so angry? *hint hint, nudge nudge* :)?

This diet, if popular long enough, could cause an uproar of how meat is natural and healthy fr human consumption. At least temporarily. Then the sicknesses would start surely?

Surely people have tried to do this before. Has anyone been successful? Has anyone kept track of success to failure ratio and life expectancy (and life joy expectancy in comparisons)? This guy. He has tried every diet under the sun it seems, and has become his healthiest on a raw meat diet. A diet he has sustained for 5 years and counting. I warn you, hopefully before you click the link, that the picture you will undoubtedly see if you click it is a shocker. Lets just say, British circa 1500’s teeth, that’s all I’m saying. He brushes his teeth with animal fat. This guy has a girlfriend. I just…stunned.

Is he an exception? Why is this diet working for him? I want studies (respectfully done of course) of this guy done to find out why he seems to be at his optimal on such a diet. I don’t mean to be mean but, that is not normal. I’m sorry, but that fridge, and those teeth, and the smoothie of blood and internal sheep organs. I want to never eat again.

I’m sorry but I cannot get behind this. He needs to be checked, he needs to be given alternatives that will work for him and maybe some surgery or something to fix what is going on there and figure out how on earth he survived this long on that diet.

What I don’t know is where are the other examples? Did they die quickly from it and not get noticed, or did they simply not become known for it, or is it simply a very new fad that aside from this one guy has never really existed at all before? Have to admit, if I had a diet that was that extreme, I probably wouldn’t tell people.

To the non vegans who read this blog, if the diet did become a full on famous thing, would you fancy some raw sheep brain? Would you drink that smoothie? Is this a plausible thing society at large will do or just a trumped up crazy thing that exists that has given the newsplaces a story more swallowable than the wars happening, the economy crashing or what to do about unemployment?

To the grossest diet I have ever seen in my entire life, and to trying to turn one of the worlds most famous chefs vegan,

Summer Tay.

P.S. If you didn’t already do so, before clicking the this guy link, you may want to grab a bucket. Fair warning.

Day 53: Future Plans / Restaurant Ridiculousness

Today was yet another sushi train day. The options are reasonable: some weird pumpkin and carrot thing that tasted good, some random thing that we think was grilled eggplant, vegetable goyza thingies minus the goyza sauce because alcohol, and then the tiniest slice of ginger which I was trying for the very first and last time tonight. The face I made had my friend falling off of her seat (at least one of us found it humourous). The only other options I remember in the pre-made vegetable area were inari (a fried tofu stuffed with rice), the standard avo in rice, cucumber in rice, and some weird thing that freaked me the hey out. It looks like it’s vegetables wrapped in a thin white sheet of rice, but first the eyes think it looks like a tiny, white, bumpy man part / evil alien egg about to pop (depending which one of us you ask). I literally jumped back when I saw it.

UGLYvegetarian_Suhshi_HVS

Do you see it? Do you see what I mean?

We came up with the perfect plan. After we move in together, we will purchase a sushi making kit. Once we have mastered the art there-of, we are buying a fully functioning moving model train set. Much sushi will be made, then placed on plates that will then be balanced on the train. Then we sit in the middle of the train set and grab whichever sushi we feel like eating as watch low budget Japanese horror films (the best kind). Ok that last bit about the horror movies I came up with by myself – but it is going to happen. Huzzah home made sushi train!

SUSHItrainforthelounge_HVS
It will look a little something like this, but in the lounge room. If successful further tracks might be built to have the train reach the kitchen (a sensible next step) followed by the bedrooms and maybe the bath tub and then, if we have one, the balcony (gotta make the neighbourhood jealous).

In semi-related news, I came up with a new name (and a theme) for my/our/the vegan pizza store. PJ Pizzas. Can be spelt Pjzzas. You can set it up like a regular pizza restaurant, but the catch is everyone has to come in PJs or bedtime attire including restaurant staff. Appropriate ones. If you don’t have any, or don’t have any on because you’re a walk in or something like that, then you can rent/buy a onesie from the restaurant to wear over your clothes. The restaurant will have an assortment of styles and sizes for the young and the older – dinosaurs, chickens, even Pikachus and Stitches if we can. Point is, no PJ = no pizza. Feel free to steal this idea if you’re thinking of opening a restaurant of any kind, just remember me if/when your restaurant become super famous and they ask you where you got the PJ idea. You got it from me 😀

In completely other news La Brana was (presumably) lactose intolerant. In case you missed the news this morning, La Brana is the 7000 year old guy found in La Brana region of Spain. His DNA was perfectly preserved and has been tested. He also was very dark skinned yet had peircing blue eyes – making him one of the first of human kind to have mixed african and european features. He ate meat, wore fur, and died with his hunting utensils around him. He died at 30 years old. It has been added to my to-do list to research the average life span and the common diet and lifestyle of cultures back in the day, before modern medicine and modern science told us things and kept us alive. Back when all we had was food and lifestyle to determine our lifespan and the only knowledge and culture we knew was our own, grown from those directly around us. This idea is either really boring, or really brilliant (or really done before by ever other “genius” who has just gone vegan/health conscious and is researching it). Will let you know how that goes. Eventually.

To eating pizza in pikachu pjs in the middle of a public place,

Summer Tay.

P.S. If you were interested in seeing more of the model train set shown above, you can view the full article here.

P.S.S. If you happened to be at sushi train tonight and noticed 2 girls singing and seat dancing to Spice Girls Wannabe followed by Britney Spears Hit Me One More Time, that totally was not my friend and I.  We definitely did not go on a nostalgia trip of our 90’s childhoods in a busy sushi restaurant. You are thinking of some other people.

Day 40: Dominoes Goes Vegan (+ pretty please sign a petition?)

Dominoes has a vegan pizza now 😀 Wonder how much delivery costs from Israel

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Everybody don’t forget to sign the petition to save the Great Barrier Reef. It is a national icon and world treasure. The plans the Australian Coalition Government has with Coal Seam Gas industry CEO billionaire Gina Rinehart (+ key others involved) is to frack (literal term, not a euthanism for fu**) the Great Barrier Reef. Once they have completed this, they will then dump the toxic waste into the middle of the reef.

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This is fracking, and it is being protested worldwide for the intense amount of pollution it creates.

They are going to kill the reef and every living organism in it is what I’m saying. And they will have a government permit allowing them to do so.

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Cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to sign this petition to stop the fracking of the Great Barrier Reef. The coast, the state and the country rely on tourism – both national and international – so every signature is relevant. For the good of your planet, or for the good of your next holiday to Australia, please sign the petition :D?

Sign one, sign em both, stand up for the reef.

Greenpeace: http://www.savethereef.org.au/

World Wrestling Federation Wide Fund (WWF): http://www.wwf.org.au/our_work/saving_the_natural_world/oceans_and_marine/priority_ocean_places/great_barrier_reef/

Feel free to prod all your awesome friends to sign these too, we can save this reef, every voice counts 😀

Summer Tay.

Video of the Great Barrier Reef: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPieAVuKv5c&feature=player_embedded

Day 39: Great Barrier Reef

The first thing I ever heard of Tony Abbott trying to do once he got into power was hand one of Australias and the worlds most iconic natural beauties over to the non-renewable resources industry – Gina Rinehart, coal seam gas (CSG).

Image                           “I’d work for $2/day, and so should you. Your job: get fracking”

His plan is to secure Gina a permit to frack Abott Point. Abott Point is situated 25K north of Bowen, QLD. She will also be allowed to legally, deliberately, dump all of the toxic and general waste into the Great Barrier Reef, in another section of it, thus killing it off even faster.

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Lively coral on the left, death and emptiness on the right, and an unimpressed looking guy. he seems to be holding a nice camera. I hope his livelihood isn’t about to be destroyed.

As informed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority the area to be fracked and the area for the fracking waste to be dumped are both inside and a part of the Great Barrier Reef – a national treasure and a world heritage site since 1981. It [the toxic waste dumping ground] is also 50Ks from the Whitsundays (a very gorgeous place to be. For now.).

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Which would you be proud to have as your national heritage?
Which one would you pay to see in person?

Does it even need to be said that this will cause the already fragile ecosystem down there to die? The entire coral reef will cease to exist.

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Marlin: “Honey, they’re taking our home, it’s time to move out”.
Mary: ‘But Marl, Coral is the only home we can survive in, where else could we go?”

Marlin: “…fu**”.

This decision – aka the granter of grants to do whatnots with the GBF – was made by Federal MP Minister for the Environment (and Flinders Victoria) Mr. Greg Hunt . What a coincidence his name also rhymes with his personality.

According to Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche,  the decision to frack the GBR out existance is a fantatsic one, and according to the Brisbane Times he claims he has used the weight of scientific evidence to put us ahead of “increasingly hysterical environmental activists”.

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“Wow, wow, back up the truck, what did you just call us? Penny stay back, I’ll take care of this.”

Mr. Michael Roche can be reached at Level 13, 133 Mary Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

The Honourable Mr. Greg Hunt can be reached at his main office at Shop 4, 184 Salmon Street, Hastings, VIC, 3915. His postal address is PO Box 274, Hastings, VIC, 3915. His official electoral post is sent to the parliament office, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 260.
To contact Mr Hunt by phone you can reach him on (03) 5979 3188 (fax: (03) 5979 3034) if he is at his main office, or on (02) 6277 7920 (fax: (02) 6273 7330) if he is at parliament/official.
His email is Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au.

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Goodbye my love, for tomorrow, I can no longer come here, and the next day, you will be dead”.

If you are in QLD, let them know you don’t approve of your states tourism going down due to these plans. If you’re an Aussie let these guys know you don’t approve of your national heritage being destroyed. If you’re not an aussie, let these guys know if your not ok with this happening, and how it affects your visiting plans and your impression of Australians.

Image                                  The Mandarin Fish. Guess Iron Man Fish won’t have to worry about you anymore.

You can also petition here: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/coal-seam-gas/great-barrier-reef/save-the-reef. We only have January left to stop this from happening.

Please help us stop this. It’s not too late, not yet. Please help.

Summer Tay 😥

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I was looking forward to going to the reef this year. Too bad, we’re closed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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I’d have that face to if I was in his position. Oh, wait…technically I am. :/