Spider Suffragettes and Lobster Labor Leaders

The Daily Mail reports:

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is investigating whether invertebrates - the family of animals that includes insects, spiders and molluscs - should get the same protection under the law enjoyed by dogs, cats and horses if they are kept in captivity.

The current state of the law is manifestly unjust--I triple-dog-dare you to read the next sentence with a straight face:

"While it is illegal to mistreat a goldfish, there is nothing to stop people mistreating pet tarantulas or lobsters kept in restaurant aquariums."

But don't worry, some things with eight arms will still be beyond the long arm of the law:

While [restaurant owners] would still be able to boil the crustaceans alive to kill them, they would have to make sure they are kept in clean, warm uncrowded tanks up to that point.

Similarly, while little boys will not be punished for pulling the legs off a back-garden spider, people with pet tarantulas will have to ensure they are kept warm and well-fed.

More on animal rights here.

Update: The original image expired, so I replaced it with something that demonstrates the appropriate human love for our invertebrate friends. 

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  • Episiarch||

    Similarly, while little boys will not be punished for pulling the legs off a back-garden spider...

    Does anyone else find that as chilling as I do? The fact that punishing kids for kid stuff could even be considered so matter-of-factly?

  • highnumber||

    Dear lord! Cue the loonies.

    For the record, I agree with whatever I am going to say about animal rights.

  • ||

    Similarly, while little boys will not be punished for pulling the legs off a back-garden spider

    Not now; give it 20 years. Then is will seem as obvious as the daily weigh-in (currently slated for implementation in 2012.)

  • ||

    My wife would take up arms and enter into armed insurrection against the state and federal government if cockroaches could not be slaughtered and maltreated with impunity.

    Just so we're all clear on that, you may now return to the arachnid discussion already in progress.

  • Ashish George||

    Reason writers seem not to have any opinions on animal welfare issues. Instead, they have variations on the same smug sneer. A good debater takes on the best opinions people he disagrees with have to offer, not the worst. But instead of actually addressing the issues Tom Regan, Peter Singer, Matthew Scully, Gary Francione and others bring up, Reason gleefully highlights actions undertaken with the intent of alleviating the suffering of animals with a knowing nudge to its audience, as if to say, "Get a load of these guys!"

    Here is an empirical question Mangu-Ward didn't bother to address: Are tarantulas or lobsters developed enough to appreciate the difference between congested conditions and those more closely appriximating those they would find in the wild? I'm not saying that they necessarily do, but that would be a good thing to know, especially if you're mocking people who believe they do.

    Meanwhile, plenty of animals we know have very real suffering spend their entire lives in misery for the sake of burgers and pork chops.

  • ||

    KMW, just to be clear, there is absolutely nothing at all untoward or inhumane to you about, say, someone having a tank of blue crabs, periodically deliberately yanking off one or both of the claws for food, and returning the live crab either to the tank or to the sound to regenerate it's claws?

    (as a North Carolina waterman once semi-seriously described to me, though I might guess it was a way for a local to yank the chain of a vacationing youngster from the north. It is true that NC watermen keep crabs in tanks around the time of molting to harvest them as softshells)

  • ||

    Pity the lobsters, they don't like being in a small tank surrounded by dead lobsters walking, smelling of their own fear and shit, living every minute waiting for their world to end in a cosmic cauldron of steaming death.

    Oh wait, that sounds like my typical day at work.

    When you animal-rights nutbags realize that HUMANS (also animals) are suffering far worse fates RIGHT NOW (suffering which you seem to extract such exquisite pleasure from witnessing), I will listen to your blather with more than a sarcastic ear.

    You figure out how to stop misery and needless suffering amongst your own kind before you fuck with my dinner.

    This post is making me hungry.

  • lunchstealer||

    While [restaurant owners] would still be able to boil the crustaceans alive to kill them, they would have to make sure they are kept in clean, warm uncrowded tanks up to that point.

    Emphasis added. I'm not sure these people know where Lobsters are from. They live in the oceans off Maine. Water temperatures there can get quite cool naturally. A warm tank seems to be wildly inappropriate.

  • highnumber||

    epee for the cheese,

    That's pretty cool! I wish I ate shellfish. I'd get a crab tank and harvest claws whenever I got the hankering.

  • ||

    While [restaurant owners] would still be able to boil the crustaceans alive to kill them, they would have to make sure they are kept in clean, warm uncrowded tanks up to that point.


    Not to rain on this parade, but unless that lobster is of Caribbean descent, it ain't gonna like it "warm". Maine Lobsters come from cold, deep waters. Just sayin'

  • ||

    Damn you ^# !!!

  • ||

    Oops, yet again, I fail to hit preview.

    Damn you Lunchstealer!!!

  • lunchstealer||

    Does this include camel spiders? If so, kwais is in trouble.

  • Ramsey||

    Lobsters are carrion eating ocean spiders, I bet they prefer wallowing in overcrowded tanks and fairly nasty water.

    Reminds them of feeding time.

    seriously, lobsters and shrimp clean up the stuff that sinks to the bottom, not nice clean tank food.

  • lunchstealer||

    Kwix - Oh yeah, I forgot about Carribean lobsters.

    And blue crabs deserve what they get. Have one pinch your toe unexpectedly and see what I mean.

    ^# - err, epee for the cheese?

  • Sandy||

    When swimming off Dominica, I found a bunch of lobsters all huddled in a small hole in the coral. Should they be punished? And if so, can we punish them by boiling them alive and serving them with spicy curry?

    That being said, I'd like the parents to smack the kids who pull legs off anything. The state needs no involvement, but it needs to not get in the way of their bottoms being warmed.

  • ||

    highnumber,

    Can you not eat of the shellfish? If you are not medically barred, I highly recommend them. Why the wife and I had some broiled shrimp and bay scallops just last night!

    lunchstealer,

    He means gorgonzola's foil. Or cheddar's saber.

  • Sandy||

    ^# - err, epee for the cheese?

    Yeah, foil != epee.

  • ||

    I'm clueless about animal rights. No you shouldn't torture them without reason, I'll concede that. But when Pixie and Dixie invade an animal rights supporters dwelling, what do they do.
    I suspect peanut butter bait followed by SNAP!, followerd by [with handwringing] "Why can't someone build a better, more humane, mousetrap?" Don't get me started on headlice or crabs (pubic type).

  • highnumber||

    ProGLib,

    I don't eat shellfish as a choice. It's a quirk.
    I don't eat the pig, either.

  • Post-Neanderthal Pedagogue||

    Sandy, great way to teach weaker beings compassion, reduce their resentment, and to trust adults.

    What was that they teach in kindergarten? "Use words."

  • lunchstealer||

    I am ashamed to say that I now own a couple of foils and a lame', but it is absolutely not the case that an Epee is anything like a foil or a sabre. Screw right-of-way.

  • ||

    no kids at home, eh P-N P?

  • ||

    Sinners:
    Leviticus 11:10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

    Just as bad as being queer. Please pass this along to all your freinds who say the Bible condemns homosexuality.

  • ||

    Is it a religious thing? I once dated a girl who said she didn't care about the Jewish dietary restrictions, all the while eschewing pork and shellfish. Coincidence? I think not.

    Pork and most shellfish are, incidentally, two of the best things you can consume.

    J sub D,

    Does that mean no swimming?

  • lunchstealer||

    J sub D - Somebody's way ahead of you.

  • lunchstealer||

    Is it a religious thing? I once dated a girl who said she didn't care about the Jewish dietary restrictions, all the while eschewing pork and shellfish. Coincidence? I think not.

    I would just like to point out that if sewer rat tasted like sweet potato pie (better than pumpkin pie) I would eat the filthy motherfucker.

  • ||

    Lobster- Buy it before they ban it!

    /sarc

  • Single Issue Voter||

    "Pork and most shellfish are, incidentally, two of the best things you can consume."

    Amen

    Chourico and clams. Bacon and shrimp.BBQ and oysters.

  • TLB||

    I think with this post, I've finally figured libertarianism out: it's a work of "performance politics", solely designed to "bookend" the political spectrum between itself and pacifist loons on the other end.

    The only thing remaining is for Reason to admit it.

  • ||

    lunchstealer - only if you keep them warm and well fed and read to them at night and let them stay up to watch Seinfeld re-runs and make them butterscotch cookies and rub their backs and NEVER spank them for being bad and let them die of old age and give them a proper Christian rite of the dead.

    And recycle their nasty matted pelts to use for throw rugs.

  • highnumber||

    Not religious exactly. Difficult to explain, but I haven't eaten pork or shellfish knowingly for about 10 years.


    lunchstealer,

    Are you telling me that the crossword puzzle writers are wrong re: foil = epee?

  • ||

    TLB - huh?

  • ||

    God wouldn't have made pork and shellfish so darned yummy if he didn't want us to eat them.

  • MJN||

    TLB - don't you mean "PerformancePolitics," "PoliticalSpectrum," and "PacifistLoons"?

  • M||

    God wouldn't have made torturing people so much fun if he didn't want us to do it.

  • ||

    I don't eat the pig, either.

    Wait what? No Pork?

    Aren't you from the Chicago metro area?

    For Shame!!

  • Fluffy||

    Leaving lobsters to one side for a moment, tarantulas are fucking monsters that should be killed on sight. The fact that sickos have decided to keep them as some sort of trophy pet means nothing.

    If a wild tarantula walks up towards me, I can smoosh it if I want. So how in the hell can we say that you have to be nice to it if it somehow talks its way into the house?

  • ||

    God wouldn't have made pork and shellfish so darned yummy if he didn't want us to eat them.

    A-Fucking-MEN ProLib!

  • ||

    TLB,
    What about Mexican lobsters that sneak into our waters, should we send them back or eat them? What about IllegalLobsterImmigration?

  • ||

    Wouldn't eating a Mexican, Carribean or Canadian lobster be taking away American lobster's jobs?

  • ||

    I recently stopped eating things I wouldn't feel comfortable killing and butchering myself. Lobster and all of their shellfish brethren are in the "very comfortable with killing and butchering" category. Yummy yum yums!

    Did you know that in Maine you can get soft shell lobster? You eat the whole damn thing. That sounds like heaven to me.

  • ||

    Did you know that in Maine you can get soft shell lobster? You eat the whole damn thing. That sounds like heaven to me.

    If I go to Randolph Carter's heaven when I die-- that would be pretty cool

  • ||

    J sub D - Somebody's way ahead of you.
    lunchstealer - Nah, I'm just leading from the rear.

  • ||

    What about IllegalLobsterImmigration?

    Good name for a rock 'n roll band.

  • ||

    Indeed, my heaven would be one packed with all-you-can-eat buffets and no risk of exploding like that guy in Seven.

  • highnumber||

    Chicago Tom,

    All the best Chicago food is beef:
    Hot dogs, Polishes, Italian BEEF...

    The next time you order a pizza (thin crust, natch), try it topped with Italian beef and hot giardiniera. (if the place knows what they're doing they drain the oil from the giardiniera and put it and the beef UNDER the cheese. Very important - otherwise the toppings dry out.) Whenever I'm with a large group and we order a few pizzas, they alway insist on ordering more of the pork-topped pizzas, like two large sausage and/or pepperoni and we'll get one medium Italian beef for me and the bastards will discover how great mine is and devour it and leave a bunch of the pork uneaten.

  • ||

    I had heard that some restaurants stab lobster and crab with a sharp knife between the head and thorax just before dropping them into the pot in order to minimize the suffering. Does anybody have any verification?

    Even if I'm wrong, I'm not giving up lobster [on the rare occassions when I can afford it.}

  • Robert||

    So-called Italian beef is just boiled beef with a Chicago mystique. I couldn't figure out what they thought was so great about it all the time I lived there.

  • ||

    "Pork and most shellfish are, incidentally, two of the best things you can consume."

    One swims in its own shit and the other shits where it swims.
    What does it mean?

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Aresen,

    Some restaurants dismember/butcher blue crabs while live before cooking them. Garlic crabs and some Asian dishes are prepared in this manner.
    A cold water bath first minimizes the thrashing.

  • ||

    "God wouldn't have made pork and shellfish so darned yummy if he didn't want us to eat them."

    But God says in the bible not to eat them. Did you ever think, just maybe, God was saving them for himself? God gets hungry to you know.

  • ||

    All the best Chicago food is beef:
    Hot dogs, Polishes, Italian BEEF...


    Highnumber:
    ALthough I admit that those are some tasty treats, I must say that I rather also enjoy:

    Pork Chops/Pork Chop Sandwiches, Italian Sausage (preferably mixed with Italian Beef), And Pizza isn't Pizza without a Pork Topping (preferrably pepperoni) -- Although your Beef/giardinara sounds terribly delicious.

    Fuck -- Im hungry now.

  • ||

    My menu for this weekend's visitors: crawfish and crabs Friday, two boston butts Saturday. I hope no animals suffer any pain in the production of our culinary extravaganza. At least I won't be killing the pig personally.

  • ||

    Boiling head first is a pretty humane way to go: the lobster "passes out" almost immediately, especially if they are kept near frozen before cooking (as they should be for culinary reasons and because it keeps them pretty sedate) and then put right in the boil.

    But there is the restaurant technique previously mentioned that's even better:
    http://secretlifeoflobsters.com/blog/2005_12_18_archive.asp

    (included for those that actually care about reducing the sum total of suffering in the world, as opposed to snarking about the very idea)

  • Urkobold™||

    "Pork and most shellfish are, incidentally, two of the best things you can consume."

    One swims in its own shit and the other shits where it swims.
    What does it mean?



    THAT THEY ARE BOTH GOOD SHIT.

  • ||

    Pork and shellfish are delicious. I love the idea about God wanting to keep them for himself.

    ^#, you're right about beef in Chicago. It's amazingly good; good enough even for this Texan to approve. Maybe I just went to really good restaurants, but even the Radisson snack bar hamburgers were excellent. Also, the pizza sounds delightful.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    While [restaurant owners] would still be able to boil the crustaceans alive to kill them, they would have to make sure they are kept in clean, warm uncrowded tanks up to that point.



    From "A Clean, Well-Lighted Tank," by Ernest Lemmingway

    "What did he want to kill himself for?"

    "How should I know?"

    "How did he do it?"

    "He plunged into a pot of boiling water."

    "Who pulled him out?"

    "The cook."

    "Why did they do it?"

    "Twenty-three dollars a pound."

  • ||

    lt;nitpickgt;
    Since this story concerns the British Department of the Environment, you should have spelled Labour with a 'u'.

  • lunchstealer||

    ^#, I run across the exact opposite problem. "Hey, let's make sure we have a couple of pepperoni pizzas" "Naw, we just need one, let's make sure we have a supreme pizza, and a hawaiian pizza, and a bbq chicken pizza, and a cheeseburger pizza, and I guess if lunchstealer insists we can get a pepperoni." There are always leftovers of the non-pepperoni pizzas, but the pepperoni is all gone before I'm done, and I have to eat some foul, non-pizza (no pizza has pineapple or chicken as a topping, so any 'hawaiian pizza' is more properly termed 'pacific island-style cheesy flatbread with italian sauce').

    Clearly, however, it is permissible to build a pizza using only beef-based meats, so there is no objection to the pizza you describe.

  • highnumber||

    lunchstealer,

    I feel your pain.

    Add one of my Italian beef pizzas to your order. They'll eat that before your pepperoni.
    Crap! No f'ing way you can get one of those outside of Chicago. Sorry.

    BTW, you're right about acceptable ingredients.
    Notable exception: Q's in Hillside, IL makes a chicken parmigiana pizza (topped with chicken parm sliced up plus ricotta cheese) that is one of the best pizzas I have ever experienced. (He'll do veal parm, too, but the chicken is better on the pizza.) If you go, also try his cheesecake. I don't eat sweets. Cheesecake, when I do eat sweets, is not one of my favorites. This guy's cheesecake is not to be missed. Plain, no fruit, no chocolate, nothing. Wow. Wow. Wow. It's good.

  • ||

    Now THAT'S HOT. Eat your heart out gruel Paris :>

  • Rick Santorum||

    I WARNED ye, but did you listen? Ack, no, it's just a harmless little bunny, idn't it?

  • ||

    Pinchy would've wanted it this way. My dear sweet Pinchy. No more pain where you are now, boy. Oh, god, that's tasty. I wish Pinchy was here to enjoy this...

    Oh, Pinchy...

  • Urkobold™||

    THE URKOBOLD NOTES WITH FAVOR THE AESTHETIC CHOICES OF MS. MANGU-WARD.

    ALSO OBSERVE THAT EVEN LOBSTERS ENJOY CLASS MAMMALIA.

  • ||

    Yowza! Who is that in the new image? She's absolutely gorgeous! Looking all alluring like that, the sun shining softly on her exquisite carapace... talk about wanting a piece of tail!

  • ||

    I'll be honest, I read this entry just because of the hot chick in the picture.

  • Urkobold™||

    THE URKOBOLD READS HIT & RUN STRICTLY FOR THE ARTICLES.

  • crustacean||

    She's absolutely gorgeous!

    The lady looks very pretty too.

  • thoreau||

    And the 69th comment in this thread is by a crustacean.

    Make of that what you will.

  • M||

    I may have missed it while scavenging this thread, but have any of you nephropidaphiles (sounds like a perversion involving a minor's kidneys, doesn't it?) learned about hypnotizing the lobster by setting it upright on the kitchen counter and stroking its underbelly (or whatever that's called) upward from tail to head several times before dispatching it to a higher plane? This is said to reduce its adrenaline - or the marine equivalent - and yield a discernably sweeter meat. You can tell it's working by the lobster's ceasing to struggle. That's from a NY Times article of long ago (I kid you not).

  • ||

    M,

    When I cook a lobster, I give it an opportunity to fight me, mano a mano, without weapons. If the lobster wins, he doesn't get cooked.

  • M||

    But do you?

  • VM||

    *prints out M @June 26, 2007, 11:20am.

    I'll be in my bunk

  • M||

    VM, I'll send the marine equivalent.

  • ||

    M got 69 with the new image...

    Sweet.

  • ||

    Correction...crustacean.

  • M||

    Well... actually...

  • M||

    ...it's easy to turn red on this site.

  • ||

    Granted, I let the picadores deal with the lobster first, but don't think that I'm not in danger when I take several passes from El Langosta. Or when I go in for the kill over his pincers with my sword after some brilliant cape work with my muleta.

  • ||

    Wouldn't eating a Mexican, Carribean or Canadian lobster be taking away American lobster's jobs?

    There's already an organization working to combat this outsourcing...

    http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/press/releases/press-release-buy-wild-american-shrimp

  • ||

    Ashish George | June 25, 2007, 5:36pm | #

    I agree.

    -All you other heartless pricks can pound sand.

  • ||

    Oh, and nice pic. Good lord.

  • M||

    Pro, you remind me of an Italian children's story about a tiny girl who bests a cockroach in a fencing duel, and in exchange for sparing his life (IIRC) gets him to hold still while she paints different parts of his body bright colors. Weird, but not quite as disgusting as it sounds. That may be when I lost my curiosity about science fiction though.

    Bon appetit.

  • VM||

    [She]...gets him to hold still while she paints different parts of his body bright colors

    *prints that out

    I'll be in my bunk

  • ||

    Are tarantulas or lobsters developed enough to appreciate the difference between congested conditions and those more closely appriximating those they would find in the wild?


    I think so. I've heard that lobsters eat themselves from the inside out when kept in captivity too long, which is why their weight is an important consideration in relation to their size.


    Aresen,

    I have also heard that the most humane way to kill a lobster is to swiftly stab it in the neck, between the head and the thorax. Just stab it in it's fuckin' neck.


    Also, I should note that I heard both of these factoids from a German romantic comedy/drama film called "Mostly Martha" which has just been remade in the United States and renamed "No Reservations" (starring Katherine Zeta-Jones and Abigail Breslin). I haven't seen the brand new US remake yet, but I guarantee it won't be as good as the original German film from 2001. If anyone plans to see "No Reservations", definitely see the original version first (the title in German is "Bella Martha").



    cecil | June 25, 2007, 6:19pm | #
    lunchstealer - only if you keep them warm and well fed and read to them at night and let them stay up to watch Seinfeld re-runs and make them butterscotch cookies and rub their backs and NEVER spank them for being bad and let them die of old age and give them a proper Christian rite of the dead.

    And recycle their nasty matted pelts to use for throw rugs.




    cecil,

    Are you discussing the proper way to raise children? :)

  • lunchstealer||

    AB also advocates placing the lobster in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before boiling. Its nervous system will be so shut down that it will die before it re-awakens.

  • lunchstealer||

    Oh, and hinum, an Epee is similar to a foil, but a foil is lighter, wired a little bit differently, and most importantly has significantly different rules for competition. Foil target area is only the torso, excluding the head, neck, arms, and legs. Also if your opponent starts an attack against you, and that attack lands without being in some way neutralized by you, they get the touch even if you counter attack and hit them before they hit you (this is called 'right-of-way'). Epee has no such rule, meaning that if you start an attack, you'd better be damned sure you can finish it before they hit you, or they'll get the touch, regardless of who started. Also the entire body is target from head to toe to hand.

    Sabre is different in that touches may be scored with the blade or tip (foil and epee only allow the tip), right-of-way applies, the target area is from the waist up, including arms and head, while the fencers may walk on their hind legs for short periods of time, they do not truly walk upright, and make extensive use of their forelimbs for locomotion. They have, however, been observed using tools, although it is not known if they evolved this behavior on their own, or are just immitating epeeists that they have seen.

  • Kobra Kai||

    SWEEP THE LEG!

    but Sensei, it's epee.

    SWEEP THE LEG!

  • highnumber||

    lunchstealer,

    Thanks for the mostly illuminating info. Which do you prefer, foil or epee?
    When I got halfway through the second paragraph I suddenly thought I had dozed off and woken up reading something completely different. Thanks for the brief mindfuck.

  • ||

    highnumber,

    I prefer a broadsword, such as the claymore, which allows me to bludgeon my opposition with authority.

  • ||

    After all, there can only be one.

  • highnumber||

    If I see a fencer, I avoid it if I can. I give the fencer every opportunity to avoid me. If I do encounter a fencer at close distance, I remain calm. Attacks are rare. Chances are, I am not in danger. Most fencers are interested only in protecting food, children or their "personal space." Once the threat is removed, they will move on. I remember the following:

    Identify myself

    I let the fencer know I am human. I talk to the fencer in a normal voice. I wave my arms. I help the fencer recognize me. If a fencer cannot tell what I am, it may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing fencer is usually curious, not threatening. I may try to back away slowly diagonally, but if the fencer follows, I stop and hold my ground.

    I don't run

    I can't outrun a fencer. They have been clocked at speeds up to 35 mph, and like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. Fencers often make bluff charges, sometimes to within 10 feet of their adversary, without making contact. I continue waving my arms and talking to the fencer. If the fencer gets too close, I raise my voice and act more aggressive. I bang pots and pans. I use noisemakers. I never imitate fencer sounds or make a high-pitched squeal.

    If attacked

    If a fencer actually makes contact, I surrender! I fall to the ground and play dead. I lie flat on my stomach, or curl up in a ball with my hands behind my neck. Typically, a fencer will break off it's attack once it feels the threat has been eliminated. I remain motionless for as long as possible. If I move, and the fencer sees or hears me, it may return and renew its attack. In rare instances, particularly with black fencers, an attacking fencer may perceive a person as food. If the fencer continues poking me long after I assume a defensive posture, it likely is a predatory attack. I fight back vigorously.

  • ||

    highnumber,

    The fencer problem was solved in Raiders of the Lost Ark, some twenty years ago.

  • M||

    *prints

    That may be when I lost my curiosity

  • VM||

    (assists with clean up)

    (similar to stain removal after carpet humping)

  • M||

    That may be when I lost my lunch

  • highnumber||

    If I were you, I'd have a word with lunchstealer about that.

  • Urkobold™||

    URKOBOLD HAS LOCATED THE PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE WORK IS FEATURED ABOVE.

  • lunchstealer||

    Highnum, Right of way is an authoritarian regime. All good libertarians are epeeists.

  • ||

    I had heard that some restaurants stab lobster and crab with a sharp knife between the head and thorax just before dropping them into the pot in order to minimize the suffering. Does anybody have any verification?

    They stab them with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beasts.

    /obligatory

  • highnumber||

    Ooooh! "Hotel California" = the only good thing the Eagles did.

    And that line is a reference to Steely Dan.

    /also obligatory

  • casey Skinner||

    all i can say is nice boobs

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