The other day, while sitting at an upscale bar drinking a (well-earned) pint of beer, I overheard a woman a few barstools over ask about a menu item called “Scotch eggs.” The bartender’s eyes lit up and he told her that they were “soft boiled eggs wrapped in chorizo, deep fried, and covered in a bourbon mustard sauce.” The woman sort of squirmed with delight and requested three.
But I had questions.
Who convinces us to eat this way? How is such an option somehow deemed normal? What insidious feats of marketing agility are required to reduce a seemingly intelligent woman to altricial dependence on a menu item defined by animal cruelty and impending heart disease? At what point in modern time did members of commercial cultures lose our sense and sensibility when it came to ordering stuff that assumed our bodies are toxic waste sites? Or did we ever have such judgment?
These questions ricocheted around my mind alongside a related set of thoughts and observations about food choices and the cultural frameworks in which they’re forged. It’s perfectly legitimate to take a sledgehammer of disgust to our vast emporium of fast food options. Chicken nuggets and double bacon cheeseburgers comprise the commonplace target of our righteous culinary disgust and indignation. The Burger Kings and the McDonalds of the world are—HSUS awards notwithstanding—impugned by the foodie elite for the sins of bad taste, environmental degradation, inattention to animal welfare, and esthetic and dietary turpitude. It feels good to trash talk junk food.
Climb the franchise ladder another rung or two and you’ll notice that the cultural condemnation has recently been extended to another type of restaurant. It’s now the Applebees and Chili’s and TGI Friday’s of the world that are on the foodie radar for their faux authenticity, a reality marked by the fact, as Tracie McMillan reveals in The American Way of Eating, nothing is prepared in the kitchen. Everything served within these kinds of restaurants is fabricated in a warehouse before being packaged and frozen and shipped from central processing to the periphery. The “chef,” as it were, need only know how to operate a microwave. This tragic chasm between production and consumption reduces these outlets to the popular status of junk— refurbished junk, but junk nonetheless.
But keep going. Venture a couple of more rungs up the ladder and you’ll eventually reach the kind of place where I sat and drank my beer. Here, amidst tasteful décor and cool music, you might notice that you have quietly passed a threshold into cultural and culinary legitimacy. People are better dressed, looking like they have come from important jobs where they made Big Decisions. You appear to be orbiting in a more refined and dignified world. And by some standards, you are. Indeed, by conventional standards, everything has improved.
Everything in the sense that the rhetoric of foodie legitimacy has becomes thicker than the bourbon mustard sauce smothering my bar mate’s fried egg-and-sausage abomination. Listen to the language spoken therein. The eggs are “farm-fresh,” the sausage “cured-in-house” and the beer I drank was “all-local” (Whale Tail Pale Ale from Nantucket—not bad, actually). The bottles of liquor in front of me have a pared-down design and crisp but evocative names such as “Farmhouse” or “Berkshire.”
But, on closer inspection, nothing at all has changed. Nothing because, beer aside, the offerings on the menu are, when you get past all the rhetorical insulation and architectural flourishing, a load of fried trash just as guilty of perpetuating bad health, environmental degradation, and animal cruelty as the most nutritionally egregious offering coming out of a fast food box. In order to grasp this point, of course, you need a more refined standard. You need a vegan standard.
The vegan standard rejects the charade of rhetoric that characterizes culinary life toward the top of the ladder. In so doing it highlights the need for vegans, armed with our critical standards, to kick down the food system’s ladder and begin to build a new foundation, one based on basic respect for human health and the intrinsic worth of non-human animals. The vegan standard demands that we be critical thinkers and eager activists at once. The vegan standard demands that we eat as if the world could eat that way.
Of course, we are working to do this everyday. As we do so, though, I wonder to what extent our deepest challenges derive from the persistence of mindless American eating habits—which strike me as pliable—and to what extent they derive from something far more challenging and insidious and difficult to hold still and boot in the ass with a rational argument: status anxiety.
Nobody (I think it’s safe to say) is especially proud to eat at a fast food joint. Nobody blogs or brags or talks to friends about the great Big Mac they had the other night. The reason for this reticence is simple: what fast food strives to provide ultimately transcends the art of status seeking. It aims to give us a convenient and cheap dose of short-term pleasure. Fast food isn’t even trying to sell us a story, or offer us a sense of place in the world, or become a marker of our flimsy identity. Its basic endeavor is too pragmatic for any of that. There’s nothing glamorous or terribly damning about succumbing to it as an option. A parent feeding her kids McDonalds is doing so as an acceptable last resort. Such will happen when your meal is advertised in the store window as costing $2.99.
The Applebee’s of the world once offered ways around the status indifference posed by fast food. Spend a bit more money and you are served on plates, with silverware and the accoutrements of higher-class food. The steak has real grill marks and the shrimp are wedged onto the rim of a glass bowl with some semblance of elegance. Napkins are cloth and you are not served through a window or over a counter next to a cash register. But, as I suggested, we’re catching on to the cheap tricks posed by these mid-level restaurants, and as we do it’s left to these stand-alone outfits such as the on where I sat and drank my well earned beer to assuage our status anxiety with the decadent trappings of culinary indulgence. And damn if they don’t do a good job of inflating our egos along with our waistlines.
Vegan and foodie standards are poised to have a face-off, one in which we are judged not by the quality of our rhetoric but the content of what’s on the plate. This must happen. But as we marshal our arguments and hone our message it’s important to keep in mind that at the top of the ladder the battle is as much over the irrational pursuit of status as it is getting an honest meal.
A wave of accessible vegan literature is currently crashing upon us. This is good. Over the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of reading advance copies of three impending (and maybe just recently published) volumes and one book that’s been out for about a year. Not only do these projects complement each other brilliantly, but they each stand on their own as a remarkable analysis in a league of its own. The cause of veganism, because of these projects, is being deeply enriched. It’s hard to me to think of another time when, in such a concentrated moment, so many important volumes on animal rights came down the literary pike.
I will, over the course of the year, dedicate space to full length reviews of each volume (if anyone want to take a shot, I’m always eager to assign reviews). For now, just a mention and a quick sketch. Will Anderson’s This is Hope (which I’m still reading) is the most sophisticated and beautifully written blend of ecology and vegan ethics that I’ve ever read. Will’s vision is broad, and it puts prevalent models of environmentalism to shame. Hope Bohanec’s The Ultimate Betrayal is a piercing look into the moral schizophrenia that underscores the practice of so called “humane farming.” She does an especially fine job of highlighting the depravity involved in cultivating the friendship of an animal you eventually plan to exploit. Sherry Colb’s Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger? offers an extended and fiercely intelligent answer to virtually every objection to veganism that a vegan has had to face. You will be amazed not only by Colb’s ability to anticipate your questions, but to cover them with great insight and wit. Mark Hawthorne’s Bleating Hearts is the most comprehensive single compendium of animal exploitation that exists. Here at EP we tend to approach ethics through considering what’s on the end of our forks. Hawthorne forces us to expand that vision in ways even experienced ethical vegans will find informative and alarming.
We need these books to not only do well on their own (read: buy them) but we also need others to know about them. One of my projects this summer is to find a mainstream media outlet to let me do a multi-book review in an effort to recalibrate where veganism is in 2013. If these books are any indication, it’s a star that is rising.
Last week I wrote about what I thought to be a poor decision on the part of HSUS to give Burger King the Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award for the company’s progress in ending the extreme confinement of farm animals in small crates and cages. My issue was not with the improvements, however nominal, for factory farmed animals (that still end up celebrated and consumed as Whoppers). Instead, it was with the implication, via an award in honor of Henry Spira no less, that less confinement was enough to warrant a public accolade. In other words, my problem was the ongoing failure to explicitly identify a vegan worldview as the ultimate end goal, something I suggested was all too common.
It generated feedback.
This came from Matt Rice, director of investigations at Mercy for Animals:
Big fan of your writing. Not sure if you have ever expressed this sentiment with Mercy For Animals, but one of the many reasons I am proud to work with MFA is because we do make the end goal clear (an end to all animal exploitation), even when praising companies or individuals for making positive strides in the right direction.
You may notice that at the end of any MFA blog post about an incremental welfare improvement, we say the best thing people can do to help animals is go vegan. Example:http://www.mfablog.org/2013/04/breaking-news-canadas-top-grocery-chains-ditch-gestation-crates.html
While we do encourage companies to make welfare improvements, our first suggestion for people who want to help animals on our Get Active page is to go vegan:http://www.mercyforanimals.org/action-center.aspx
On our ChooseVeg.com website, we have an entire page devoted to explaining the humane myth: http://www.chooseveg.com/free-range.asp
At the same time, we realize that our message has to resonate with mainstream, omnivorous Americans. So we are strategic in our messaging. For example, we often start the conversation about veganism with the word vegetarian, because that word is more accessible to most people. More on that here: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/v-word.aspx
My point is I think it is possible for organizations to praise companies that make some improvements, in the same way we may praise someone who takes the first step toward veganism by exploring Meatless Monday, but still be clear that the goal should be to end the exploitation of animals. Although some vegans seem to think we have to say “go vegan, go vegan, go vegan” all the time or it is implied that some forms of animal exploitation are okay, I don’t think that is the message most Americans take away. For example, here is an interview I did with an Ag News Radio station about MFA’s campaign to ban gestation crates in which the host seems to think he could call me out on our “secret” vegan agenda. He was surprised to find I had no problem admitting we want people to stop exploiting animals full stop:http://brownfieldagnews.com/2012/07/19/mercy-for-animals-works-to-abolish-animal-agriculture/
Anyway, I guess I am just saying that it is possible to be strategic with our messaging, but also clear about the end goal. And I think MFA is a good example of that.
HSUS was in touch as well (privately).
They note—and I’m summarizing— that Henry Spira frequently praised companies that thrived on animal exploitation for making progress in animal welfare. The source of the Spira award–or at least the idea of it—came from none other than Peter Singer, who knew Henry Spira well and still oversees the group Henry founded (ARI). HSUS added that Ethics into Action (Singer’s biography of Henry) paints a clear picture of the pragmatic advocate that he was. They go on to add that BK has made very real progress, so much so that it’s been condemned by a number of Big Ag groups. All of this strikes me as quite important, evidence of HSUS effectiveness, and a good reminder that methods of advocacy will never be perfect and that there is no avoiding some level of engagement with the enemy.
But, for the record, I still think a corporate award is going too far, Singer notwithstanding.
I’m sitting here reading Bookforum and came across this description, which struck me as so very apt to my own recent line of thought (aside from the “fortune and fame” reference).
YOU DON’T HAVE TO CONDUCT A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT to see why some philosophers or scientists want to write for an audience cheerfully indifferent to the ways of the seminar room and the strictures of the refereed journal. Beyond the fame and fortune, perhaps more important is the sense that if one’s work is worth doing at all, it ought to reach the widest possible audience, particularly when it bears on issues (religion, free will) with decisive implications for how readers choose to live. Some, I imagine, also relish the bonus frisson of mixing it up in the rowdy rough-and-tumble of the public arena.
Keep reading here.
Work of this nature—Dennett’s and others—needs to be in the public sphere. For one, it allows intellectuals to leave the academic bathtub, where sharks fight over space, and ask that the public engage in a level of discourse beyond twitter and “reality shows.” For another, it brings smart people who are not in academia into discussion that would be wasted in a seminar room.
There’s a famous scene in The Brothers Karamazov where Ivan tells Alyosha a parable. In it, Christ comes back to earth but is exiled by the Catholic church for failing to restrict free will when, fifteen hundred years earlier, he had the chance to do so. The message that Ivan is trying to send to his brother Alyosha (he presents the message as the basis of a poem he’s writing about Christ’s return) is that humans are incapable of handling moral freedom. In turn, they must reject Christ and allow the Church to do what Christ would not.
[F]or nothing has ever been more unsupportable for a man and a human society than freedom. But seest thou these stones in this parched and barren wilderness? Turn them into bread and mankind will run after Thee like a flock of sheep, grateful and obedient, though forever trembling, lest Thou withdraw Thy hand and deny them Thy bread. But Thou wouldst not deprive man of freedom and didst reject the offer, thinking, what is that freedom worth if obedience is bought with bread?
I’m riveted by the passage (book V, chapter 3). It speaks directly and powerfully to a tension that I consider all the time when writing about animal rights: can humans realistically seek universal acceptance of a basic moral truth in the face of a commercial freedom that sedates consumers with a false sense of choice? The aisles of a generic grocery store might appear to be the epitome of what free will can create: abundance, endless options, freedom galore. But as we well know the doors of the store are where our freedom evaporates. We enter and make “choices” that have been predetermined by alien entities that rely on systematic abuse and suffering. The whole act of buying food has become equivalent to Ivan’s reference to humanity’s dependence on bread. We tremble at its loss.
Pondering this paradox, I’m drawn to the idea of prefigurative politics. This term was used a lot during the Occupy Movement as a way to suggest that the movement’s political structure—essentially anarchic—should prefigure the system it seeks to achieve: anarchic socialism. How would prefigurative politics look for veganism? I’m not at all sure, but when I consider how my personal sense of freedom not only expands but becomes more compassionate as I become less enamored and dependent on the trappings of commercial culture, I’m made aware of something critically important. Veganism, which is so often characterized as a sacrifice of freedom, is in fact a radical embrace of it. What Ivan failed to understand is that, by giving up the hidden source of unseen violence, we gain the freedom that, in his biblical telling, Christ entrusted us to use for the purposes of justice.
His answer to this objection might be this passage, which follows the one supra:
But what happened? Instead of taking men’s freedom from them, Thou didst make it greater than ever! Didst Thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil?*
To which I would respond: our current freedom is not real. It’s a chimera. Only in lifting the veil can we recognize and express its truest power for goodness. It’s amazing to think about how the simple choice to not eat animals, in its rejection of the commercial status quo, furthers that noble goal, one that Alyosha, who lives as a monk, would have understood.
NB: My copy of this book, pictured above, was a gift to me in 1987 by my high school English teacher, Bert Mobley. In it, he wrote, “They say if you read this, you’ll know everything you ever need to know. I doubt that but it’s a great book.”
Indeed it is.
*One wonders if Fyodor Dostoevsky had Edmund Burke’s exclamation in mind—”Massacre, torture, hanging! These are your rights of men!”—when he wrote this passage.
This is hard. Some of you may have noticed that pattrice jones left a comment to my last post. She wrote:
Speaking of social justice:
The Associated Press, The New York Times and The Washington Post all restrict usage of the term “homosexual” — a word whose clinical history and pejorative connotations are routinely exploited by anti-gay extremists to suggest that lesbians and gay men are somehow diseased or psychologically/emotionally disordered, and which, as The Washington Post notes, “can be seen as a slur.”
I feel the need to provide context (that, in a way, pattrice was kind enough not to provide). pattrice and Miriam Jones were pivotal figures in The Politics of the Pasture. VINE, the organization they founded, is, after all, what made the story of Bill and Lou a story. In the course of writing about VINE and the women who run it, I reported that they all were, as I was told, gay (this is no longer the case). However, in the book, I used the term “homosexual.” I had NO IDEA that this was a term of derision. Honestly, no clue. However, my ignorance on this point in no way obviates the need for a public apology, which this is. I’m genuinely sorry for using terminology that not only pattrice, but I’m sure others, interpreted as unfair, if not a slur.
Not sure what to say beyond that, other than wallow in the irony that the backlash I certainly expected would come has come from a source for whom I’ve the utmost respect. As I expressed to pattrice in a private e-mail exchange, clearly, despite my intentions, I’ve failed.
All that’s left to do is learn.
A common flaw in many animal welfare efforts is that the proposed welfare measure continue to perpetuate, and in some cases even spawn, forms of oppression that the welfare measures were intended to address in the first place. This paradox can take many forms. It’s often noted, for example, how improvements in living conditions for factory farmed animals–when undertaken without the articulation of the end goal of animal liberation–end up merely affirming the production models that thrive on systematic exploitation.
When I was writing The Politics of the Pasture, this was a theme that I’d hoped to hammer home with ruthless clarity. As if scripted, the actors in the Bill and Lou drama behaved in ways that made it ridiculously easy for me to do this. They exemplified my point (well, not just mine) with a concrete case of oppression of oxen leading to oppression of people.
What follows is a version of a section of my conclusion, followed by a link that will—shameless self-promotion alert!—enable you to buy the book, just released by Lantern Books as an e-book. All proceeds go directly back into this blog.
. . . . . . . . . .
Green Mountain College, from the founding of Cerridwen Farm in 1997 to its decision to kill Bill and Lou in 2012, was seeking to do what it genuinely thought best to do: farm in a way that modeled an environmentally sound alternative to industrial agriculture. The school loved the idea. The students loved the idea. The media loved the idea. It was extremely popular in every progressive corner. Replacing industrial agriculture with sustainable agriculture has become one of the most inspiring goals of the twenty-first century. GMC, through 22 acres known as Cerridwen Farm, aimed to play a direct role in this emerging revolution. As farm manager Kenneth Mulder once said about his Farm and Food Project, it wasn’t just talking the talk, it was “practicing the solutions.” In this quest their identity was tightly sealed. It was an identity, moreover, formed independently of industrial or state involvement in local agriculture.
When animal advocates seized upon a controversy—the decision to kill and eat Bill and Lou—to argue that GMC’s pursuit of “sustainable agriculture” obscured basic moral consideration for animals, an unusually high-profile debate unfolded. That debate explored something that has, for the most part, enjoyed a free pass through an otherwise bramble-ridden landscape of agrarian discourse: the intensifying role of animal exploitation in “sustainable agriculture.” This book has tried to sketch out and analyze the depth and breath of that debate. As I hope has been made clear, animal advocates have made a strong case for not raising animals to slaughter and eat. They have effectively highlighted the ethical problem of killing sentient beings for unnecessary purposes. Repeatedly, and with varying levels of respect, they have demanded, sometimes forthrightly, that this quandary be acknowledged and explained by the advocates of small-scale animal agriculture at GMC.
In response, GMC never provided a serious answer. Ever. They provided excuses, but never did they make a sufficient ethical case in favor of killing the animals they supposedly loved for food they merely wanted rather than needed. More often than not, their primary battle tactic was to hyperbolize a few incendiary comments made by a few hotheads in the animal rights movement and deem themselves the innocent and helpless victim of vicious intimidation. I don’t buy for a moment that anyone at GMC ever felt truly in danger, but, as we’ll see, they put on an Oscar-worthy performance promoting their own victimhood.
As an advocate for animal rights and social justice, I’ve come to believe something very strongly: when a group seeking to reform an oppressive institution (in this case industrial agriculture) does so by relying on the exploitation of other sentient beings (in this case, two oxen), that group will eventually assume the tactics of the oppressors. They will, in other words, take the low road to perdition despite their articulated intentions to elevate themselves in the name of a nobler mission. To put a finer point on it, when a group of agricultural reformers seeks to dismantle industrial agriculture and its state sponsorship while simultaneously encouraging the single most important habit required to sustain industrial agriculture—eating animals—that group will find itself aligned, in the end, with the oppression of industrial agriculture.
Well, we’re at the end. And, in ways that could not be more affirmative of my thesis had I scripted them, GMC, in the wake of Lou’s death and the resulting vituperation that followed, has explicitly and implicitly aligned itself with American agribusiness. Indeed, GMC and Big Beef hopped in bed, divided the world into those who did and did not eat animals, and proceeded to do what those who exploit animals for a living do so very well: they consolidated their power and exploited the weakest.
Perhaps it’s too simple to be true, and I’m sure my failure to adhere to proper norms of language-correctness will be on sad display here, but I’ve generally thought that humans who are in some way burdened with a physical handicap are more prone to empathize with the most vulnerable among us. It kind of stands to reason that those who must deal daily with the challenge of a physical setback would be especially likely to empathize with suffering in general and, as a result, be inclined to help reduce that suffering. This is not to say that having a handicap is required for such empathy. Only that it would predispose one in that direction.
Having said that, it’s not terribly difficult for commercial culture to reduce our benevolent tendencies to hash. And when you meld commerce, animal killing, and charity, forget about it. You would think that, say, a wheelchair bound military vet might have lost the urge to harm others–maybe even innocent deer. Well, come to Texas for a sobering reminder that some of us won’t let the passion to kill animals go gently. Not only can the wheelchair bound continue to hunt and kill, but, in Beaumont, they can do so through the generous acts of charity from 100 students at Kountze High School. As part of a trade class, they recently constructed nine deer stands for the Texas Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Read more here.
Having been alerted to this story, I hunted around for other examples of wheelchair accessible hunting stands. Turns out there’s a whole line of gear called “adaptive wear” that’s designed in part to allow “adaptive hunting, fishing, and camping items for those that have a loss of limb function and/or mobility but who still want to enjoy outdoor pursuits.” One such item is “the Beanstalker Hunting Stand (pictured above). Another is the “E-Z Pull Trigger Assist.”
Amazing how the quest for commercial innovation and the benevolence of charity excuses and obscures human brutality.
How should we situate veganism in the historical flow of time? This question might seem a bit moony but, despite several stellar histories of vegetarianism and veganism, the fact remains that we still know very little about veganism’s place in our dominant intellectual-historical bookshelf. History doesn’t dictate the future, but it certainly suggests what’s possible. So a thumbnail sketch is in order. Ot at least a dusting.
Answering the question is harder than it looks (not the least because I’m no historian of ideas—but ignorance has never stopped me). The Enlightenment—that transformative embrace of liberty and rights and legal protection in the eighteenth century western world—strikes me as the most obvious place to start. It is undoubtedly the case that the decline of tribal and dogmatic religiosity, in accordance with the rise of secular liberalism and the scientific method, established fertile ground for an animal rights turn. From the 1790s through the 1820s in particular, the Atlantic world found itself awash in the literature of animal welfare, with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals founded in 1824. The flip side of the Enlightenment, however, was a perverse confluence of liberty and science, a merging that precipitated, among other developments detrimental to the fate of animals, a hubristic mentality of genetic control buttressed by amoral breeding programs and hybrid corn.
Evolutionary biology, certainly an important outcome of the Enlightenment, provides a similarly cross-eyed frame of reference. On the one hand, beginning with Darwin, it reiterated that our shared physical heritage with animals has emotional and cognitive counterparts, thereby undermining the generally unquestioned premise of human exceptionalism that dominated human thought for much of our brief existence. On the other, the legacy of evolutionary biology was never satisfactorily reconciled with human moral development, a failure than every vegan is reminded of when some knuckle-dragging Neanderthal points to his incisors and declares that “humans were meant to eat meat.”
It remains to be seen if the animal rights movement will find a secure purchase in the post-modern and post-human critique of the enlightenment. There would certainly seem to be potential for great gains to come from a mentality that questions and, ideally, tosses Molotov cocktails at pre-exiting signifiers of power (such as, notably, species) and clears space for a radical peripheralization of the human animal. But the critique as it’s thus far been delivered is scrambled and cold and alienating to most activists without academic tenure and a rare tolerance for stupefying jargon.
Finally, there’s the legacy of deep ecology and the Carson-like environmental tradition. As many vegans now argue, this is the essential tradition, the intellectual loft that fosters a critique of animal exploitation as part of a larger and more humane ethic grounded in warmth for mother earth and human health. The problem, though, is that deep ecology too often yields to shallow environmentalism, leading to such utter drivel as the idea that we can save the earth by grazing cattle and drinking raw milk.
I’m sure I got all this only half right at best. But here’s my last thought: failure to find a secure intellectual legacy isn’t a problem. More so, it’s an opportunity to establish animal rights as a basis for a fundamentally new way of thinking, one that’s able to synthesize the best that these traditions have to offer while laying the basis for something new under the sun.
My book about the Bill and Lou affair at Green Mountain College, a topic covered in great depth here at Eating Plants, is now available as an e-book. The title is The Politics of the Pasture: How Two Oxen Inspired a National Debate about Eating Animals. At the moment it can be purchased on Amazon, but over the next few days will also become available at iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and ebooks.com. And, of course, you can always purchase it at Lantern Books, who did a brilliant job with the project.
I hope you will help me and Lantern Books spread the word. This book covers what I think was a critical moment in animal rights history—the moment when a national discussion finally arose over the troubled intersection of environmental and animal rights ideologies.
I worked every day for many hours on this book for three months without interruption. In some ways, that’s way too fast. But the upshot is an analysis that comes while the embers of this event are still glowing. My passion for these animals remains similarly afire.
In many ways, this is your book. Readers were relentless in their support of my endeavor. I never could have written the book without the constant stream of contacts, news items, tips, and analytical suggestions. As I write this post, I’m overcome with gratitude and inspired by your dedication to the cause of animals. Thank you so much.