The Pig Vigils

Late night vigils in the Los Angeles area to bear witness to some of the millions of innocent beings heading to slaughter.

Episode 33 – Transcript

Good morning from Seal Beach, California. Wake up, everybody, this is episode 033 of the Two Vegans on a Mission Podcast! Thanks for joining us today!

We’ve got three new vegan restaurants to review, plus three animal rights activities to tell you all about, and a wonderful interview with Jesus, an activist I met at the cow and pig vigils here in the Los Angeles area. It’s an action packed episode, so grab your vegan snacks and here we go!

Podcast Introduction

Welcome to the Two Vegans on a Mission Podcast. I’m Louisa, and together with my husband, Michael, and our dog, Sugar, we’re traveling and living full-time in a Winnebago Class C motor home visiting animal sanctuaries and animal rescues all across the country. Each week, we’ll share what new camping spots we’ve found, what great vegan meals we’ve eaten, and our latest vegan outreach activities.

So, please join us as we strive to inspire, educate and support you in your efforts to be vegan.

Dockweiler Beach near Los Angeles

So, as you know, we came back into San Diego from the north, so as we were heading down south we got to spend one night at Dockweiler Beach Park, which is right on the beach. It’s a wonderful spot if you enjoy seeing the ocean right out your window, and you are parked in a parking lot, basically. There are no trees, but you get to have the wind in your hair, and you get to see the ocean right there, and smell it.

Then you get to walk right on the boardwalk, which is really concrete, but you can walk down the length of the beach, and you can walk your dog on that part, but not on the beach itself. But then you get to see all the people enjoying the beach. There’s big campfires out on the beach itself, not right next to the RVs, so your smoke alarm won’t go off like ours did one time when we were at the beach in San Diego.

But this is the first time we ever stayed at Dockweiler Beach. We enjoyed it, but one thing you do need to know, they do close the gates at night, which is nice, because that’s a good security thing. But what happens is if you leave, like we did, because we went to the pig vigil and didn’t get back in until about midnight, and we’ll tell you about the Pig Vigil in a minute.

But first, when we got back from that it was about midnight, and the gate was closed, and people were not able to get in. So, I got out of the car, walked over to the gate guard, and yes, he said, oh, if you’re in the RV park, he would let us in.

So, it’s not really a problem, but it looks like it’s all locked up and that you can’t get in at night. No worries, you can. You can also get out, but it’s hard to get back in because you can’t go in the out because of the things that come out and poke out your tires.

So, just know there is a gate guard in there. He’ll let you in.

So, we liked it a lot. It was kind of expensive, but again, it’s California beaches, and what do you expect when you’re in the heart of LA, which is why we stayed there, because we could get over to the Pig Vigil without going all the way from San Diego.

So, Michael’s going to tell you all about the next place that we stayed at, which was the next day. We went down to San Diego, and we could only find a place at Admiral Baker Field, which we had never stayed at before.

It’s really fun, because this is the place where we went to when we were first thinking about getting an RV. We kind of wandered through and looked at peoples’ RVs from the outside, and said ooh, maybe someday we should get one of those!

And we got a tour that one time from a lady and her husband, who saw us kind of looking around. It was really fun meeting people who were very excited about being in RVs and being on vacation. And so, we knew that we could always stay at Admiral Baker Field if we needed to.

Well, this time around there was no room over at Fiddler’s Cove, nor did we want to stay all the way up at the place at Camp Pendleton, at Lake O’Neill, which is our other favorite place. So, we stayed at Admiral Baker Field, and it’s the same price as over at Fiddler’s Cove. So, if you like water and the marine layer, then Fiddler’s Cove is the place to go, but if you can’t get in, you can go to Admiral Baker’s Field, and Michael is going to tell you what that was like.

It’s always grateful to have a good place to stay in San Diego, because it’s such an expensive place. It’s beautiful, and hard to find RV parking.

The Navy has a gigantic recreational area, and then Admiral Baker’s Field actually has a giant picnic area, they have swimming pools, and they have a magnificent golf course that are heavily used. In addition to all that, they have an RV park there.

They have 53 sites, $40 a night. They accept big rigs. They have all of the electrical hookups, water, showers, a dump, a laundry, they have internet, and they also had cable, and they say they’re pet friendly. We found that it was really centrally located to all the places we wanted to get to in San Diego, right? Being there in Mission Gorge. You have Fashion Valley near there. You have excellent access to all of the freeways, and we had a wonderful stay there!

I mean, it was quiet. Sometimes, in the morning, you could hear the golfers starting to tee off, but other than that it really was an enjoyable stay.

So, if you’re in San Diego, a couple of military options, of course, are the Fiddler’s Cove, where we’ve stayed several times, and now we will add Admiral Baker’s Field to our list of places to stay when we’re in San Diego.

So, this time I want to give a shout out to our new friend, James, who told us all about the Besties Grocery Store up in Los Angeles, which was really fun to go to because it is all vegan. Everything in there is vegan, so you don’t have to ask the persons who work there can we buy this, or is this what we should have? You don’t have to read the labels because everything has already been read for you.

So, we really enjoyed going to Besties. We thought it also would have food that we could buy to have for dinner, so we went there hungry, but we did get a hot dog. Both of us got hot dogs. Michael got one with sauerkraut, it was a Reuben hot dog, it had sauerkraut, and it was a very tasty hot dog, not burger. And I had a hot dog that didn’t have anything on it. It was just a plain hot dog, so I put mustard, and relish, and onions on mine.

And we don’t usually east this kind of food, but because you’re in LA, and they have so many options for fast food, we were headed over to the Cow Vigil, and I’ll tell you about that later. But, we stopped at Besties Vegetarian Market in Los Angeles. So, stop there and go shopping if you’re in the area, which gives you the heads up that when we return to this episode, we’re gong to talk all about the food we ate. So, stay tuned.

The southern California area, of course, is a Mecca for vegan options, vegan restaurants, to be exact, and so we are having a ball going to different ones.

Black Bean Restaurant Review

The first one we came to on our way from the northern part of the city down to San Diego was in Fountain Valley, and it was called the Black Bean. We were very happy to find it. It was in the same parking lot as the Anytime Fitness, where you know, if you have been listening to us for a while, that we like to use the Anytime Fitness whenever we need to shower if we don’t have an adequate shower in the park.

So, we went to the Anytime Fitness, and then we said hey, look, the Black Bean restaurant is right there. So, we had a wonderful lunch, and Michael will tell you what we had.

The Black Bean restaurant is located in Fountain Valley, California, and they have a pretty cool mission statement. This is a 100% vegan restaurant, and they state that they “offer convenient, reliable fast food, free of guilt. It’s backed by their devotion to avoiding meat, dairy, eggs, and animal cruelty, also to lessening our ecological footprint, gas emissions, and global warming”. Wow, that’s a lot for a restaurant, but they really believe in everything what they’re doing!

So, we had a combination of a Black Bean Burger, and then we also wanted to try something different, so tried the Beyond Meat burger, and we had a side of sweet potato fries. Interesting enough, although I’m concerned about the Beyond Meat burgers, it was really delicious. It had lettuce, onions, and a spicy sauce on it, and I thought that was more delicious than the standard black bean burger.

Once again is a 100% vegan restaurant. Everything in the restaurant is plant based. We also had snack of a black bean brownie. So, when you’re in Fountain Valley, please stop and support these 100% vegan restaurants!

It was a little bit pricey. Again, since they are few and far between, they tend to have to raise their prices a little bit. Our hope is that as these restaurants become more available and popular that the prices will start to come down more.

I totally agree. I think that from now on we should only do our reviews at 100% vegan restaurants, because, quite frankly, I don’t want to support restaurants that still kill animals or use dead animal products. Maybe they don’t kill them specifically themselves, but they are contributing to the problem. So, I think that we should only support 100% vegan restaurants from this day forward.

In that regard, the Black Bean is a great restaurant with burgers and fries. I think there were milkshakes there too, but we didn’t have one of those, and then they had other things you could drink, and they had a really yummy sauce that they made that was called honey, but it wasn’t really honey. But, it was made from some other kinds of sweeteners, and it was very tasty. So, I recommend the Black Bean in Fountain Valley next time you’re looking for a hamburger.

But, on another note, when you’re looking for a breakfast, stay tuned for the review of our breakfast stop.

The Oasis Restaurant Review

So, we had to get up early and drive on over to the RV warranty spot, and that meant we got to have breakfast out, which is unusual for us, because we like to sleep in, and then get up and make our own breakfast. But we looked around, and we found a wonderful restaurant called The Oasis in the middle of the Mission Gorge area of San Diego. It’s actually on Murphy Canyon road.

So, we went in there, and now it was kind of hard to find because it’s in an office building, but has plenty of parking in front of it. Once we entered we were greeted by a lovely woman who gave us the menu, and we told her we were vegan, so we’re looking for which items were vegan on the menu. It was a little difficult to figure out at first because they have lots of things to choose from, but we did find some ideas, and she gave us some tips. And also, her son was the chef, and so we were able to meet him in a little bit.

But first, I want to tell you that we ordered the avocado toast, which is my favorite thing to do, and it was delicious. We sat out on their patio because we had the Sugar girl with us, and they didn’t mind that at all. It was a beautiful morning. The avocado toast had chili flakes on it, which I think were an added plus, and they really added nice flavor.

I had a vegan burrito, which had tofu scramble. It also had vegan chorizo, and it was very spicy. What really made their meal special, they gave us a free plate of home fries, which was just absolutely delicious, with a variety of spices!

And also, the chef came out and asked us what he could do to make the menu more appealing to vegans. So, we suggested at least having a separate menu for vegans, so they wouldn’t have to go through his full, delicious menu looking for vegan meals. Shout out to Chef Ramzi for making it a wonderful morning! We had a great breakfast, and they really went out of their way to make us welcome at his restaurant in Mission Gorge.

Evolution – Restaurant Review

Another restaurant that we were able to enjoy this time, when we visited in San Diego, is called Evolution. It’s near Balboa Park, off of Fifth/Sixth Avenue, right around there. And so, we had a great time, because it is a fast food restaurant, burgers, chicken burgers, tacos, some kind of wraps, and milkshakes even.

So, Michael and I went there, and then I got to go again with my friend Sharon. So, it was really yummy, and Michael’s going to tell you what he had.

As you know, we are always searching for all vegan restaurants, and here in the middle of San Diego, near Balboa Park downtown, was an all vegan fast food restaurant! It was really crowded the day that we went.

I had a delicious black bean burger, which also had tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and I had a side of sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries. The beautiful Balboa Park in the background, along with their beautiful patio just made for a wonderful afternoon!

It is so exciting to see more vegan restaurants popping up all over this country. And of course, when you’re in California, there seems like every other block you go people either have a full vegan restaurant or vegan options. So, there really is no reason for anyone that believes in “no cruelty to animals”, having a better environment, and better health, there are so many vegan options in San Diego, so really enjoy yourself when you’re visiting this great, beautiful city.

And now we’re going to transition over to the animal rights activities that we participated in this week, so stay tuned to the podcast.

Okay, we were able to come back to Los Angeles specifically for some warranty work with our RV, but we were able to make it during the same time as a National Animal Rights Day event that was held in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles. So, we stayed at Dockweiler Beach State Park, and then we drove over to the event in the morning.

We got there around 10:30 so that we could park, and then we could get our t-shirt, and register for the event, and then participate. So, it was quite a day, and Michael’s going to tell you what he thought about it.

The National Animals’ Rights Day is an annual day observed in multiple countries around the world on the first Sunday in June. The purpose of this is for giving a voice to all the animals, and raising concern and awareness for their rights until all animals are free from enslavement, and the rights are established, and protected by law!

We specifically were in the Beverly Hills section of Los Angeles, and it was a very powerful gathering of all kinds of animal rights folks, just people who love animals, vegans, animal rights organizations, actors, a whole variety of folks to honor and observe the annual National Annual Rights Day.

It started out with interesting, a group of folks dressed in t-shirts that were given out by the organization, but on top of that they had hazardous gear, and it was kind of like wire people in hazardous suits. But, one of the ways they bring awareness to animal rights is they bring out deceased animals.

We formed a very large contingent of all those folks I just told you about, and we slowly marched down Beverly Boulevard to bring attention to the animal rights. I think the walk was about approximately a half a mile to a mile long, and it was slow. It was very somber, and people were carrying these deceased animals, and it just was a tribute to animal rights throughout the day. And then, at the return to the park, there were guest speakers that talked about animal rights, and then they celebrated the lives of animals, and ended up with a nice, vegan meal.

This is an annual event, and hopefully it will bring attention to the rights of animals!

Yeah, there were probably at least 100 people walking in the march, and probably closer to 500 people in attendance. There were lots of people who carried the deceased animals, and they were wearing the white protective gear and plastic gloves, because these animals had all died in some kind of sanctuary, or on some farms, but they were not taken from any factory farms, and they wanted to make sure everybody knew that so nobody had violated any laws or anything.

But they were very powerful, and it was a big message to everyone to say hey, why are you eating these animals? You don’t need to be eating these animals. These animals deserve to have lives, and to live in a nice place where they can be free to roam, and die a natural death.

But, I enjoyed the event because I like being around like minded people, and I got a new t-shirt, and everybody is going to be more aware of animal rights after that event. It’s also on social media, so you could look it up, National Animal Rights Day. June 2nd was the day that this was taking place.

I had the opportunity, while in Los Angeles area, to go to three vigils. The first one was on a Sunday evening, from nine PM to 11 PM, and it is in Vernon, California. It’s held by the LA Animal Save, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to go see the pigs before they have to go in to be slaughtered the next day, and there are several activists out front of the slaughterhouse, which is in Vernon, California, like I said. It’s at the Farmer John’s factory, and this is a place where you would not even know that it existed, because it’s in the middle of the industrial area.

And so, I was there at the middle of the evening, dark. Michael drove me over there, and he stayed in the car with Sugar, because we need to bring her with us. But, I was able to go out on the sidewalk and meet the other activists, and then bear witness to these pigs, who are brought in by truck, and then they are brought to the slaughterhouse, every day, 24 hours a day, and we are able to be there as activists to bear witness, to give them some water, give them a little love before they go into the factory where they will be slaughtered.

Which is to say, why are we there? What does that do for anybody?

Well, what it does for us activists is it gives us the opportunity to film the activity, to let the world know that this is really going on, because oftentimes we see the videos and we say really? Is that true? And so, I wanted to be there so that I could say yes, I witnessed this happening. I’ve seen the trucks on the road, and Michael will tell you, he has too, but we’ve never really seen where the trucks end up, and where the pigs end up.

So, we wanted to go out there, and LA Animal Save is out there every Sunday night, from nine PM to 11 PM, in Vernon, California. So, if you are at all interested in bearing witness to these poor animals who are going to be slaughtered the next day so that other people can eat the bacon, and the pig belly, and anything else that comes from a pig for their meals, then this is where you want to go.

The hope is that, over time, more and more activists will come out to show the world that this is happening, and perhaps when there are thousands of people saying please, stop the slaughter of these innocent animals, we don’t need to eat them anymore, then maybe the world will stand up and say enough!

Then, the following Sunday, I was also able to go back into LA and go to a Cow Vigil that took place on the other side, in Pico Rivera, and it happens every other Sunday, also by LA Animal Save. You can find out information by going to their Facebook page, LA Animal Save, and then they will give you more information as to when these vigils take place.

But I was able to go to the Cow Vigil, which took place between 7- 8:30, and then after that we drove over to Vernon, California again to witness, once more, the PigVigil. And again, there were several, probably 30 to 50 people at each of the vigils, and they were all there with their cameras, and their video equipment, and the water to give to the animals.

Now, with the cows, we weren’t able to give them any water, but we could see them, and talk to them, and then just get more information. Like, the security guard was very helpful. He told us more information about how this all works, and I had never known that they were the dairy cows that get slaughtered after they’re about four years old because they are no longer able to give milk. So they have to be slaughtered to make the hamburger, whereas the Black Angus cows are also there to be slaughtered, and they are for your steaks, and ribs, and other things that people eat. Which nobody needs to eat those anymore, so we shouldn’t be slaughtering any more animals!

But the one in Vernon, California, is in the middle of industrial area. The one that’s over in Pico Rivera, there’s a neighborhood right next door. And so, it’s amazing to me that people can actually have houses right next to where all these cows are being slaughtered. It’s just horrible!

So then, when I was at the pig vigil the second time around, I was able to have a nice conversation with a young man named Jesus, who gave us his history of how he became vegan. It was very interesting, and I hope you enjoy this interview.

Interview of Jesus – Animal Rights Activist

You have to remember, this is on the street in front of the slaughterhouse, it’s 10:00 at night, there’s a lot of activity going on, so it’s not in the studio. We don’t even have a studio. But, it’s not anywhere quiet. So, I hope you’ll bear with me and really get a lot out of this interview with Jesus!

My name is Jesus, and we’re out here in Vernon, California, outside of a Farmer John’s. It’s a pig slaughterhouse where they operate five days a week, and they slaughter up to 7,000 pigs a day. So, around 35,000 pigs a week, correct?

Yeah.

Yes, and we’re out here bearing witness, giving water to these sentient beings, show them a little love before they get their lives taken away just a few moments after, yeah, after this. Give them water, and document their suffering for the whole world to see, and post it on social media, and-

Okay, but I have a question. How is this effective, being out here at 10:00 at night on a Sunday night when the trucks come in, one every half hour or so. How is this effective?

It’s effective because every activist here has some sort of platform. Each one of us has a voice, and each one of us has a camera now. So, social media is huge, and it’s how I found out about events like this, about that people do these kind of things, and I though oh, that’s great, I want to do that. So, I came here to see what it’s like, and sure enough, it’s very powerful, going up to a truck and giving these pigs water.

And do you think that this is making other people stop eating animals?

For sure. There’s so many stories that these activists have shared, that when they posted a social media, strangers and family comment, and say that yeah, this is very powerful, and I want to stop supporting these industries.

So, then I asked Jesus how he got started being a vegan.

I was first introduced to veganism in winter of 2015. It was for a college course, an English class. I had to read Fast Food, Inc, Fast Food Nation, so sorry, and in that book by Eric Schlosser, he goes around the country documenting and sharing the stories of slaughterhouse workers, of fast food workers, CEOs of Carl’s Jr., and I think also McDonald’s, basically talking about how powerful these industries are, the food industry in this country alone.

He talks about how the workers are suffering from PTSD, and that really spoke to me, because I come from, I’m a first generation Mexican, from Mexican Parents, and that really spoke to me, because these workers are treated like secondhand beings, but it’s not nearly as close as how we treat these animals as commodities, as objects.

So, that really spoke to me, because I’ve always loved animals. I’ve always considered myself an animal lover, and it just didn’t sit right with me that what I was putting into my mouth was what I loved, and I didn’t want to see these beautiful beings harmed or in pain.

That’s when I decided to stop eating fast food first, then I slowly started to eat healthier. I started to make, every morning, fruit smoothies with orange juice and kale, spinach, carrots, and I don’t know what I was doing, but it tasted really good, and they were really dark smoothies, but, and that kept me, how do you say, going, excited for the next day, a new smoothie.

So, it was that winter I read Fast Food Nation, and I started spring semester, I just wasn’t the same after reading that book. So going out with friends, that just wasn’t the same. I don’t want to order the same food as them. And I was the weird one in the group after, yeah, after my awakening, which is pretty much what it is.

The spring semester passed, I was on a very different diet, lots of beans, lots of rice. That wasn’t a problem at home. It’s what I’ve always eaten. It’s part of a culture, beans and rice.

And yeah, my mom always made a lot of meat based dishes, which is heavy in our cultural, most every, if it doesn’t have meat, then it’s not food. That’s a common mentality. She made a lot of meat based dishes that I didn’t want to eat because I told her I’m, yeah, I’m just not eating this anymore. So, she goes, “Okay, it’s a diet”.

Yeah, it’s a diet, which I found out later that that’s not the right to go about, when speaking about veganism, because it’s way more than a diet, and it’s way more than a lifestyle. It’s a moral imperative that we all have to abide by if we consider ourselves good, and I’ve always considered myself good, so I stuck to my diet, that’s how I thought about it at that time.

And so, with the smoothies, and some more beans and rice, and slowly my mom started to see that I wasn’t eating any meat, and she started to see that I wasn’t eating milk with my cereal. I started to buy almond milk, which is my absolute favorite. I hate soy milk.

I asked her to buy me these alternatives, which is just normal to me now, and she was not happy about it, because calcium, milk only, which is now completely wrong, and-

But eventually she came around.

I like to say yes-

Meaning … she supported you.

Oh, yeah, she’s definitely supportive of clean eating, yeah, but she still consumes dairy, it’s maybe out of fear that she might be missing something if she doesn’t consume-

Right.

… yeah, those type of liquids.

And so that summer is when I first showed my family, which is my sister, she’s two years younger than me, and my mom and my nephew, we just sat around the living room one hot summer afternoon and I played Earthlings on YouTube. We all sat there, me hoping that they would open their eyes to what I’d just opened my eyes to recently in the hopes that they would stop eating animals, because it was very dear to me at the time.

And so, sure enough, I showed them Earthlings, and my sister, about 20 minutes in, was about just slaughtering cows, and she’s also an animal lover, she just asked me, and she just straight up said that I don’t want to eat animals anymore.

My mom, she just kept quiet. She was also looking at the screen, and I know for a fact that she knows it’s wrong, but she continued her ways for about two years. Like, two years ago she started to not eat anymore meat, and up to this day I haven’t seen her eat any.

That’s your mom or your sister?

My mom.

And what about your sister, is she vegan?

My sister turned vegan-

Yay.

… pretty much overnight, which that did not happen to me. It took me a couple months. But yeah, she’s really strong willed, and she’s really in it for the animals, and she’s been vegan for almost as long as I have, for four years.

Nice.

Yeah.

Okay, so what are you going to say to people who are saying I want to get more involved? How can they do that?

Look up the internet, it’s your best friend. Yeah, that’s where a lot of activists post what they’ve been doing, their photos, their videos, your podcasts, and all that’s super helpful to the movement.

We need every activist that we can get doing what they do best, which is whatever that is, food, cooking, music, we also get musicians here, just painting, even just public speaking. Yeah, travelers, international activists are, Joey Carbstrong, I just, actually, Earthling Ed, I didn’t know who those guys were at all about a year and a half ago, until I went to VegFest. I walked in, and sure enough, there was Earthling Ed. I didn’t know who he was, but my sister did, like oh, “it’s Earthling Ed”.

And so, I listened to him speak, and I agree with everything he said, and I love the way he presented to it, to the people there. And so, yeah, so after that day I looked up his stuff, and I decided I have to do something like this, speak to people.

That was about a year ago, and I didn’t do my first activism until I traveled to England around this time, and it was during the Pride March in London, where I met up with activists that were outside protesting Canada Goose.

Oh, yeah.

So, I asked if I could join, and they said yeah, like, they asked me if I were vegan, and yes, four years. And so, I started leafleting right outside of Canada Goose during the Pride, and it was overwhelming after speaking to the march goers.

So, do you find that people who are out here, like the ones tonight and the ones in London, they’re pretty welcoming people, aren’t we?

Oh, definitely. London, it’s a vegan-

Mecca.

… hub, yeah, just like LA. So, it wasn’t hard at all to find vegan options, and find new vegan comrades.

Right, and a community. So, I’m going to just say, thank you very much for taking time to talk with me tonight, and hopefully we’ll see another truck come by. I always say hopefully with a little bit of cynicism, because that means there are more pigs coming in to be slaughtered, but if they’re not coming in here tonight then maybe they are not going to be slaughtered. But, we know that’s really just hopeful thinking, because it’s going to happen. But it’s good to see all the people out here.

Any last words?

Join the movement, go vegan, don’t wait another day!

Yay!

The movement’s only growing exponentially every day, and we need all the people we can get to help these animals and fight for liberation!

And that’s what it’s about, everybody!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Solomon from the Cube of Truth, which we’re going to talk about next week on the podcast. Also, I met Liz at the Pig Vigil, and all the other activists out there! We really appreciate everything you’re doing for this great cause.

And so, join us again next week on the podcast as we continue to fight for animals, and we review the vegan restaurants, and tell you where we’re staying.

So, in the meantime, go to our website, www.VegansOnAMission.com, or you can go to our Instagram, that’s where we post daily pictures of where we are, what we eat, and what we’re doing. So, that’s @HeavenInAClassC.

So, thanks again for joining us, and BE VEGAN!

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We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.

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