"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Kapparot Cruelty Scandal Update

My post about kapparot garnered some great discussion on the comments page. Here's an update about hundreds of chickens who were slated to be used in a kapparot ceremony but were absolutely abandoned to suffer from starvation, dehydration, and ultimately death.

PETA files complaint against Brooklyn man for dumping chickens
Jeremiah Horrigan
Times Herald-Record
November 11, 2005

An Orthodox Jewish man from Brooklyn has been accused of animal cruelty in connection with the abandonment of hundreds of chickens intended for Yom Kippur atonement rituals.

Jacob Kalisch of Williamsburg was named in a complaint filed by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals after crates containing more than 300 chickens were found abandoned in a Coney Island lot last month.

Authorities said nearly three dozen chickens died. When the crates were discovered, the chickens were shipped to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties.

A Manhattan ASPCA spokesman said at the time the broilers had been purchased to be used in an atonement ritual called "kapparot" that requires a man or woman to wave a live chicken over their head while reciting a prayer. The chicken is then slaughtered and given to the poor.

Kalisch reportedly told ASPCA investigators he was unable to find customers for the birds.

At least another dozen chickens died en route to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, according to director Kathy Stevens. CAS employees have nursed the surviving chickens back to health and farmed many of them out to individuals and other animal protection groups that specialize in farm animal rehab.

"We'll keep about 20 of the chickens here, which is what we can manage," Stevens said yesterday.

The chicken rescue is short-lived by the nature of the birds themselves, which have been genetically altered to maximize their size for human consumption. Most of these broilers die within a year of being hatched, while other breeds can live as long as a decade.


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