United Poultry Concerns
22 September 2009
Urge ASPCA to Make Kapparot Chicken Abusers
Give Water and Food to Crated, Suffering Chickens

A Post from NYC resident Rina Deych
Dear Friends,

I did a little one-woman demo outside some places where they are doing Kapparot. In case you are not familiar with it, here are two articles on the subject, one by me and one by Richard Schwartz:

The raw footage is on my YouTube page (I didn't get any of them killing the birds, because, in each case I got kicked out before I had a chance ... one slaughterer stopped himself right before he made impact): http://www.youtube.com/user/rrrina

Through the years, I've done one-person demos outside these places. My grandfather, a kosher butcher (who, in his final year of life was so revolted by what he witnessed when he had occasion to visit a slaughterhouse that he gave up his business and went vegetarian), was opposed to Kapparot. He was known throughout the neighborhood as a Tzadik (righteous man), who rescued abandoned cats, dogs, and even injured birds, gave free food away to the poor, and allowed homeless people to sleep in his store. Growing up, I remember a series of "borders," as he called them, homeless people whom he would allow to stay in a room on the top floor of his home, until he was able to help find them jobs so they could afford to live in an SRO (single room occupancy).

My grandfather denounced the practice of Kapparot as cruel, unnecessary, and, in fact, un-Jewish. He said that it was not in the Torah or the Talmud, and that for those who felt the need to do the ritual, it could be done with an inanimate object (money).

Kapparot takes place during the week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Being around the places where they do this obscene sacrifice is bone-chilling. The stench of fear and blood permeates the entire neighborhood. The birds are left, packed tightly in crates, with no food and no water for the entire week. The "unused" birds are often left in the crates in the heat and cold, starving amid the excrement, until they can be picked up. Some, in desperation, pluck each others' eyes out.

About a year ago, some orthodox rabbis had a meeting about the practice. It was decided that there needs to be closer monitoring and regulation of Kapparot. Until last year, I used to see some of the slaughterers throw the birds into garbage bags (contradicting their claim that the meat is donated to the poor). This year, while I didn't get to film it, I found one place actually taking the dead birds, plucking them, and preparing them for donation. Still this is a heinous practice that needs to be abolished.

Yesterday, I called the ASPCA to report that the animals had no food or water and were packed tightly in crates (stacked on top of each other), left in the hot sun.

Please call and complain... they WILL come. The more people who call, the more seriously they will take the complaints.

The ASPCA cruelty division number is: 212-876-7700, ext. 4450. Ask to speak to the ASPCA's Law Enforcement Department Supervisor, Gerry Conway.

So far, I found three places where it is being done in Boro Park, Brooklyn:

- 43rd Street, between 13th and 14th Ave., closer to 13th, next to a synagogue.

- 50th Street, between 13th and 14th Ave, closer to 14th, outside a school.

- corner of 49th Street and 14th Ave, next to the YM-YWHA.

Please call and complain that these animals have no food and water.

Thanks so much!!!

Rina Deych
New York City Resident

For more information about kapparot, visit www.upc-online.org/kaparos

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