Robin: Rescued from the Dead - A New Film by Unparalled Suffering

Robin the chicken wrapped in a blanket and craddled

Robin: Rescued From the Dead is a new documentary produced by Unparalleled Suffering. It debuted on Sunday July 28th at the Animal Rights National Conference in Washington, DC. Vanessa Dawson, cofounder with Steve Dawson of Penelope’s Place in New York, and Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns, moderated the Q & A session following the film.

Robin: Rescued From the Dead documents the rescue from a plastic trash bag of a “dead” chicken – a baby rooster – who was slaughtered during the ritual of Kaporos in Brooklyn, New York in the fall of 2018 along with thousands of other chickens. Watch Robin’s amazing recovery from trauma and terror, as he experiences human love and medical care at Penelope’s Place sanctuary in New York, by visiting: The film is also posted on the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos website.

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What is Kaporos?

Kaporos (“atonements”) is a custom practiced by a segment of Orthodox Judaism in parts of the U.S. and the world where these communities are located. The ritual, which precedes Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, consists of practitioners swinging chickens over their heads as a chant is recited stating that the chicken is a substitute for the practitioner’s punishment. The substitute punishment is fulfilled by the chicken being slaughtered. Prior to the ritual, thousands of chickens sit crammed in transport crates for days without food, water, or protection from the weather.

Kaporos practitioners stand around the Kaporos sites idly chatting while holding the chickens painfully suspended by their fragile wings. They lie that they give the slaughtered birds to “the poor” when in fact they throw the chickens, who are often still alive and crying with bleeding throats, into plastic trash bags to be hauled by city sanitation workers to a landfill.

In 2010, United Poultry Concerns founded the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos in New York City with a small group of dedicated animal rights activists. Since then, our campaign has grown to include thousands of supporters including organizations, rabbis, and people in general who are sick of this merciless medieval ritual of “atonement.” Those who care to practice “Kaporos” can swing a packet of money for charity over their heads. Chickens are not required for Kaporos, nor, for that matter, is Kaporos required by anyone.

As we go to press, the Alliance and affiliates are preparing our End Chicken Kaporos activities in Brooklyn, New York during the week leading up to October 8th, the Day of Atonement. In the next issue of Poultry Press we will report on our activities and those taking place in Los Angeles and elsewhere this year, including the rescue of as many chickens as possible.

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Photo of slaughtered Kaporos chicken by Unparalleled Suffering Photography