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The Yom Kippur Massacre of 2016 (VIDEO)

October 31, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

Before Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York, partake in a sacrificial ritual called Kaporos. During Kaporos, practitioners swing a live chicken around their heads while saying a prayer to transfer their sins to the animal, who is then slaughtered. In 2016, hundreds of animal rights activists disrupted the massacre.

Slaughtering animals on public streets is illegal, as it violates 15 city and state health, sanitation and animal cruelty laws, but NYC’s elected officials and the agencies that report to them, including the NYPD and Department of Health, turn a blind eye because the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities that partake in the ritual vote in blocs. NY-based attorney Nora Constance Marino is suing the City of New York on behalf of local residents and the advocacy group The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos for failing to enforce both city and state laws.

Shimon Shuchat, who was born into the Hassidic community but has since left, encourages a Kaporos practitioner to swing coins instead of live chickens.

Shimon Shuchat, who was born into the Hasidic community but has since left, encourages a Kaporos practitioner to swing coins instead of live chickens.

Animal rights activists in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Jerusalem, cities with large populations of ultra-Orthodox Jews, are  campaigning to ban Kaporos.


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A Heartwarming Documentary about a Miracle Chicken

December 2, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

Move over, Esther the Wonder Pig! For a moment, the spotlight is shining on a chicken who is changing hearts and minds around the world. Her name is Penelope, and, against all odds, she survived a massacre.

Penelope, who almost died from Marek's disease, is thriving today thanks to her rescuers

Penelope, who almost died from Marek’s disease, is thriving today thanks to her rescuers

In the animal agriculture industry, chickens are typically stuffed into crates on the “farms” where they are fattened and shipped directly to slaughterhouses, where their short and painful lives come to a screeching halt. Not Penelope. She had the added misfortune of being sent on a treacherous detour – a detour that turned out to save her life.

Tens of thousands of chickens are held captive in crates with no food or water before being swung and slaughtered in a sacrificial religious ritual

Tens of thousands of chickens are held captive in crates with no food or water before being swung and slaughtered in a sacrificial religious ritual

Penelope, along with tens of thousands of other “broiler” chickens, was sold to ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York, to be sacrificed in an annual religious ritual called Kaporos. During the ritual, participants grab the chickens by their fragile wings and swing them around their heads three times while saying a prayer to transfer their sins to the animal. After the ritual, a butcher in the street slaughters the chickens and dumps their dead – or still living – bodies into garbage bags.

Penelope's rescuer wore a disguise to infiltrate the community where was would have been swung and slaughtered in a religious ritual

Penelope’s rescuer wore a disguise to infiltrate the community where she would have sacrificed in a religious ritual

In his documentary short, filmmaker Duncan Skiles tells the magical story of how a brave woman, who stumbled upon the massacre, rescued a dying chicken, and, with the help of her compassionate husband, gave her a second chance.

Today, Penelope lives with her human flock in Brooklyn, just steps away from where she was saved. Like so many other rescued farm animals, Penelope has become an ambassador for all farm animals by showing people in the community that she is a unique and vibrant individual who wants to live.

After a short lifetime of deprivation and abuse, Penelope has learned how to trust humans

After a short lifetime of deprivation and abuse, Penelope has learned how to trust humans

Your Turn

Follow Penelope’s journey at Penelope the Chicken on Facebook.

Please join the Facebook page The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos to lend your voice and support to the tens of thousands of chickens who are stuffed into crates, swung and slaughtered each year in the name of God.

After a lifetime of abuse, neglect and deprivation, Penelope receives TLC from a (human) member of her flock

After a lifetime of abuse, neglect and deprivation, Penelope receives TLC from a (human) member of her flock


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VIDEO: Activists Disrupt Kaporos Chicken Massacre

September 26, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

Each year before Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews around the world swing chickens around their heads in a ritual to transfer their sins to the animals, who they then slaughter and dump in the garbage. In Brooklyn, an army of activists, many of whom are observant Jews, clashed in the streets with the perpetrators as police officers struggled to control the chaos.

In July, the Alliance to Ban Chickens as Kaporos filed a lawsuit to stop the ritual slaughter from taking place in 2015. On September 14th, a NY County Supreme Court Judge denied that request and the request to require the NYPD and other city agencies to enforce the fifteen health, sanitation and anti-cruelty laws and regulations that are violated by the event. With the possibility of an appeal and other legal actions, the attorney for the plaintiffs, Nora Constance Marino, said, “It’s not over.” 
Activists protest Kaporos chicken massacre in Brooklyn

Activists protest Kaporos chicken massacre in Brooklyn

Your Turn

Please join the Facebook page The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos to lend your voice and support to the tens of thousands of chickens who are stuffed into crates, swung and slaughtered each year in the name of God.


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Activists Around the World Protest Hindu, Muslim & Jewish Animal Sacrifice

October 13, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Tis the season to sacrifice animals for God, and activists around the world are rallying on behalf of the victims. Their protests are peaceful, and their message is simple: “Scripture doesn’t mandate sacrifice. Please use an alternative to animals.”

During the Gadhimai festival in Nepal, which takes place once every five years, Hindus slaughter about 500,000 animals, including buffalo, pigs, goats, chickens and pigeons. The sacrifice is made in honor of Gadhimai, the goddess of power, who “brings prosperity” to those who participate.

Gadhimai Festival (photo: Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Gadhimai Festival (photo: Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Animal Welfare Network Nepal, which staged a 50 person protest in Kathmandu on Sunday in advance of the mass animal slaughter, said, “We want to show that religious activities can be carried out without causing harm to animals.” According to the group, activists protested the festival in 24 countries. In the following video, one practitioner says, “I am praying to Gadhimai that my name becomes big in the engineering field.”

During Bakra Eid (Festival of the Sacrifice) on October 4th and 5th, Muslims slaughtered cows, camels, goats, sheep and rams  to honor Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son to God.

In India, a Muslim woman from PETA, who promoted vegetarianism near the site of the slaughter, was mobbed by angry worshippers and arrested for “outraging religious feelings.” Dozens of media outlets reported on the incident, which brought her message of peace into millions of homes around the world.

Peaceful protester attacked for promoting vegetarianism

Peaceful protester attacked for promoting vegetarianism

Before Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, some sects of ultra-orthodox Jews transfer their sins to chickens by swinging them around their heads and slaughtering them. Protests in Brooklyn, where over 70,000 of hungry, dehydrated and weak chickens are killed each year, received international media attention.

In all three religions, practitioners invoke the name of God while killing her creatures. Attempting to counter “God said we should do this” with messages about compassion feels like a losing battle, but raising awareness, lobbying decision makers and shining an international spotlight on the abuse will slowly chip away at these barbaric religious rituals.

Your Turn

Please sign the following Change.org petitions:

1. Petition to stop animal sacrifice at the Gadhimai festival in Nepal

2. Petition to urge enforcement of laws being broken by Kaporos (chicken swinging) practitioners in New York

 


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Bloodshed in Brooklyn – Video from the Final Night

October 2, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

After spending several days stuffed in crates with no food or water, tens of thousands of chickens were swung in the air and slaughtered during the final night of Kaporos, the Yom Kippur ritual of transferring one’s sins to a live chicken.

Ritual practitioners line up to slaughter sin-filled chickens

Ritual practitioners line up to slaughter sin-filled chickens

Slaughter in the streets of Brooklyn

Slaughter in the streets of Brooklyn

Following is a short video of the chaotic scene during the final hours of the ritual – the chickens, the butchers and the ritual practitioners debating the protesters.

In a bit of irony, a Mitzvah (good deed) mobile was parked near slaughter tent

In a bit of irony, a Mitzvah (good deed) mobile was parked near slaughter tent

Opinion

Protesters clash with Kaporos practitioners

Protesters clash with Kaporos practitioners

By and large, the practitioners cannot relate to the protesters' concerns about the chickens

By and large, the practitioners cannot relate to the protesters’ concerns about the chickens

The 2014 Yom Kippur street protests are over, but the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos will, throughout the year, continue its fight to outlaw this barbaric ritual. Because of its size and voting power, the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community is very powerful, but, through legal strategies, outreach to sympathetic rabbis, public relations and education, the Alliance is convinced that the chickens will ultimately prevail.


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