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60,000 Chickens are Swung and Slaughtered on Public Streets During Ritual Sacrifice

October 10, 2017 by 6 comments

The News

Before Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement), a subset of Orthodox Jews in New York City slaughtered an estimated 60,000 baby chickens as part of an annual ritual sacrifice called Kaporos. During the ritual, participants typically pin the chickens’ wings behind their backs and swing them around their heads three times while reciting a prayer to transfer their sins to the chickens, who they then deliver to makeshift slaughterhouses where butchers slice their throats.

In spite of the video footage of showing the Department of Sanitation hauling the dead chickens away after the ritual,  ritual participants claim that the animals are donated to the poor.  This year, activists for the first time discovered garbage bags filled with hundreds of chickens who weren’t used in the ritual sacrifice because they died of heat exhaustion, hunger and thirst in the crates in which they are intensively confined for several days leading up to the ritual.

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish children pour into the streets to participate in the ritual and challenge the activists who are protesting.

Activists estimate that they saved several hundred chickens from the massacre. The survivors have been sent to sanctuaries around the country where they are receiving specialized care to rehabilitate them after the trauma of having been intensively confined in crates for several days with no food or water.

In Brooklyn, butchers slice the throats of approximately 60,000 chickens and bleed them out in upside down cones on public sidewalks.

In 2015, The Alliance to Ban Chickens as Kaporos sued the NYC Department of Health and NYPD for failing to enforce the 15 public health, sanitation and anti-cruelty laws and regulations that are violated during Kaporos. The case is pending in New York’s Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos sued NYC in 2015. The case has made its way to the highest court in NY, The Court of Appeals.

Your Turn

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos is raising money to pay for the long-term care of the rescued chickens and for the groundbreaking lawsuit against NYC for failing to enforce the laws that are broken by Kaporos practitioners. If you have the means, please contribute to the INDIEGOGO campaign, Justice for the Roses.

After Kaporos, activists found dozens of discarded chickens in the streets who were still alive. These and the other rescues will live out their lives on sanctuaries.

Orthodox Jewish Girl Secretly Gives Activist a Slaughter-bound Chicken

September 26, 2017 by 2 comments

The News

Each year in the days leading up to Yom Kippur, Rocky Schwartz, like dozens of other animal rights activists, attempts to dissuade ultra-Orthodox Jews from participating in chicken sacrifice called Kaporos. In 2016, she had a lucky break. This is the story of a young Hassidic girl named Rose who defied her community; an animal rights activist who convinced her to show compassion; and a chicken who got a second chance.

Kaporos is a annual ritual in which ultra-Orthodox Jews swing chickens around their heads while saying a prayer to transfer their sins to the animals After the ritual, they give the chickens to a butcher who slices their throats. The ritual is performed prior to Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.  

Many Kaporos practitioners transfer their sins to coins instead of live chickens.

In Brooklyn, where an estimated 60,000 chickens are swung and massacred each year, animal rights activists take to the streets to protest, disrupt, rescue, educate the public and plea for mercy.

Over the course of the week leading up to Yom Kippur, hundreds of animal rights activists protest Kaporos where the ritual is taking place. (photo: United Poultry Concerns)

Each year, activists rescue hundreds of chickens from the Kaporos and bring them to sanctuaries that give them a forever home. Rose is living in Brooklyn with Ms. Schwartz, her human companion Jay, three dogs and two other rescue chickens.

A one-year old Rose, who was rescued from slaughter after the Yom Kippur Kaporos ritual, enjoys an afternoon in the garden.

In 2015, The Alliance to Ban Chickens as Kaporos sued the NYC Department of Health and NYPD for failing to enforce the 15 public health, sanitation and anti-cruelty laws and regulations that are violated during Kaporos. The case is pending in New York’s Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

Your Turn

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, the organization that is leading the effort to stop the ritual slaughter, is raising money to pay for the long-term care of the chickens who are rescued and for a groundbreaking lawsuit against NYC for failing to enforce the laws that are broken by Kaporos practitioners. If you have the means, please contribute to the INDIEGOGO campaign, Justice for the Roses.

Backlash Against Politician’s Plan to Import Pandas and Put Them on Display in NYC

September 20, 2017 by 8 comments

The News

Carolyn Maloney, a U.S. Congresswoman from New York, is working to import a pair of giant pandas from China and display them in New York City.  

In a YouTube video, “The Pandas are Coming to NYC,” Maloney cites several ways in which this endeavor will benefit humans, including education, entertainment, increased tourism, and improved relations with China. She makes no mention, however, of the welfare of the pandas, who, like other wild animals, suffer in captivity.

U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney hosted a “Panda Ball” in NYC to raise money to import pandas from China to NYC.

Pandas are wild animals, not objects for display. In the forests of China, they have rich lives, gathering food, roaming freely and raising their young.  In captivity, they languish in their exhibit spaces while people take selfies through sheets of glass.

In 2012, the Director of Conservation Education at China’s largest panda breeding facility described captive-bred pandas as a “caricature” of the real thing. People who are genuinely interested in learning about pandas can watch nature shows that document their behavior in the wild. Observing pandas in an artificial enclosure will only teach people that wild animals can be imprisoned for our amusement. Furthermore, it will do nothing to help conserve pandas in the wild.

Animal rights activists say pandas are wild animals with instinctual needs that can not be met in captivity.

If Congresswoman Maloney moves forward with her plan to rent pandas from China, she will not only fuel the market for captive pandas but also help to perpetuate the abuse that exists in China’s panda breeding facilities. Undercover video released in July, 2017 showed workers using excessive force on two babies. This disturbing footage reinforces what we already know — that panda breeding facilities are panda mills in disguise. Indeed, the pandas born in captivity are rented out, like commodities, for $1 million/year to zoos.

Wild animal captivity is already losing favor in the mainstream, as evidenced by the closure of Ringling Bros., plummeting attendance at SeaWorld and the newly passed NYC law banning wild animals in circuses. Indeed, public attitudes are already shifting in favor of freedom.

Your Turn

Please sign the Care2 petition asking Carolyn Maloney to call off her plan to import pandas into NYC for display.

Follow No Panda Prison NYC on Facebook.

Luxury Faux Furs Take Center Stage at Fashion Week in NYC

September 15, 2017 by 1 comment

The News

In the mid-1990s, fashion designer Anna Tagliabue wanted to launch a line of luxury faux fur clothing. The technology, however, wasn’t available. Twenty years later, Ms. Tagliabue staged her a runway show during NYC’s prestigious Fashion Week.  Dozens of NYC fashionistas filled the seats, and, by all accounts, they loved what they saw:

While Ms. Tagliabue loves design, it was her love of animals – and her desire to protect them – that motivated her to start her company, Pelush. “Education and awareness about the plight of animals must come from fashion — not just food,” said Ms. Tagliabue. “With all of the beautiful, cruelty-free alternatives, people have no excuse to continue wearing fur and other animal skins.”

Pelush Runway Show in NYC during Fashion Week

When asked how activists who confront people on the street will know that someone is wearing a faux-fur Pelush garment, Ms. Tagliabue said she plans to sew on a patch that will be easily recognizable – similar to Canada Goose.

Fashion design Anna Tagliabue with models from her runway show during NYC Fashion Week

Pelush fans photograph the models after the show

Ms. Tagliabue says that her one-of-a-kind, cruelty-free designs serve as a “wonderful alternative to real fur for compassionate women in search of glamour, comfort and the warmth of a plush coat.”

NYC animal rights activists make the V for vegan symbol on the red carpet after walking the Pelush runway wearing t-shirts with messages about kindness to animals

Animal Rights Activists Worldwide Protest Start of Dolphin Hunting Season in Japan

September 11, 2017 by Leave a Comment

The News

Animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world marked the first day of Japan’s notorious dolphin hunting season with “International Day of Action” protests, an annual event organized by The Dolphin Project. In NYC, about two dozen activists demonstrated in front of the Japanese consulate in midtown Manhattan, educating locals and tourists about the atrocity and demanding that the Japanese government put a stop to it:

During the hunt, which lasts about six months, fleets of Japanese fishing boats surround pods of dolphins off the coast and drive them into an isolated cove in Taiji, Japan, where the dolphins are snatched from the water to be sold to aquariums or killed for their meat. “It’s a bloodbath during which families are torn apart and massacred. It’s nothing short of an act of terror,”  said Phyllis Ottomanelli “Captivity is the driving force behind the hunts. If you pay to swim with dolphins or see them in an aquarium, then you have blood on your hands.”

The hunt was largely unknown to the mainstream public until The Cove, a documentary thriller about the hunt and the heroic activists working to expose it, was released and won the 2010 Academy Award for best documentary film.

The Cove is an Oscar-winning documentary film about the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan

As the 2017 hunt began, advocates around the world took to social media to raise awareness.  Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society which has engaged in direct action in an attempt to stop the massacre, wrote “Since the early Sixties, an insidious trade of intelligent, self-aware, sentient beings has been growing like a malignant cancer within human society. It is a slave trade that has been the cause of unimaginable misery and has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins. This cruel industry has spread across Europe and Asia with hundreds of marine aquariums operating, many of them with grossly inadequate facilities.”

On September 1st, animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world protested the Japan’s annual dolphin hunt.

The dolphins are slaughtered by “pithing” – stabbing them behind their blowholes with a metal rod. This method severs the spinal cord, paralyzing the dolphins and supposedly causing a rapid death. Often, however, the death is prolonged. In 2011 AtlanticBlue, a German conservation group, documented a dolphin moving for over four minutes after pithing. Activists with The Dolphin Project and Sea Shepherd have witnessed dolphins drown while being dragged by their tails to the butcher house.

The cove turns red with blood during the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.

Kim Danoff, a Virginia-based veterinarian and animal rights activist told TheirTurn that babies often watch their parents being killed before themselves dying from stress or starvation: “We must continue to fight until Japan outlaws the trade and massacre of wild dolphins.”

Your Turn

To learn more about Japan’s annual dolphin hunt and to find out how you can help, please visit The Dolphin Project.