Before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, hundreds of thousands of observant Jews across the world partake in Kaporos, a religious ritual in which participants swing live chickens around their heads while saying a prayer to transfer their sins to the animals. After the ceremony, a ritual slaughterer cuts their throats and stuffs them into inverted cones, garbage bags or dumpsters where they bleed to death, taking the sins with them.
Each year, dozens of activists protest at Kaporos sites in Brooklyn, which is home to tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews. During the protests, activists plead with participants to perform the ritual with coins intend of live chickens, an option offered in Jewish scripture. The participants argue that live chickens must be used, according to God.
What angers and mobilizes activists is not only the barbaric ritual but also the conditions in which the animals are held for days. Stuffed into milk crates, the chickens are unable to move and are deprived of food, water, protection from the elements and the ability to clean off the urine and feces of the chickens stacked above them. It is in this weakened state that participants grab them by their fragile wings, often breaking them, and perform the ritual.
This year SASHA Farm will hopefully be involved in helping save some of these Kaporos chickens. For more information on how you can help visit this website: http://www.endchickensaskaporos.com/