I was glad to see an article among your archives criticizing the practice of kapparot. I am a member of the religious Jewish community here in Brooklyn, New York. The article is mistaken in stating that the practice is observed by a small sect. Unfortunately and inexplicably, the practice has become quite popular among religious, "yeshivish" and Chasidic Jews, and is now widespread.
Last year I rescued two hens from one of the several kapparot stations in my area. I purchased them and brought them directly to Angel's Gate, a shelter in Long Island.
This year I distributed PETA chicken fliers before Yom Kippur, and purchased two more birds. They are in my apartment. I'll come back to that later.
I took several pictures of the conditions in which the birds were kept. Those conditions were deplorable. I believe that the birds receive no food or water for the week or so that they are in the possession of the "retailers." They certainly receive no food or water over the Shabbat. One kapparot station had the birds outside exposed to the rain on a Shabbat through Sunday. I personally saw birds dead in their crates. Birds were crushed. Birds were opening and closing their mouths, probably out of thirst.
The retailer who sold me my birds tossed them into my box as if they were loaves of bread. The birds began mating behavior (one is a rooster) on the first day, and began eating on the second day. They are now pecking and cooing happily. However, I have them in a refigerator box now, and hope to transfer them to an indoor animal pen. So, my questions and comments:
1. Can you help me find a home for a young hen and rooster so that they don't have to live in a Brooklyn apartment?
2. I intend to begin writing letters to local Jewish newspapers immediately, and to continue the campaign on to next year. Next year I hope to have a large campaign and rescue effort. The fact that most retailers didn't even question me when I took pictures means that no one has made life difficult for them. It's time to make life difficult for people claiming to be religious and doing this to animals. Can you help me with literature, materials, possibly people, and a rescue destination next year?
Thanks for your attention.