United Poultry Concerns
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22 May 2014
Urban Adamah Kills Fifteen Hens: Animal Advocates Offered to Transport the Hens to Sanctuaries

Berkeley, CA - On May 21, United Poultry Concerns learned that fifteen 3-year-old hens in the care of Urban Adamah, a Jewish community center and urban farm in Berkeley, are now dead.

The killing of these healthy young hens was confirmed on May 22 in an article in Jweekly, the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. The Jweekly has been covering the effort of UPC and Bay Area activists to enable the hens to go to a sanctuary ever since April 28 when we learned that the center planned to kill the hens in a kosher slaughter class on May 4 because their egg production had declined. See Bay Area Animal Advocates Urge Jewish Urban Farm NOT to Slaughter 15 Chickens.

Previously, the community center had posted photos of each hen with her name on its website, representing these birds as part of the center’s farm family and encouraging children to love them under a banner of commitment to “love, compassion, and justice.”

Child with Urban Adamah hens
A child shows kindness to the hens, now dead, at Urban Adamah. Photo by Urban Adamah

But as soon as the hens’ utility declined, a new attitude took over despite being cloaked in euphemisms about butchering the hens with “compassion,” “respect,” “reverence,” and “gratitude.” Learning that a peaceful protest was planned for May 4 in the hope of saving the hens, Urban Adamah canceled the class, claiming that the protest – but not the killings – would “stress” them.

Since May 4, UPC and Bay Area activists, along with Faith Action for Animals and Jewish Vegetarians of North America, have pleaded with Urban Adamah to release the hens to the sanctuaries eager to welcome them – Animal Place, Hen Harbor, and Harvest Home.

In what had seemed tentatively hopeful for the hens, UPC projects manager, Hope Bohanec, spoke with Adam Berman, executive director of Urban Adamah, by phone on Tuesday, May 20. He assured her the hens were still safe.

“I thanked him for keeping the chickens safe and continuing to care for them, and asked what their plans were,” Bohanec said, learning of the betrayal. “He said that he and the board had made no decision yet, and that it would be weeks before they did,” she wrote upon learning that the hens had actually been killed in a private kosher slaughtering workshop during the week.

“I am truly dumbfounded,” Bohanec said in an email. “Adam allowed for an extensive conversation about the possible transfer of the hens to sanctuaries knowing full well at that time that they were dead. I am really heartbroken for the chickens. It was absolutely unnecessary. There was a community of compassionate people concerned for their wellbeing and willing to care for them. The bloodshed did not have to happen.” The fact that Adam Berman blatantly lied to an advocate reveals that Urban Adamah did not negotiate in good faith and instead behaved in a deceitful and fraudulent manner.

On Tuesday, May 27 at 2pm, United Poultry Concerns, Faith Action for Animals, and Bay Area activists will hold a peaceful candlelight vigil demonstration at Urban Adamah to express our sorrow and anger over the betrayal of the hens by their caregivers, and our disgust at the dishonesty of Adam Berman, who pretended to those who cared about the hens that they were alive and safe when he knew they were not. Please join us.

Vigil on Tuesday, May 27 at 2 pm.
Location: Urban Adamah 1050 Parker St, Berkeley, CA 94710


For today’s coverage by Jweekly of the killing of the hens, see http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/71688

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