On behalf of the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, thank you very much for your editorial (“Chickening out,” Sept. 21) urging, as you say, a “substitute” for the “substitute” in kaporos rituals: money to charity instead of the terrible and needless infliction of suffering and death on thousands of chickens who, in the days leading up to these rituals, are stuffed and stacked in transport crates without food, water, or shelter, or a shred of kindness or mercy.
Watching these birds being painfully suspended by their wings and waved over observers’ heads and hearing them cry as they are being slaughtered in the public street, in the dark, as children join in the cries of fear at the terror and violence, is a total nightmare. There is no excuse for it. Fortunately, Orthodox rabbis in the United States and Israel are speaking out increasingly against the use of chickens in kaporos rituals, urging mercy and charity instead of violence and cruelty to all living creatures in accordance with the best Jewish teachings.
Thank you again for your editorial. We are very grateful to you.