Back in 2005, VINE Sanctuary (then called Eastern Shore Sanctuary) assisted the first-ever rescue of chickens abused in the Kapparot ritual through which some Orthodox Jews seek to expiate their own sins by expelling them into baby birds who, after being tortured by being swung through the air, are killed. That year, hundreds of birds who had not been used in the ritual had been left to die in crates on the streets of Brooklyn. In subsequent years, animal advocates have proactively protested the ritual, which most scholars agree is not a legitimate expression of the annual obligations associated with Yom Kippur, and sought to save as many birds as possible.
In 2005, our sanctuary took 50 birds and helped to find homes for scores more. In all but two years since, we have been able to find room for at least a few birds rescued from this cruel ritual.
This year, sanctuary co-founder Miriam Jones, who was herself raised as an Orthodox Jew, personally joined the protests while also aiding the efforts to save as many birds as possible. She drove back home with 29 birds. In this video, you will meet those baby birds and also hear Miriam’s reactions to the experience of being able to save so few in the face of so much suffering.