Suffering of Chickens in the Kaporos Ritual: The Facts
An Animal Rights Article from


United Poultry Concerns (UPC)
June 2014

[Ed. Note: Also see Synopsis: NYC Bar Association Law Forum on Kaporos.]

Kaporos chickens

Powerpoint Presentation (PDF) for Animal Sacrifice, Religion and the Law -- The Practice of Using Chickens as Kaporos
New York City Bar public event, Thursday, June 12, 2014

Audio of the presentation available here.

[Ed. Note: We recommend that you view the Powerpoint Presentation while listening to the audio. Karen's segment begins at 1:10:55 in.]

A Presentation by Karen Davis, PhD,
President of United Poultry Concerns (UPC), Founding Member of the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos is an association of people who seek to replace the use of chickens in Kaporos ceremonies with money or other non-animal symbols of atonement. The Alliance does not oppose Kaporos per se, only the cruel and unnecessary use of chickens in the ceremony.

United Poultry Concerns first learned about Chicken Kaporos in 1994 and the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos was formed in New York City in 2010.

Kaporos chickensFive Specific Ways in Which Chickens Suffer Pain, Injury, Misery and Abuse as Kaporos Victims:

  1. Being Held for Days in Transport Crates
  2. Being Suspended by Their Wings
  3. Being Exposed to the Kaporos Environment
  4. Being Slaughtered
  5. Being Abandoned After the Ceremony

While the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos focuses on Kaporos, our campaign is part of the broader discussion about the way chickens are mistreated in our society and around the world just as cruelly and needlessly. When people express horror over images depicting what Kaporos chickens go through, it provides an opportunity to point out that the chicken on their plate suffered no less.

The ultimate meaning of our campaign to end chickens in Kaporos rituals was movingly expressed by Cherylynn Kostner in 1997. Of the birds she succeeded in rescuing from Kaporos, she wrote:

The rescued birds became part of my flock family. In time I got to know them individually and I developed a love for them. Their ability to express themselves and to return loving gestures when treated with kindness came through in a Universal language. I have no doubt that each bird has a soul and a connection in spirit to the same creator of my own flesh and blood, as well as yours.

Please download the entire Powerpoint Presentation (PDF) and share widely!

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