If you're not one for open-air slaughterhouses, the overpowering stench of blood and feces on the streets and sidewalk, and the sound of terrified animals having their throats slit in the presence and with the assistance of children, then maybe New York City just isn't the place for you. For that is the distressing and anachronistic scene at an annual event that takes place in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, in which an estimated sixty-thousand young chickens are jammed into plastic crates, shipped into the city on trucks, left on the sidewalk without food or water, and then summarily slaughtered in an atavistic and violent atonement ritual known as kaporos.
Your first thought may be that such an overtly unsanitary and unhygienic and morally appalling festival must certainly be illegal in the Capital of The Modern World in the year 2016, and indeed it is illegal. The ritual sacrifice of live animals as described above and practiced within the city limits of New York violates no fewer than fifteen city and state public health and safety laws and statutes regarding cruelty to animals. And yet, it is an annual occurrence that the NYPD does not merely tolerate, but positively supports. Every year the NYPD and the mayor's office not only fail to enforce the very laws that it is their sworn duty and solemn responsibility to uphold, but are also complicit in the breaking of those laws by providing manpower, barricades, and generators to aid and abet the practitioners of these flagrantly illegal activities: activities that are a threat to public health and public safety and are also unimaginably painful and traumatic to the animals involved.
This disgraceful and inhumane practice must end now. And so must the willingness of the New York City Police Department and Mayor deBlasio to look the other way and grant impunity to those whose attachment to an obscure and violent religious tradition is being allowed to imperil public health and public safety and to subvert the laws that protect nonhuman animals from agonizing cruelty. The desire of a few small religious sects to adhere to the barbaric practice of sacrificing live animals in order to atone for their sins should not put other New Yorkers in the position of having to sacrifice our health, safety, and decency at the altar of religious tolerance.
Below are photographs that Vegan Future Now took at this year's kaporos ritual in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Hovering over each photo with your cursor will reveal a description of the image.
For more information, please visit EndChickensAsKaporos.com
All images Copyright 2016 Vegan Future Now