Urban Adamah, an organization that promotes urban agriculture in the Jewish community in Berkeley, CA, announced a chicken-killing class on May 4 on kosher slaughter. Fifteen healthy young hens who had been “giving” their eggs to the community for three years were to be “compassionately” butchered in front of 30 participants who signed up to learn how to kill chickens.
An outcry from animal advocates and others, including sanctuaries pleading to adopt the hens, caused Urban Adamah to halt the slaughter class – but not out of compassion for the hens. There was no change of heart, just a change of plans. In a published statement, Urban Adamah sought to displace the guilt of killing these innocent birds onto the people who were planning a peaceful protest, contending that “the noise and disruption expected from the protesters would very likely have caused undue stress to the chickens and the program participants.”
Though the May 4 slaughter class was canceled under pressure, the hens are in daily danger of being destroyed, since Urban Adamah has made clear that the only value the hens have for them now is as teaching tools on do-it-yourself butchery and as “meat” – as if there were not enough dead animals being masticated daily in Berkeley already.
These hens need our help. Please join United Poultry Concerns in urging Urban Adamah to, in the words of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, “uphold Judaism’s highest ideals, spare the lives of the 15 hens, and allow these innocent, highly intelligent birds to live out their natural lives in farm-animal sanctuaries.” Animal Place, Hen Harbor and Harvest Home are ready to welcome the hens to a life of happiness and peace. (For JVNA’s statement in context, see http://jewishveg.com/press-release-jewish-organization-urges-mercy-hens.)
1050 Parker St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Adam Berman, Executive Director
(510) 649-1595 ex. 301
Photo: Urban Adamah
- Adam Berman, Executive Director
I am shocked to learn that you planned to slaughter 15 healthy, 3-year old hens, whom you formerly called your friends, as teaching tools in a kosher slaughter class. After providing your community center with eggs for three years, these hens – who have been artificially bred to lay too many eggs for their own wellbeing and whose brothers were all murdered at birth in a hatchery somewhere – were to be butchered for laying too few eggs and become flesh that no one needs to eat in order to be well-nourished.
I am further shocked that you would seek to couch this needless violence in terms of “compassion,” “respect,” and “reverence” for these defenseless birds whom you taught to trust you, who have done you no harm, who have served you, and are not ready to die. I am asking you to release them to a sanctuary, which is the only compassionate action in this case.
I am further asking you, please, to focus your urban agriculture program on growing plant foods and on teaching people how to raise, prepare and enjoy the abundance of plant products instead of shedding the blood of animals and wrapping this gratuitous violence in a stomach-curdling word bubble of “compassion.”
Please do the right thing. Needless killing is never the right thing, and whatever may have been thought in the past, we now know that human beings do not need to eat animals and are, in fact, better off, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically, without slaughterhouse products on their plates. Let us please stop pretending that we’re on the “Survival” channel and instead give thanks for “every green thing” that the Earth provides already for us to thrive on.
Thank you for your attention.
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