Opinion: Religious freedom does not justify animal sacrifice

Chickens rests in a cage behind Bait Aaron where they were being slaughtered for the Orthodox Jewish tradition of kaparot in Los Angeles on September 13, 2013.
Chickens rests in a cage behind Bait Aaron, where they were being slaughtered for the Orthodox Jewish tradition of Kapparot in Los Angeles in September 2013.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Nowhere in the Torah nor in Talmudic law is there a requirement to torture and slaughter chickens in order to perform the Jewish Kapparot ritual. Orthodox Jews recognize there is a compassionate alternative in the use of money rather than chickens for the supposed transference of sins. (“Federal judge lifts temporary ban on ritual slaughter of chickens, minutes before start of Yom Kippur,” Oct. 11)

Just because the custom of using chickens has been practiced for 1,100 years does not justify such cruelty, slaughter and waste. Recent investigations into the use of chickens for Kapparot in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles have proved that the bodies of these poor birds are thrown into the trash rather than fed to the poor.

The use of chickens for Kapparot is profit driven and it is a shameful practice that should be abhorrent to all who oppose animal cruelty.

Robb C. Curtis, Los Angeles



To the editor: I do find ritualistic animal sacrifice pretty archaic, but killing animals is legal at the slaughterhouse. At my local grocery store I can find body parts from hundreds of slaughtered animals on display. 

Religious practices are generally protected under the U.S. Constitution, so if a religious group wants to engage in a completely legal practice, on what basis could you ban it?

Erica Hah, Monrovia


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