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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777
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Animal Rights Extremists Force Cancellation of Shechita Class

Shechia opponents used graphic images to oppose traditional slaughter method
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Chickens awaiting kosher slaughter.

Chickens awaiting kosher slaughter.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons



A workshop in Berkeley, Calif., on kosher slaughter — during which 15 hens were to be killed — was canceled amid public outcry from animal rights groups and others.

Urban Adamah initially stood firm that its long-planned event would continue as scheduled on Sunday despite activists who threatened to picket and protest outside the urban farm and education center. But on Thursday, Adam Berman, founder and executive director of Urban Adamah, a nonprofit grounded in Jewish values, sent out an email explaining the cancellation.

“We regret to inform you that we are canceling our shechita (ritual slaughter) workshop planned for this Sunday,” the email began. “Our landlord has asked us to cancel the event. We do not have explicit permission in our lease for this activity.

“It has also become clear that there is a significant protest being organized outside the farm during the workshop. The noise and disruption expected from the protesters would very likely have caused undue stress to the chickens and the program participants, and prevent us from holding a safe, educational and compassionate workshop.”

In a phone interview with j. on Thursday, Berman would not comment on the fate of the chickens now that the workshop is canceled.

“We don’t yet know what we are doing with the chickens. We are considering our options,” he said, declining to elaborate.

Berman said the Urban Adamah staff wanted to go ahead with the event, even after opposition began mounting this week in the form of phone calls and emails to Urban Adamah, email blasts from animal rights activists and several groups calling for protests. A Facebook page titled “Protest in Berkeley: Save 15 Young Hens from Slaughter” featured a stark image of a chicken having its throat slashed.

JTA

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Imported and Older Comments:

  1. PattriceJones435 says:

    Your headline says “extremists,” but the article does not describe any “extremist” tactics. Letters, telephone calls, and picketing on public sidewalks are all protected forms of political free speech in democracies.

    Some people wanted to kill. Others objected, peacefully. Yet you have called those who objected “extremists.” Explain or fix the headline.

  2. Animal cruelty for rituals, Old Testament !! New testaments does not ask sacrifices , obey the commands ! I think covers most denomination , be kind to another / respect Gods creatures too!
    Amen

  3. Animal cruelty for rituals, Old Testament !! New testaments does not ask sacrifices , obey the commands ! I think covers most denomination , be kind to another / respect Gods creatures too!
    Amen

  4. KateEDanaher says:

    All animals have language and culture; are someone, not something. Vegan choices whenever possible is a moral imperative; a r(e)volution of the heart.

  5. You are ignorant of facts.

  6. Well I believe in Gods! Hmm we are all from different denominations and values!
    Define ignorant !

  7. Make a statement, at least rebut with facts ??? I have no problem . But being condescending i do , we are adults we can agree to disagree without degrading

  8. Cm Mckinney says:

    Go home and,watch tv trouble makingg

  9. cool freeze onne and send it to me please these commuist took all my monney

  10. Another reason, I’m vegetarian

  11. Shmuli Cohen says:

    I don’t understand these protests. Why don’t they stand outside an abattoir and protest there?

  12. Nicky Hewie says:

    I think they do.

  13. Nicky Hewie says:

    I am glad someone took the time to show what is cruel and do something about it. No one likes cruelty but how much cruelty should be tolerated? I also feel man allows this – we have to take responsibility for our actions. Why should God or anyone else be blamed for our deeds?

  14. Shechita is the most painless way of killing animals. Animals were created by Hashemthe Almighty to be killed by shechita so Jews and their friends enjoy nice food in order to have healthy bodies and spirits. To those who do not like how we do it I suggest: swallow your anti-Semitic venom and die from it! You are not invited to our tables full of delishios Kosher food! 🙂 🙂

  15. Cruelty, you say? Christians tolerated cruelty allright when our people, not animals, were killed mercielessly by endless wars, inquisition, pogroms, intifadas, holocausts and the likes. And now you crying: Poor hens!? Shut up, liars!

  16. 200 School Girls kidnapped by extremists in Nigeria. Go protest that you knuckle heads!

  17. The ignorant define themselves.

  18. They kill millions of chickens DAILY. Kosher is at least humane.

  19. Mike Burkitt sorry no spelling mistake ✌️

  20. Debra, I fight for humanity and animals! It’s just getting of hand , so I decided to comment on animal cruelty , is that ok
    We are ignorant , we create problems but we can not seem resolve without violence . Innocent people are being killed and children!
    It’s constantly daily , all over world there’s issues ! Daily on news people are being killed . So I decided to answer indirectly relate. Animal cruelty I despise

  21. Vitoria Livshutz , I understand it’s part of your beliefs and tradition , apologies , but no need for profanity and cruel comment ! I have Jewish friends , and they respect my view , I know they do but sorry I just like all animals! I an pretty sure not all are so kind .
    Have a good idea

  22. World crisis , poverty, wars and third world countries still dying , and do not have basic food, water or medicine ! Why??
    All denomination , main core to love our 1 almighty , why not unite and help !!!

  23. Why haven’t Animal Rights Extremists gotten Outraged over the cruel Torcher and killing of animals that Islamists are doing? I have 2 different videos that they took in which you can hear the laughing when a man shoots a bull in each of his legs before killing it. Another where a man has a dog by his tail pushing him to an area then throws the dog to his death at least 2 stories high, you can see and hear the dog after it has fallen crying in pain.

  24. David Darko says:

    Sabine Danelon,who are you to oppose the intention of God? Satan is using you and many other Rights Activists, Human Rights, child/ children’s, Animals Rights and many more, all animals are animals, if you are defending really, then, I want to tell you that, there are also animals in the bushes, which suffers in the hands of their fellow animals, you and your satanic groups, who has nothing to do,should go and struggle with lions, tigers and other wild animals, that causes suffering to their fellow animals.

  25. Cheryl Engel says:

    What in the world do they think happens to the chickens they buy in the grocery store? DUH!!!

  26. JerryFriedman says:

    My great grandparents died in concentration camps because the Nazis did not value their lives. I thought the lesson all people learned from genocide was to revere life. I am delighted that this ritualized killing in the name of Jewish values was canceled.

  27. this animal right group always protest against animal, gonna join your group if you protest against abortion, you act as if only animals have the right and not the unborn

  28. I don’t give a f*ck what a xian thinks about anything. But it seems Jews must keep the little xian monkey on our back like we wanted it there. Have a peanut, go away.

  29. VictoriaLivshutz says:

    Sabine Danelon! Number 1:There was no “cruelty” and “profanity” in my comments. Number 2: Formula ” I have Jewish friends” is often used by Anti-Semites – take it from me, the old expert on Anti-Semitism! Number 3: About your views as animal lover- here the comment of my friend (also a big animal lover and protector) directed right to you: Tanya wrote: “were they all vegetarians? Do they also boycott every retail store which sells meat products? Do they protest by all the farms? Do these people also attempt to stop the sale of hunting licenses? Do they adopt all the dogs and cats out of shelters before they are killed? There are so many places to protest if one is to rescue every single animal” By the way, today is Yom Ha Atzmaut – Israeli Independence Day – I congratulate you all that there is a place in the world where we , the Jews, finally free to live by OUR JEWISH norms, which are written in our Torah , ( THAT IS THE BOOK FROM WHICH THE WHOLE WORLD LEARNED ABOUT HUMINITY , KINDNESS AND TOLERANCE)!!!

  30. BillBilek says:

    One must eat to live. WHAT one eats is a personal choice, as is following the rules of kashrut. You are certainly welcome to exercise your choice. You have no right to condemn the legitimate choice of others.

  31. BillBilek says:

    Are you absolutely, completely, irrevocably sure that vegetables do not have a language and culture? have you not met people who “speak” to their roses?

  32. YechielBaum says:

    They are more interested in hens than the daily attack on the Jews. What a priority!

  33. JerryFriedman says:

    Bill Bilek — it is always right to condemn unnecessary killings. Kashrut is not license to eat anything, but to eat anything that conforms to the Jewish values of compassion and respect for all. It’s wrong to separate values for one’s own convenience. Jewish values should be held and interpreted together.

    Other animals are not our toys or tools, they are other beings that deserve to live their lives as they wish. If one is starving, one can eat whatever one must. Otherwise, other animals deserve to live their lives in peace, just like my great grandparents and all the victims of Hitler.

  34. JosephKolakowski says:

    the Nazis also opposed shechitah… of animals…

  35. JerryFriedman says:

    Bill Bilek Surely you jest? Is it against the web site’s rules to troll and mock other people? If you are not trolling, I highly recommend a basic course in biology, for your question indicates you missed that course entirely.

  36. JerryFriedman says:

    Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski — if only the Nazis were consistent, and opposed the slaughter of humans. It makes no sense to favor killing one group and oppose killing the other. It is as inconsistent for one as it is for the other. Let compassion be the rule and let other animals live in peace.

  37. JaniceAmrani says:

    Since they’re *so* interested in the welfare of the hens, I trust they are also protesting at every single other meat processing plant as well. No? Why am I not surprised?

  38. JaniceAmrani says:

    Are you a PETA activist, Jerry? Does Schechita, with its concern for preventing pain, bother you more than other “meat processing?” Why is that? If you are a vegetarian, I understand your objecion to schechita, but if you’re a meat-eater, I find your argument quite offensive.
    BTW, the Nazis opposed schechita for butcher shops, but were fine with all other killing, as you know..

  39. JaniceAmrani says:

    I’ve been known to “coax” ailing plants. Jerry Friendman, I’m being totally serious here when I say that there are people who insist that plants have auras, which they say are visible using a certain type of photograpy. I’m sorry I’ve forgotten the name, but I’ve seen the photos. If bill Bilek was being facetious about anybody’s post, it wasn’t yours. I think Kate Danaher’s statement “All animals have language and culture” was what did it.

    I personally eat an almost entiely plant-based diet, but I don’t feel obliged to say that just to prove a point. I too am wondering if there have been some huge discoveries since I was in untiversity studying linguistics and then speech pathology. Language, really? I’d really be interested to know your sources, as I’d ;ole tp read up on it.

  40. JaniceAmrani says:

    I wish it were possible to go back and edit my last post. I obviously should have proofread it before clicking Reply.

  41. VictoriaLivshutz says:

    Jerry, your grandparents died in concentration camp because they were Jewish. Our people managed to STAY Jewish in spite all of the holocausts, inquisitions, crusades, pogroms and the like. How? By keeping our traditions and Torah beliefs, one of which is Shechita. You have to grow up to be able to see the difference between two groups: Humans and Animals. Specifically, Nazis were the ones that ignored that difference.

  42. KateEDanaher says:

    Janice Amrani are you questioning animals other than human animals have language and culture?

  43. JerryFriedman says:

    Janice Amrani Plenty of studies show language among other animals, not just human animals. It’s painfully arrogant to assume only humans have language. Start with near-relatives like chimpanzees and bonobos, then spread to distant relatives like ants who communicate with chemicals. All social animals, and there are many of them, must communicate for them to have society. There are studies on chicken cognition (check Google Scholar) that demonstrate enormous intelligence and caring–how murderous it is to kill them.

  44. JaniceAmrani says:

    Kate Danaher , I suppose it depends how one defines “language.” I was asking you how your would define language. There *are* neurological differences between humans and other animals. I don’t think that stating that fact makes me into some kind of an ogre. As a former speech therapist, I’m interested to know what you’re talking about, that’s all.

  45. JerryFriedman says:

    Janice Amrani There are neurological differences among all animals, not just humans on one side and all other animals on the other. You imply human neurological supremacy but you have not demonstrated human neurological supremacy.

    It doesn’t matter how one person would define language, especially if one’s definition gives unearned preference to humans. What matters is how language is defined by experts in the field. Language is generally a means of communicating with rules, hence spoken language has grammar, body language has its set of rules, even computer programming language has established logic to make it work.

  46. JerryFriedman says:

    Your criticism is illogical. It means that people who protested the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson but not other murders are not upset at other murders. You imply neurological superiority with humans but you fail to demonstrate logical superiority. Why am I not surprised?

  47. JerryFriedman says:

    Victoria, if one considers the Torah history, one should go back to Creation and not post-Flood to understand our relationship with other animals. And tradition is no defense to cruelty. If my family’s tradition was oppressing women, which is common in patriarchal Judaism, then I would not tell you that your family should oppress women because Jews have done so for millennia. Take cruelty out of Shechita and I am in complete agreement with you. Tradition is important, so long as cruelty is not part of it.

  48. JaniceAmrani says:

    Jerry Friedman , I think it depends on one’s definition of “language.” Cognition is something else entirely and I would *never* say that chickens or any other animals aren’t sentient. Of course ants and bees, to take 2 well-known examples, communicate with each other. Your point?

    Look: I am not anti-vegan or anti-vegetarian. Don’t know how you got that impression. I guess I must not have expressed myself clearly enough.

    Neither am I insensitive to the suffering of non-human animals. I think my rescue cats would attest to that.

    My original thesis was just that I think these protesters are being a bit ingenuous when they profess such huge concern for the animals slaughtered by shechita. That is UNLESS they are equally protesting slaughterhouses in general. At this point, I figure “in for a penny, in for a pound” as you guys seem to hav decided that I’m a bad person already, so I’ll add that shechita is not “ritualistic slaughter,” in its normal sense of killing an animal as part of a religious ritual. Heaven forbid!

  49. JerryFriedman says:

    Janice Amrani Why do you turn the discussion against me, personally? It does not make Shechita more or less cruel whatever my values or behaviors. I am not a PETA activist–what should I accuse you of? If you care to demonstrate your neurological superiority, stop accusing people of things irrelevant to the dialog.

  50. JaniceAmrani says:

    1. I didn’t “accuse” – I asked. Big difference.
    2. Sorry if I came across as snarky. i was probably responding in kind, which I shouldn’t have, to that “you failed to demonstrate logical superiority. Why am I not surprised?” crack. You ask “What should I accuse you of?” Well, seems to me that you’ve already done that.
    3.I said that, “if you are a vegetarian, I understand your objection to shechita, but if you’re a meat-eater, I find your argument quite offensive.” Where’s the nastiness there?

  51. JaniceAmrani says:

    It strikes me in rereading this entire thread that all this anger I seem to have unknowingly provoked is because I tried to elucidate what had prompted Bill Bilek’s post. I guess my take-home lesson for this is that I shouldn’t ever comment on anybody else’s comment. Sorry.

  52. JerryFriedman says:

    Janice, I appreciate your changed tone and I’ll respond in kind. My personal opinions and values do not matter, nor do yours, in determining whether it’s right or wrong to kill chickens or other animals. When you turn the argument away from the topic and direct it to the person discussing the topic, it’s ad hominem (a logical fallacy that you should avoid) and is usually an insult.

    The topic is whether it’s right or wrong to kill hens for Shechita. I claim it’s wrong because as humans and as Jews, we know what it means to suffer, to want life and have it taken away, to be valued as vermin or pests or ends to others who use force and violence against us for any reason, especially their pleasure. Unnecessary killing is wrong to a society that values life. Jews and all humans value life, therefore we should not contribute to nor cause unnecessary suffering or death.

    Cruelty is immoral even if it is traditional. It is no more acceptable to abuse women or children out of tradition than it is to abuse chickens or other animals out of tradition. Knowing how my great grandparents suffered because people would not speak up for them empowers me not to remain silent.

  53. 1. I didn't "accuse" – I asked. Big difference.
    2. Sorry if I came across as snarky. i was probably responding in kind, which I shouldn't have, to that "you failed to demonstrate logical superiority. Why am I not surprised?" crack. You ask "What should I accuse you of?" Well, seems to me that you've already done that.
    3.I said that, "if you are a vegetarian, I understand your objection to shechita, but if you're a meat-eater, I find your argument quite offensive." Where's the nastiness there?

  54. It strikes me in rereading this entire thread that all this anger I seem to have unknowingly provoked is because I tried to elucidate what had prompted Bill Bilek's post. I guess my take-home lesson for this is that I shouldn't ever comment on anybody else's comment. Sorry.

  55. Janice, I appreciate your changed tone and I'll respond in kind. My personal opinions and values do not matter, nor do yours, in determining whether it's right or wrong to kill chickens or other animals. When you turn the argument away from the topic and direct it to the person discussing the topic, it's ad hominem (a logical fallacy that you should avoid) and is usually an insult.

    The topic is whether it's right or wrong to kill hens for Shechita. I claim it's wrong because as humans and as Jews, we know what it means to suffer, to want life and have it taken away, to be valued as vermin or pests or ends to others who use force and violence against us for any reason, especially their pleasure. Unnecessary killing is wrong to a society that values life. Jews and all humans value life, therefore we should not contribute to nor cause unnecessary suffering or death.

    Cruelty is immoral even if it is traditional. It is no more acceptable to abuse women or children out of tradition than it is to abuse chickens or other animals out of tradition. Knowing how my great grandparents suffered because people would not speak up for them empowers me not to remain silent.


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