The free­dom to sac­ri­fice birds?

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “An­i­mal rights ac­tivists can’t stop a re­li­gious rite,” Oct. 20

I have worked for a num­ber of years with the Al­liance to End Chick­ens as Ka­poros. De­spite what lawyer Josh Black­man as­serts, the prac­tice of kap­parot is a cus­tom not in keep­ing with Jewish teach­ings about mercy to an­i­mals.

Most rab­bis are op­posed to the prac­tice of us­ing live chick­ens, which are sac­ri­ficed on pub­lic streets or in neigh­bor­hood yards. While prac­ti­tion­ers claim this is a re­li­gious right, they charge the pen­i­tent enough to turn this into a money-mak­ing op­er­a­tion. The dead chick­ens then are given to the poor, but one might ask why a poor per­son would want to eat some­one else’s sins.

Since money or other ob­jects may be used in the cer­e­mony in­stead of liv­ing, sen­tient be­ings, the well doc­u­mented abuse of the chick­ens is nei­ther nec­es­sary nor right. Su­san M. Tellem Mal­ibu

The mis­chief that an­i­mal rights groups do goes way beyond their op­po­si­tion to a thou­sand-year-old re­li­gious rite in­volv­ing the sac­ri­fice of chick­ens.

These groups re­lent­lessly pro­mote the be­lief that man has no right to de­rive a ben­e­fit from an­i­mals. Yet they cyn­i­cally use wild an­i­mals in par­tic­u­lar to raise tons of money to fos­ter their or­ga­ni­za­tional be­liefs, while the an­i­mals them­selves suf­fer from over­crowded ranges and lo­cal pop­u­la­tions cope with the pri­va­tions that these an­i­mals can cause.

Rather than grand­stand­ing law­suits and pub­lic re­la­tions events to show their con­cern for wild an­i­mals while hid­ing their self­ish in­ter­ests, these or­ga­ni­za­tions ought to spend some time com­ing to grips with evo­lu­tion­ary re­al­ity. By the same to­ken, in­no­cent out­siders should study their pitches be­fore giv­ing them more money to cause more mis­chief. God­frey Har­ris Los An­ge­les

Whereas in some cul­tures it is per­fectly ac­cept­able and even en­cour­aged that men marry chil­dren, and other cul­tures en­able whole­sale rit­u­al­is­tic slaugh­ters of an­i­mals for re­li­gious sac­ri­fice, there are those per­sons who find these prac­tices to be re­pel­lant and bar­baric.

It mat­ters lit­tle to those peo­ple, of whom I am one, whether the cru­elty to chil­dren, women or an­i­mals is done un­der the guise of re­li­gious ob­ser­vance or cul­tural tra­di­tion, since we find those prac­tices to be out­side the hu­man­i­tar­ian val­ues to which we hold dear.

The law of any coun­try al­low­ing, en­abling or con­don­ing such cru­el­ties is un­ac­cept­able to we who es­chew cru­elty to man or beast, and we can only hope that oth­ers will one day al­low their minds to be opened to the pos­si­bil­ity that we can live ful­fill­ing lives with­out harm­ing oth­ers. Elaine Livesey-Fas­sel Los An­ge­les

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