Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Of all the jewish traditions, the one i personally find the most bizarre is the one where we take a live chicken or fish and circle our heads with it a bunch of times before Yom Kippur. Cmon, you think it's weird too right? (you could chicken out and use dollar bills, but it just doesn't have the same flavor)
I'm sure there are a lot of good Kabbalistic reasons for why we do this ritual. But I'm a city girl! Animals just aren't my thing (cute shitzus notwithstanding). I hate the smell of horses, I never kill spiders, and I even hate the zoo. Seriously - I still haven't figured out the popularity of the Discovery Channel - it's not like their shows even win any Emmys!
But even though I hate animals (ok, maybe hate is a strong word - let's just say I don't want to be near them), I still don't want them to suffer. If there is anything I hate worse than going to the farm, it's knowing that animals are mistreated. Oh, and fur coats. (disgusting AND tacky!)
I'm not a member of PETA, and I'm not a vegan (ok, I wish I was a vegan, but I like sushi and chopped liver and apparently those things aren't part of a vegan diet). But it would be nice to know that the animal on my plate had a nice life.
They say that we are what we eat. What if the reason society is so messed up right now is because the animals we eat are messed up? That's not cool.
This girl I know has a husband. Her husband started this business. It's called Kosher Conscience. Go to http://www.kosherconscience.com/ (altho I wish their site was prettier - like mine). I think it's a pretty nifty idea. Yes, nifty. According to her husband, and his business, kosher is about more than just how an animal is slaughtered (ugh I dont like that word, but killed or put to death are equally gross). Shouldn't kosher also be about how an animal lived???
I'm not saying we have to start extending Paris Hilton's line of pooch wear to our farm friends (http://www.glamourdog.com/paris-hilton-dog-clothes.html), but it would be nice to know that the buffalo wings on my plate were given a chance to fly.


Anonymous said...

There is a (rather well known) concept in the Torah called Tza'ar Baalei Chaim, I'm pretty sure that some of the methods used to raise animals today violate it. This is contrary to the non-jewish way of thinking that they stun the animals before they kill them, but raise them the way they do.

I stopped using Chickens years ago because I didn't like what was going on. I don't mind the actual Kapparos, because the chicken doesn't seem to either, but I didn't like the way the animals were being kept and handled and fed... The Rabbi just got into this recently (after PETA) and have starting setting guidelines for Kapparos centers.

Dave said...

Just because people blindly do it and invoke “Tradition” (קבלה) to justify a practice doesn’t change what it is: a superstitious and idolatrous. This is why שלחן ערוך forbids it, citing the prohibition against ‘דרכי האמורי’.

Maidel said...

wow - ive never heard that Dave... I would love a source.

The Babysitter said...

I always hated the zoo, then recently I went and liked seeing the monkeys, their fun to look at, but I always found the rest boring.

funny how you say "society is so messed up" cause I always use the word "messed up" but I say that the world is messed up.

I've done Kapparos with chicken once, but I was too chicken to hold it, so I had my father do it for me, with me standing under squirming every time it moved.