Animal Welfare

UPDATE: Urban Adamah Slaughtered 15 Hens; Lied to United Poultry Concerns

The Background

This is a follow-up to this post.

Urban Adamah (UA), a Jewish community center, had 15 hens. When the hens were no longer producing eggs to the center’s satisfaction, the center scheduled a “ritual slaughter”on May 4th to kill the birds for a workshop. United Poultry Concerns (UPC) stepped up to protect the birds and began organizing a protest. Sanctuaries agreed to take the hens. UA put the slaughter on hold, claiming that the protesters would have caused the birds stress… and everyone held their breath, hoping UA would do the right thing and release the hens to the sanctuaries.

But UA did not do the right thing.

Morally Corrupt

UPC reportedly was in contact with UA on May 20th and had a conversation with the UA’s executive director, Adam Berman. Believing the hens were alive, Hope Bohanec of UPC “thanked [Adam] for keeping the chickens safe and continuing to care for them.” When asked what UA’s plans were for the hens, Adam allegedly said that “he and the board had made no decision yet, and that it would be weeks before they did.”

Adam was lying. The hens had already been killed, on May 14th and May 20th.

UPC, working with Faith Action for Animals and activists from the Bay Area, is organizing a peaceful candlelight vigil at UA, scheduled to take place on May 27th. Please attend if you are in the area. We need to send a strong message to UA that what they did was morally corrupt.

It’s morally corrupt because UA refused to allow the hens to live out the rest of their natural lives. UA exploited the hens for their eggs, and then wanted to kill them off when the birds were no longer profitable. Moreover, UA betrayed the community who cared about the hens — UA chose to lie and mislead UPC that the hens were still alive, instead of owning up to their actions.


The responses from attendees at the slaughter show the disconnect between people and animals. These comments exemplify how humans make everything about them:

“My deepest thinking and feeling these days has been focused on my relationship to animals.”

“To go through that makes me realize how much work goes into the food we eat.”

“Relationship to animals.” Was the “relationship” that UA had with its hens an exemplary one? I’ve written before how terrible chickens are treated in this country, especially in factory farms. But there’s something especially heinous about this situation. The hens, who all had names, were supposedly part of the UA community; a photo on the website depicts a young child interacting with a group of hens. UA touted that it was “compassionate.” And yet, all I see is manipulation: The birds were manipulated into trusting the very people who would kill them.

I hope the person who is doing his “deepest thinking” reflects on that.

“To go through that…” What exactly did the attendees “go through”? You heard a prayer and you sat there silently as someone else slit 15 hens’ throats. You didn’t do anything. On the contrary, the hens were the ones who went through something: they were betrayed by the humans who housed them, they witnessed the death of their hen friends, and finally, they met death individually.

But congratulations for making it all about you.

“…how much work goes into the food we eat.” If you choose to eat animals, you are choosing violence. By referring to it merely as “work” you’re hiding the violence committed on those hens. Further, this remark once again removes the hens from the center of the discussion and instead makes it all about the humans.

I don’t know what UA believes it accomplished by their actions.

If there are any more updates or follow-ups, I will be sure to post more.

2 replies »

  1. Self interest! Yes I know it well. That is why I tell people that veganism is all about the nonhuman animals. Anything I gain from being vegan is a benefit, not a goal! I feel so sorry for the hens!


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