Chickens at Urban Adamah. Photo: Urban Adamah
West Berkeley community farm Urban Adamah performed a ritual slaughter of 15 chickens this week despite protests by animal activists. Photo: courtesy Urban Adamah

By Andy Altman-Ohr

Urban Adamah privately slaughtered 15 chickens this week that had been scheduled to be killed as part of a public kosher slaughter workshop on May 4 that was canceled after community outcry.

The chickens, which were no longer laying eggs, were killed by a shochet (kosher slaughterer) in two sessions attended by staff members and Urban Adamah fellows, Adam Berman, executive director of the farm and education center on San Pablo Avenue, said in a statement. Eight chickens were slaughtered on May 14 and the remainder on May 20.

“Unfortunately, we were unable, due to time limitations, to process all of the chickens on [May 14],” Berman wrote in an email. “The remaining few were killed by staff, with the support of our fellows, on Tuesday afternoon, May 20 All of our chickens were treated with utmost kindness and care during their lifetimes and killed in the most thoughtful and humane way we know possible.”

The meat was used in chicken soup and served at Urban Adamah’s weekly free farm stand on May 21. The stand usually gives away produce grown on the Berkeley farm.

“The farm stand is designed for people who don’t have access to healthful food,” Berman said.

The ritual slaughter happened around the time Jewish Vegetarians of North America and United Poultry Concerns launched an online petition calling on Urban Adamah to “release the 15 healthy young hens.” Several weeks ago, those groups helped mount a campaign to cancel the May 4 workshop, threatening to protest at the event.

Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns, wrote in an email that the slaughter “casts an ugly light on Urban Adamah.”

“They may never again use the words compassion, respect, gratitude and reverence for these birds — or any other animal they intend to destroy needlessly — without feeling their stomachs curdle with revulsion and shame that they could so meanly hurt and kill innocent creatures at their mercy,” she wrote.

Continue reading on the website of the J Weekly, where this story originally appeared. 

Activists stop kosher chicken slaughtering class (05.02.14)
Community farm buys 2+ acres in West Berkeley (05.13.14)
Podcast: Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens (07.26.12)
Urban farm Urban Adamah celebrate the harvest (06.17.11)
Faith-based urban farm opens in Berkeley (06.20.11)

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