Those who choose to make an effort at understanding the richness of meaning that underlies some rituals including the kaparot ritual, will be rewarded with a greater appreciation of the vast treasures that Judaism offers. Kalman
I have no tolerance for cruelty to animals. Indeed, there is meaning underlying the ritual, and I can appreciate that; just as I can appreciate the meaning underlying the ritual of sending a "scapegoat" off a mountain cliff.
But I do believe that it is precisely understanding those rich meanings to which you refer that allows us to find ways of expression that are not borrowed from magical and pagan practices created a few thousand years ago.