In this file:


·         John Oliver Investigates the Meatpacking Industry

·         John Oliver Has Some Horrifying News About What You’re Eating Tonight

·         John Oliver tries to spoil meat for us now by exposing unsafe meatpacking plants



John Oliver Investigates the Meatpacking Industry


By Matthew Dessem, Slate

Feb 22, 2021


On Thursday, it will have been 115 years since Upton Sinclair published the first installment of The Jungle, in the Feb. 25, 1905 issue of Appeal to Reason. Sinclair’s novel about abuses in the meatpacking industry, collected in a single, revised volume a year later, led directly to the passage of both the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act. As we all know, those bills permanently reformed the meatpacking industry, providing laborers with safe working conditions, living wages, and a dignified retirement, a standard that ultimately became the foundation of the socialist utopia Americans share today. I’m just kidding: As soon as the American public was assured that Armour lard would no longer contain any accidentally-rendered Lithuanian immigrants, the Eloi went back to fussing over cancel culture or its 1906 equivalent and the Morlocks returned to their abattoirs. This week, Last Week Tonight took a look at the current state of the meat industry, more than a century after Sinclair first raised the alarm. Spoiler alert: It’s still not great.


Of all the disgusting things in this segment, the most nauseating is the footage of the way Tyson Foods pampers their mostly-white salaried employees with on-site fitness sessions and meditation classes, while the mostly non-white hourly workers have to wear diapers because they’re not allowed to leave the line. This isn’t an issue of Tyson Foods or the other meatpacking giants being vicious employers in general: They know exactly which workers they have to treat like human beings and which ones they can abuse and exploit. That kind of corporate culture doesn’t happen by accident: It’s depravity, pure and simple.


Oliver lays out a series of reforms...


more, including links, video [18:41 min.]



John Oliver Has Some Horrifying News About What You’re Eating Tonight

The “Last Week Tonight” host has the dirt on where your food comes from.


By Ed Mazza, Huffpost

Feb 22, 2021


John Oliver has some clucked-up news about where America’s poultry, pork and beef come from.


The host of “Last Week Tonight” took a deep dive into how poorly workers are treated in the big meatpacking facilities ― in some cases, wearing diapers so they don’t leave the production line.


He examined how the handful of big companies that run the majority of the country’s meatpacking plants have gamed the system to exploit workers, avoid regulation and minimize or cover up safety issues. Even when caught, the fines were so low that there was no incentive to change (the average fine for a serious safety violation was just $3,717).


“It can be genuinely cheaper for companies to run an unsafe plant and occasionally pay those fines than for them to provide a safe work environment,” Oliver said...


more, including links, video [18:42 min.]



John Oliver tries to spoil meat for us now by exposing unsafe meatpacking plants


Dennis Perkins, AV Club

Feb 22, 2021


John Oliver just won’t let us have anything nice. In this time of shut-in, shut-down COVID isolation, we’ve all learned to take our tiny pleasures where we can find them. After all, who could we possibly be hurting by indulging our pandemic-starved brains and bodies with a little soothing indulgence now and again? Everyone. We’re hurting everyone with seemingly everything we do as we attempt to claw back some sort of enjoyment from this gnawing, panic-stricken, perilous pandemic and its attendant economic terror-dome. Even, as John Oliver noted in a typically sobering/rage-fueling/wryly funny examination of just how much worse this coronavirus nightmare is for employees of meatpacking plants across the country, just tucking into a damned sandwich.


Ah, meat. We all love it. Except for the approximate 8 percent of the world’s population who choose not to eat other living creatures for environmental, religious, or plain niceness reasons, but those people have never tasted the McRib, so who’s the real monster here? Anyway, as Oliver showed in his scathing main story on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, the horrifying, tortured, disease-spreading lives and deaths of factory farmed animals aren’t the only things to choke down along with your bacon. Workers in the nation’s monopolized, overcrowded, unsafe, and just plain gross meatpacking plants aren’t treated much better...


more, including links, video [18:41 min.]