The meat-industrial complex doesn’t just carelessly churn through animals. It also exploits and endangers the humans who work in its processing plants, as John Oliver explains in the latest episode of Last Week Tonight.
Last night the comedian dug into the inhumane working conditions at meat processing plants, how the pandemic exacerbated them, and how the companies that control that industry have long exploited and distorted the laws intended to govern them. It’s a pretty typical American story: massive corporations try to extract every ounce of value out of their employees, to the point where their safety is actively, knowingly endangered on a daily basis, and the government is either complicit or easily exploited enough to facilitate the whole thing. Oliver paints a persuasive picture of an industry with almost no regard for the people who make it possible, and, as usual, seeds in enough legitimately funny jokes to make it watchable. Do you want to learn about chicken billionaires skirting OSHA regulations, lobbying for changes to workers’ comp laws, and preying on immigrants, felons, and other populations who struggle to find employment, but also laugh about perverted owls at the same time? Now’s your chance.
Check out the full segment below. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs on HBO on Sundays at or around 11 p.m., and can be streamed on HBO Max.