factory farms

John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” Blasts Factory Farms, Slaughterhouses

Piper Hoffman Animals, Environment, Events, Investigations, News, Veg Eating 6 Comments

Factory farms, slaughterhouses come under fire on “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

The last two episodes of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” showed in chilling and vivid detail how abuses in animal agribusiness cause animal suffering and environmental devastation as well as human illness, injury, and death.

The Next Pandemic

Oliver explained how factory farms—and eating meat generally—are likely to cause another pandemic. He pointed out that:

  •   “Up to 75 percent of new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals”;
  •   “In factory farms, [animals] are bred and confined in ways that can enable viruses to spread among them much more easily”; and
  •   “Ninety-nine percent of meats” eaten in the U.S. come from factory farms.

To help prevent another pandemic, Oliver advised: “Close down all wildlife markets, ban factory farming, [and] stop eating meat altogether.”

We agree with John Oliver. Animal Outlook produced this video about how factory farms and live markets are likely to cause the next pandemic, and we work tirelessly to end factory farming and promote a vegan diet by investigating factory farms and slaughterhouses, using the law to fight animal agribusiness and persuading companies to offer fewer animal products and more vegan ones. To learn about the ways “[animals] are bred and confined” in factory farms that worry Oliver, watch these videos by Animal Outlook investigators on chickens, fish, pigs and cows.

Worker Safety

Meatpacking workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the country and have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. Oliver explained some of the reasons, such as the fact that line speeds are way too fast—they have doubled since 1979.

Faster slaughter lines cause both catastrophic and chronic injuries to workers, and gruesome suffering to animals: They increase the risk that an attempted stunning won’t work, leaving an animal fully conscious and sensible to pain when she is submerged in scalding water or dismembered.

Animal Outlook is battling increased line speeds in U.S. slaughterhouses on multiple fronts, including a lawsuit challenging the USDA’s decision to eliminate line speed caps in pig slaughterhouses; a letter urging the Biden-Harris administration to reverse increases in slaughter line speeds for birds, pigs, and cows (the new administration proceeded to withdraw a proposed rule to increase chicken slaughter line speeds); and an investigation that documented the horrors at high-speed chicken slaughterhouse Amick Farms.

Thanks to generous supporters, Animal Outlook’s investigators work every day to expose the truth about factory farming. Help make lasting change for animals by supporting our investigators and giving today at animaloutlook.org/donate

Please join us for VegWeek — April 19-25, 2021. Take the VegPledge today.

Photo credit: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)

Comments 6

  1. “As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will NEVER know HEALTH or PEACE. For as long as men massacre animals they WILL kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain CANNOT reap joy and love.” – Pythagoras (570 -480) Greek mathematician & philosopher ….. and vegetarian/vegan.
    “For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself – and whosoever eats the flesh of slain beasts eats the body of death.” – Jesus Christ, The Essene Gospel of Peace (taken from the Dead Sea Scrolls) …. but you will not hear it to preach in any church.
    “It’s funny how everybody considers honesty a virtue, yet no one wants to hear the truth.” …. it is actually sad and destructive, lethal.

  2. I have been vegan for over 7 years and was vegetarian for 36 years before that. Once I found out the horrible treatment of cows and chickens, etc., I turned vegan. I can’t stand the way these animals have to suffer, and the factory farming makes it even worse. It’s not fair that the factory farms and slaughter houses will cause pandemics and vegans will still be at risk for getting these viruses. I am pleased that you sent this email and Jon Oliver is speaking up! I know that Corey Booker and Camila Harris are also encouraging people to eat less meat. Booker is vegan, but wants to ban factory farming. People will be healthier, less workers injured, and these poor animals won’t have to suffer as much. Of course, I don’t want them to suffer at all!

  3. Stop eating animals!!! Stop contributing to animal abuse, torture and neglect. Eliminate all factory farms around the globe. These farms are also used to kill animals for their skin and fur to make clothes and other items. Stop these barbaric practices. We should all be more conscious and think of the consequences of our actions! Stop future pandemics!

    1. There are so many vegan options now, it’s senseless to keep killing animals for food or their skin. The planet, people, and animals are ALL suffering under the present system. What is needed is a global paradigm shift, away from the exploitation of animals. Vegan doesn’t have to be expensive, beans and rice are cheap!

  4. i listened to the clip of john oliver over and over. i applaud his suggesting that in order to avoid the next pandemic, we: “Close down all wildlife markets, ban factory farming, [and] stop eating meat altogether.” i think it’s important to note that a moment later, in one flippant sentence he knocked those to the ground, saying – “none of us can take such “extreme” measures.” sooo – his solution? -“lets just at least remember how we feel now”….and i ask, so we can what? again – dismiss out of hand – the very solutions that can stop the NEXT pandemic? sad that the meat, dairy and egg industries and their huge funding of this program, have such a huge influence. please john oliver, be the real alternative voice you pretend to be and don’t muzzle for meat.

  5. i listened to the clip of john oliver over and over. i applaud his suggesting that in order to avoid the next pandemic, we: “Close down all wildlife markets, ban factory farming, [and] stop eating meat altogether.” i think it’s important to note that a moment later, in one flippant sentence he knocked those to the ground, saying – “none of us can take such “extreme” measures.” sooo – his solution? -“lets just at least remember how we feel now”….and i ask, so we can what? again – dismiss out of hand – the very solutions that can stop the NEXT pandemic? sad that the meat, dairy and egg industries and their huge funding of this program, have such a huge influence. please john oliver, be the real alternative voice you pretend to be and don’t muzzle for meat.

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