last week tonight

John Oliver’s chicken-farming rant will make you hate ‘chickenf**ker’ congressmen

Oliver exposes the secret victims of the chicken farming industry: the farmers themselves.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


Published May 18, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 7:46 pm CDT

Most of us are vaguely aware that chicken farming is inhumane, but it’s easy to ignore that fact when presented with a plate of delicious chicken.

That’s why John Oliver went an unusual route in a new Last Week Tonight segment about American chicken farms, discussing the horrors of the meat industry without asking everyone to go vegetarian.

As it turns out, many chicken farmers actually wish they could give their livestock better living conditions. They’re just held back by low pay and punishing contracts with chicken farming companies, which set down strict rules about what the farmers can and can’t do. Farmers just want to pursue the most classic example of the American dream, but they’re forced to jump through hoops to stay competitive with their neighbors.

As usual, Oliver has us raging against the machine. And since his show is taking a break next week, you have extra time to find out if your local congressperson is a “chickenf**er” and amend their Wikipedia entry accordingly. 

Screengrab via Last Week Tonight/YouTube

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*First Published: May 18, 2015, 7:39 am CDT