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Buried-Alive Chickens Exposed in Shocking Undercover Investigation of Nation's Second-Largest Producer
After watching Pilgrim's Shame: Chickens Buried Alive, it's tough to decide which is more disturbing—the combination of physical abuse and inhumane killing of chickens or the murderous mentality of the animal farmers who were secretly taped earlier this year.
The brief video and accompanying report on CNN's Erin Burnett Out Front actually makes a case for the latter. Hearing an animal farmer laugh about creating a "gravy that is simmering and squirming" from the buried-alive chickens he had just finished abusing is about as chilling as anything uncovered by an animal rights activist in recent years.
The video was produced by Washington DC-based Compassion Over Killing (COK), which had an investigator pose as a wide-eyed intern to get access to the atrocities at Prince Poultry, a North Carolina chicken factory. That factory supplies Pilgrim’s Corp., the second-largest chicken producer in the country. Aside from its own line, Pilgrim's supplies chicken to huge companies like Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Chick-fil-A, Wendy's, Burger King, Publix and others.
Though COK says that more than 8 billion chickens are raised and killed for meat in the U.S. each year, the organization says more die in the shocking fashion exposed in its video. So naturally, agricultural lobbyists are pushing legislation that would outlaw similar undercover investigations and videos. According to CNN, three states—Idaho, Missouri and Utah—have passed "ag-gag" laws, while another 14 have considered them.
When later confronted by CNN and shown the undercover video, Prince Poultry owner Tim Prince said the faux intern "took just the very minute, little things that we've done wrong." Pilgrim's, in a statement, told CNN that it has "retrained the grower in question and his employees."
COK Executive Director Erica Meier is hoping for a bit more than additional training, though.
“What we documented is how he is operating his facility, and it’s unfortunate that what we documented is so egregious that we hope that state authorities will get involved and prosecute this case for burying birds alive," she said.
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Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
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We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.