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Gates Foundation

A live chicken doesn't just magically turn into a plate of buffalo wings to make you happy during a ball game.

That'd be somethin' though.


Deliciousness brought to you by Spine on Flickr.

It actually takes a lot of work before it even hits the fryer: hanging, cutting, trimming. Repeat.

And that's just for wings. We're eating so much chicken in 2015 that it's now the most popular meat in America. The industry is boomin'.

And maybe one of the reasons why — besides chicken being delicious — is that consumers are feeling better about it.

Over the past few years, we've demanded better treatment of chickens and are satisfied with words like "certified humane" and "free range."

All GIFs via Oxfam America/YouTube.

As the lives of chickens are beginning to improve, we're forgetting one key part of the industry:

The 250,000 workers who process poultry every day.

They're getting majorly left behind, and the companies they work for hope you won't notice.

A new comprehensive report by Oxfam America called "Lives on the Line" gives us a much-needed wake-up call on the human cost of the chicken we eat.

Chicken processing is at its highest demand ever — line speeds are twice as fast as in 1979. It's forcing workers to dangerous lengths just to keep up.

Workers are known to process 30 chickens a minute, repeating the same motions 20,000 times a day.

But maybe they're getting paid something nice? Nah.

Production is through the roof, but the value of workers' wages has declined 40% since the 1980s.

It's even said that for every $1 spent on McDonald's McNuggets, only about two cents goes to processing workers.

All that work for 2% of the sale price.

Well, why aren't the workers speaking out if it's that bad?

Some are, but there's a lot on the line here. Minorities, immigrants, refugees, and even prisoners often make up the workforce at these major companies, and they're often too afraid to speak up in fear of losing their jobs.

But when these real-life scenarios include common injuries and inhumane working conditions, we have to do something:

“I was working next to a lady who was eight months pregnant. She needed to go to the bathroom and asked for permission. An hour passed, then two. She asked again. The supervisor said, 'Sorry, lady, but no one can cover for you. Hold it a while more.' Finally the woman wet her pants and began to cry." — Bacilio Castro, former poultry worker

In what world is that OK?

The main companies we buy chicken from are so big that if they make changes, other companies would be silly not to.

It's not too much to ask, either. A safe work environment and fair compensation should be the standard across the board for every company out there.

We've seen improvement in how chickens are raised. Imagine the human lives we could change if consumers shined their lights on poultry workers!

Companies listen when they have to. Let's make them listen again.

(It'll make you fall even more in love with those buffalo wings.)

See more from Oxfam's Lives on the Line, plus easy ways you can help demand better for these workers:

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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