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Kiera Butler, Tasneem Raja and Maggie Severns' Posts

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Has the world reached peak chicken?

chicken-backyard-nest
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On Wednesday, the Northern California animal sanctuary Animal Place will airlift -- yes, you read that right: airlift -- 1,150 elderly laying hens from Hayward, Calif., to Elmira, N.Y., in an Embraer 120 turbo-prop.

The price? $50,000.

Right. So obviously, this isn't the most efficient way to spend your chicken-helping money. It didn't take me very long to think of some alternatives: For example, you could couple all 1,150 hens off and buy each pair its own home. You could feed 367 chickens fancy organic food for an entire year. You could feed 157 people the very fanciest, most coddled, free-rangest, organic-est eggs ever for a year. You could buy flocks of chicks for 2,500 farmers in the developing world through the charity Heifer International.

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Mystery lung fungus: Are you at risk?

Karen Deeming was a healthy 48-year-old living in Los Banos, Calif., and working on her master's degree in anthropology and archaeology. Then, in late 2012, a few weeks after returning from a dig in Mariposa, Calif., Deeming began to feel sick. A chest x-ray turned up bilateral pneumonia and masses in her lungs.

What followed was eight months of debilitating illness. And she's not better yet.

If you suspect that Karen had lung cancer, you're wrong. She had something else -- and she isn't alone. Cases of her illness are on the rise: In 1998, there were 2,000. In 2011, there were around 23,000.

To find out what Karen's illness is -- and whether you're at risk -- watch the video above.

This story first appeared on Mother Jones as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Read more: Climate & Energy