Here’s the deal: Life for animals on modern day factory farms isn’t pretty. Forget those idyllic barnyard portrayals in children’s books. By and large, those places haven’t existed since your grandparents were in diapers.

Each year on today’s factory farms, over eight billion animals are confined in windowless sheds, tiny barren crates, and filthy wire cages. The vast majority of these animals are mutilated without painkillers, denied veterinary care, and ultimately slaughtered. Sadly, they have little to no legal protections. Simply put, life for them is a hell you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

While the overwhelming majority of “food” animals live and die in misery and deprivation, a lucky few have escaped their cruel fates after being rescued by animal advocates. These are their stories:

Her story is nothing short of a miracle. Hope’s life now consists of dust baths, perching in trees, and gossiping with her girlfriends in the coop. But it wasn’t always this way. Hope was found on a pile of dead birds on an egg factory farm. She was barely alive when a young rescuer saved her life.

Approximately 250 million hens like Hope are imprisoned every year on modern egg factory farms, where they are denied nearly everything that comes naturally to them.

They are crammed into barren wire cages, where each bird gets less space than an iPad to live her entire life.

They are unable to spread their wings, walk, or forage for food. When they are just babies, they have their beaks seared off with a hot blade. This is an extremely painful procedure and many chickens die from starvation because it’s too excruciating to even eat.

The males never have a chance. Because they don’t lay eggs, they are killed soon after hatching. Some are ground up alive, while others are gassed or suffocated.

Olive is one brave, lucky lady. She saved her own life by making a daring and dangerous escape from a slaughterhouse.

Pigs just like Olive are treated mercilessly on factory farms.

They are kept pregnant and imprisoned inside tiny metal gestation crates so small they can’t turn around, lie down comfortably, or engage in any natural behavior.

This farming practice is so cruel that many pigs go mad from utter lack of stimulation. Hour after hour, day after day, they have nothing to do but bite the bars or bang their heads against the sides of the cages.

Shortly after birth, piglets are taken away from their mothers, and endure mutilations without painkillers, including having their tails chopped off and testicles ripped out of their bodies.

Having been rescued and taken to a sanctuary, Olive now lives a life of leisure, taking mud baths (okay, rolling in the mud), and hanging with her BFFs.

Ophelia is the best girlfriend in the world. She’ll keep you company while you eat, sit quietly and listen to all your troubles, and even accompany you to the spa for some

dust bathing.

Seriously though, like us, chickens form strong bonds with their friends and families, are inquisitive, and enjoy their natural surroundings.

Sadly, like Ophelia once was, “broiler chickens”—a term given to birds raised for their meat—are packed in filthy, overcrowded sheds and bred to grow so quickly that many

suffer health defects, such as crippling leg disorders and heart attacks.

How fast do they grow? Think of a two- year-old baby weighing 350 pounds!

Dylan is a lovable, easygoing guy. He enjoys soaking up the sun, chomping down on carrots, and hanging out with his friends.

But life wasn’t always great for this gentle giant. Born on a dairy farm, Dylan was dragged away from his mom after just one day to be sold for veal. He was found tied to a post, lying in his own feces, when a compassionate couple arranged his rescue.

On a veal farm, Dylan would have been chained by his neck in a tiny crate barely larger than his body before being sent to slaughter at only 16 weeks old.

Dairy cows, like Dylan’s mother, also live miserable lives. Like all mammals, cows produce milk for their babies. In order to keep producing milk, they are artificially and repeatedly impregnated. They are kept in tiny stalls and have hardly any room to move around. After about four years, they are sold to slaughter.

Do fish feel pain? Of course they do. Modern science now tells us that fish experience pain in much the same way mammals do. They can also feel pleasure. In fact, fish release a hormone called oxytocin, which is the same hormone released in humans when they’re falling in love.

But life in the sea isn’t all about love stories. Commercial fishing boats cruelly catch billions—yes, billions—of fish every year.

And fish are not the only victims of industrialized fishing. Dolphins, turtles, and other marine wildlife become ensnared in mile-long nets.

Other fish are raised in overcrowded, dirty, and disease-ridden factory farms.

Hardly. The extremely small percentage of animals raised on small-scale farms may be treated a little better, but the reality is that many of these animals are still separated from their families and mutilated without painkillers, and their deaths are always the same: bloody, violent, and completely unnecessary.

Almost anything is better than the nightmare of factory farming, but sadly, cage-free doesn’t mean cruelty-free. The truth is that cage-free and free-range hens are usually crammed in overcrowded sheds, debeaked, and all killed once their egg production declines.

link to IRSCE world