Day 5

The lives of hens in battery cages are a haunting contrast to the idyllic images often associated with farming. Kept in cramped, inhumane conditions, hens are subjected to a life of perpetual suffering. These birds often have their beaks painfully debeaked to prevent self-inflicted injuries resulting from their crowded, stressful existence.The cages used in many egg factories are so small that hens cannot even stretch their wings or lie down comfortably. Even hens who are kept in "cage-free" or "free range" facilities tend to be crowded into dark buildings with little or no access to outdoors.

Upon rescue, these hens emerge shockingly thin and with tattered feathers, looking nothing like the vibrant creatures they were meant to be. Many are traumatized, their behavior oscillating between frantic and numb states of shock. For them, the transition from the cold, sterile environment of the factory to the warmth and compassion of a sanctuary is a profound and life-changing experience.

At VINE Sanctuary, the hens' journey to healing and rediscovering their unique personalities is a testament to the power of compassion and care. They are allowed to roam open spaces, enjoy the sun, and experience the simple pleasures denied to them for so long. Through trust-building measures like offering food and gentle interaction, sanctuary staff help these hens overcome their fears and learn to embrace a life free from suffering. It is within this nurturing atmosphere that the hens gradually discover their own unique quirks and preferences. 

Fanny's story exemplifies the resilience of these birds. Fanny endured an 18-month term in a North Carolina egg factory before she came to live at the sanctuary. She liked visitors and excitement and changes of pace.

Fanny's many friends included Carmen, who had been with her in the egg factory; a younger hen called Darwin who had lost a wing in a freak accident; and a delicate but tenacious half-blind hen called Felicia. These friendships showcased the capacity for hens to form deep connections with each other, despite their vastly different backgrounds and experiences.

In the end, Fanny's story, and the stories of countless other hens at sanctuaries like VINE, shed light on the unique personalities and resilience of these birds. Each hen, like Fanny, leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of those who care for them and those who learn about their journeys, inspiring us all to treat hens and other animals with the compassion and respect they deserve.

Shout Out

Rachel is a dedicated animal caretaker at VINE, where she passionately tends to the needs of various animals, but mostly hens and roosters. As a mother herself, Rachel experienced a profound transformation when she witnessed the remarkable bond between a Mother Hen and her chicks.

This heartwarming moment prompted Rachel to go vegan. Among the many animals she cares for at VINE, Rachel's favorite is a charming and friendly hen named Donut, whose cheerful presence and audacious personality never fails to bring a smile to her face.

Further Inspiration

Read For the Birds: From Exploitation to Liberation, written by United Poultry Concerns founder Karen Davis with an afterword by VINE cofounder pattrice jones.

Recipe of the Day

While there are many egg substitutes to choose from these days, nothing beats tofu as an affordable and versatile alternative to scrambled eggs. Try this simple Southwest Scrambled Tofu recipe from Minimalist Baker. Once you are comfortable making scrambled tofu, venture out to try different spices and mix-ins!

Other Ways to Engage

Join the V2V Forum

Share your experiences with other challenge participants and get expert advice from longstanding vegans here.

Catch Up on Briefings

You can find and discuss any daily briefing you skipped or missed here.

Follow Us on Social Media

Get to meet the members of our multi-species community. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for an inside look into the daily adventures at the sanctuary.

Subscribe to In Context

In Context with pattrice jones is a bi-weekly half-hour talk show that looks at timely questions facing animal advocates within the broader ecosystem of ideas about social and environmental justice.

If you listen to podcasts, subscribe here. If you like watching videos, watch past episodes on YouTube.

Join our Book Club

The VINE Book Club meets monthly to discuss books of interest to animal advocates who work within an ecological awareness of the linkages between animal exploitation and other forms of injustice.

Learn more here.


We want to do so much more than we have been able to, but to do that, WE NEED YOU. Find out ways to get involved, and sign up here.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube