We just hit another milestone in our work to improve the lives of farm animals: According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 40% of hens used for eggs in the U.S. are now cage-free. We and our allies are transforming this massive $10 billion industry. Just 15 years ago, only 3% of hens used commercially were cage-free. This shift means that more than 100 million hens every year are spared from suffering in cages.

This is a major accomplishment, and we are proud to have been a part of this change for animals. But most egg-laying hens around the world are still kept in cage systems, which means they are confined to a space roughly the size of a microwave with as many as nine other birds. A hen in a battery cage is unable to even spread her wings and spends her entire life standing on metal wire, which digs into her feet. She eats, stands, sleeps and defecates in the same tiny space, denied the ability to carry out behaviors that are essential to her mental and physical welfare, such as dustbathing, walking and perching. While cage-free standards aren’t necessarily ideal, they’re a vast improvement over the hellish conditions of a cage.