More Equal Than Others

How humans interact with animals.


Dutch photographer Jan van Ijken spent the past several years watching humans interact with animals in a range of settings—from research labs and factory farms to exotic bird shows. The result is a series of remarkable images documenting the shifting and ambivalent ways we value other creatures.

Inoculating piglets against lung disease.

Inoculating piglets against lung disease.
 
Piglets chewing on chains

To keep them from biting each other, pigs are given chains to chew.
 

A 9-year-old sow at “Hog Heaven,” a project that connects people with pigs.
 

Amsterdam police officers cuddle cows as part of a stress therapy workshop.

Cattle waiting for slaughter.

Cattle waiting for slaughter.
 
Breeder rabbits in transport.

Breeder rabbits in transport.
 
Injecting rabbits with vaccines in a research lab.

Injecting rabbits with vaccines in a research lab.
 
Artificially inseminating a rabbit. A breeding farm can produce 100,000 rabbits a year.

Artificially inseminating a rabbit. A breeding farm can produce 100,000 rabbits a year.
 

Judging rabbits at the Netherlands Association of Rabbit, Guinea Pig, and Rodent Enthusiasts show.
 
Inspecting rabbits.

Inspecting rabbits.
 
Poultry plant workers examine chicks for defects.

Poultry plant workers examine chicks for defects. (This one passed.)
 
18,000 turkey chicks are housed in a shed.

18,000 turkey chicks are housed in this shed.
 
Two chicks with clipped beaks.

Chicks’ beaks are clipped to prevent them from pecking at each other.
 
Collecting chickens.

Collecting chickens.
 
Chicks getting beaks removed with infrared beam.

Considered more humane than singeing, chicks’ beaks are removed with an infrared beam.
 
Newly hatched ducklings on a conveyor belt.

Newly hatched ducklings on a conveyor belt. This plant handles 35,000 ducklings a day.
 
Operating on a cat.

Operating on a cat.
 
Drawing blood from a macaque monkey in a vaccine lab.

Drawing blood from a macaque monkey in a vaccine lab.
 
A sick child gets a visit from a guinea pig.

A sick child gets a visit from a guinea pig.
 
11,000 pedigreed birds are displayed at this annual show.

11,000 pedigreed birds are displayed at this annual show.
 
Attending to a rescued seal.

Attending to a rescued seal.
 
Rescued seals are released into the ocean.

Rescued seals are released into the ocean.
 
Grooming a prize Brahma chicken for competition.

Grooming a prize Brahma chicken for competition.
 

Over 120,000 homing pigeons are released to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Netherlands Homing Pigeon Keepers Association.

 

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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