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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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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