Support Aeon

‘I support Aeon because I support the spreading of wisdom.’

Tanner F, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Mammas: hamster

3 minutes

When it’s simply maternal instinct to eat your young

Mothers – in nature and in human societies – are typically thought to have some sort of essential ‘maternal instinct’. Enter the irrepressible Italian artist, writer and actress Isabella Rossellini, who asks, ‘But is this true? What is this trait, this characteristic, common to all mothers?’ In this short video from her ‘Mammas’ series that explores this question, Rossellini reenacts the surprising post-birth behaviour of female hamsters, who kill and sometimes eat their weaker newborn pups to recoup energy from the birth so as to care better for the rest of their litter. From within the prison of fixed ideas about motherhood, she reminds us: ‘If I were a hamster… I would not have been considered a monster, but a good administrator of my strengths, abilities and resources.’ 

Video by Isabella Rossellini

Producers: Patrice Haddad, Claire Marquet

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Facebook
Like

‘Aeon is one of the liveliest, most wide-ranging and imaginative sources of good content on the web.

A fabulous resource for the intelligent and curious.’

Professor Barry C. Smith, University of London

‘I believe it’s increasingly important to support accessible scholarship and aspirational ideas.

Thinking people can no longer afford to be alone.’

Christine T, USA, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is what readers and writers dream about. It is wide in scope, without ever being shallow. It offers stimulating issues, yet never seeking to be tantalising.

Publishing at its best. I love it.’

Professor Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford

‘Thought-provoking, eclectic, open-minded and user friendly.

Aeon is like no other site on the internet.’

Larry D, UK, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is my favourite online magazine.

I have found no other place that so regularly provides interesting, clear and informative articles across academic disciplines on topics that matter.’

Dr Robert J. Hartman, University of Gothenburg

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
Political Philosophy
What is wrong with tolerance

The ideal of religious tolerance has crippling flaws. It’s time to embrace a civic philosophy of reciprocity

Simon Rabinovitch

Essay/
Law & Justice
Truth is also a place

Throughout history, people found truth at holy places. Now we build courts, labs and altars to be truth spots too

Thomas Gieryn