“A thoughtful book” about how to ensure that the animals we love benefit from the relationship as much as we do (Kirkus Reviews).
We feel love for our companions, and happiness that we’re providing them with a safe, healthy life. But sometimes we also feel guilt. When we see our cats gazing wistfully out the window, or watch a goldfish swim lazy circles in a bowl, we can’t help but wonder: Are we doing the right thing, keeping these independent beings locked up, subject to our control? Is keeping pets actually good for the pets themselves?
That’s the question that animates Jessica Pierce’s powerful Run, Spot, Run. A bioethicist and a lover of pets herself (including, over the years, dogs, cats, fish, rats, hermit crabs, and more), Pierce explores the ambiguous ethics at the heart of this relationship, and through a mix of personal stories, philosophical reflections, and scientifically informed analyses of animal behavior and natural history, she puts pet-keeping to the test. Is it ethical to keep pets at all? Are some species more suited to the relationship than others? Are there species one should never attempt to own? And are there ways that we can improve our pets’ lives, so that we can be confident that we are giving them as much as they give us?
“With gentle humor, clear compelling language, and always in search of the physically and emotionally healthiest lives possible for our animal companions, Run, Spot, Run moved me all the more because it’s written from the inside looking out. Pierce herself lives with three pets and understands the deep urge so many of us feel to connect across species lines.”—Barbara King, author of How Animals Grieve