Run, Spot, Run
The Ethics of Keeping Pets
That’s the question that animates Jessica Pierce’s powerful Run, Spot, Run. A lover of pets herself (including, over the years, dogs, cats, fish, rats, hermit crabs, and more), Pierce understands the joys that pets bring us. But she also refuses to deny the ambiguous ethics at the heart of the 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?
Deeply empathetic, yet rigorous and unflinching in her thinking, Pierce has written a book that is sure to help any pet owner, unsettling assumptions but also giving them the knowledge to build deeper, better relationships with the animals with whom they’ve chosen to share their lives.
“A thoughtful book that should spark debate, with the author stressing that bringing a companion animal into one’s life is an ethical commitment that should not be taken lightly.”
"Pierce has clearly thought deeply about the 'ambiguous ethics' of pet ownership. . . . There is of course so, so much more to enrichment for pets; I'd recommend starting with Pierce's book if you want to know more."