In the book Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets by bioethicist Jessica Pierce examines the reasons why we keep pets, ranging from the joys and to the consequences. Pierce also challenges pet lovers to recognize problems associated with the human-companion animal bond by investigating ethical questions about the impacts we have on animals by our desire to have them live with us. Living with pets brings some great deal of emotion and when we feel that their unconditional love in return is a product of the way we’re providing them with a safe, healthy life. However, by scratching the surface of this evolving increasingly popularity of pet keeping, the author poses some ethical questions we have to the animals that live in our care. When we leave a dog home alone for eight hours a day that suffers from separation anxiety or why the bird still feather-plucks their own feathers behind a cage, the book opens your eyes to wonder: are we actually doing the right thing, by keeping these evolutionary complex beings that are subject to our control and desires for companionship or entertainment? Is keeping pets actually good for the pets themselves?
By making us answer the questions if we are doing the right thing for these companion animals. After reading this book you won’t see your relationship with Spot or Puff the same way again. As a lover of pets herself, even going to the far extreme as dubbing the household as the neighborhood zoo. Because over the years until the author’s daughter was in elementary school they had dogs, cats, fish, a leopard gecko, rats, hermit crabs, and a motley crew of other creatures. Jessica Pierce understands the joy and companionship that these pets bring us. It is these questions that make this book of a common activity to go in-depth into a variety of personal stories, philosophical contemplations, to more in-depth exploration to the natural history of animal behavior within our pets into something that demands careful attention more than ever before.
The book appears to have been written for the general public in mind and the publication is 48 chapters, that average 3 or 4 pages long. Which are then divided into four different sections, each evaluating the different circumstances of keeping companion animals. The first section, Thinking About Spot, goes over a small introduction of the many reasons why people do keep pets and highlights that even our best intentions towards these creatures can have its very own downsides too. The second section, Living with Spot, shifts gears to focus on particular issues of people who live with pets. The topics are but not limited to; what we feed them, if owning a pet actually makes you healthier, deadly zoonotic diseases, to even the greater scale of what kind of environmental destruction is associated with pet-keeping. Worrying About Spot, the third section investigates an assortment of repercussion topics that include people viewing pets as mere commodities, bad breeding, animal hoarding and the shelter industry. The final section, Carting for Spot, explores what pets need, enrichment and finally asks whether is it ethical to keep pets at all.