Run, Spot, Run

Run, Spot, Run

The Ethics of Keeping Pets

Book - 2016
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A life shared with pets brings many emotions. We feel love for our companions, certainly, and happiness at the thought that we're providing them with a safe, healthy life. But there's another emotion, less often acknowledged, that can be nearly as powerful: 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 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.
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780226209890
Branch Call Number: 636.0832 PIERCE J
Characteristics: 264 pages ; 24 cm


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Mar 05, 2018

I am writing here for the welfare of home cats, and I do this based on my own experiences. This book here seems to me a sophisticated philosophy about the "independent" beings, our pets. They are not independent, they depend on us for food and care. This "ethics" fad should rather be replaced by love and common sense. OK, now, let's see what I learned about cats in the Vancouver Mount Pleasant area over the past many years. There are an increasing number of cats in the streets at night, and there are an increasing number of postings on lamp posts and trees about lost cats. It is idiotic to shut out our cats for the night, even in bad weather, and expect them to return safe at sunrise. There are 3 coyotes, one big and two smaller ones, who roam the area of Mt. Pleasant in the very early mornings in the area of 6th, 7th, 8th Ave, Sahalli Park, Dude Chilling Park, St Catharines St, Guelph St, Prince Albert St, and up to the Library at Kingsway. Those coyotes are bred in Stanley Park, the emblem of Stanley Park is the picture of a coyote (what for?). In 2016 the Park Board put postings on our entrance doors with the color picture of a coyote, and they told us to learn to live with the coyotes, as new litters were born in Stanley Park, so they advised us on keeping our house pets inside for the night. Yes, the coyotes catch and eat cats too, not only rats in the garbage areas. So, what is this insane habit here at Vancouver Mt. Pleasant to shut the home cats out for the night, for "adventure" or "a little hunting?" Those dumb cat owners who do this, can see what I see, the numerous postings of lost cats. The latest posting that appeared this morning on 6th Ave about the loss of a black cat "Bowser", who disappeared after the snowstorm on Feb.23. They shut him out for the night of the snowstorm! Vokra, this nice organization that rescues street cats, when we adopt from them, tell us NOT TO LET OUR CAT to the outside ever! I live on 6th Ave, and a lovely, very friendly black cat started to come to me, a very sweet boy, and asked for food. I call him Ali Baba, and I still feed him at nights. Because his owner shuts him out for the night, even when there is rain and frost, snow and ice. I thought he was a cat dumped on the street, I took him to Vokra, but a few days later Vokra called me, telling me that by the tattoo in his right ear they identified him as the pet of a man, who was also doing a search on the I-net for his "lost pet." And a few day later Ali Baba was back in the back street, in the garbage area at night, in this winter too, and he runs up to me, meows to me, and asks for food avidly. So, what is this DUMB book about the good "ethics" of letting our pets roam the streets at night? In 2016 and 2017 the coyotes of this area killed two young raccoons and one young skunk (I found their strangled bodies at the sidewalk on 8th Ave and Prince Albert St.) and the coyotes certainly ate a few of those "Lost cats". And if they are found, those dumb owners shut them out again for the night, as the owner of Ali Baba, whom I love and feed every night. Use your common sense, and if you love your pet, feed it well and don't let it roam outside, "independent" and hungry. Where does this stupid habit come from here, while in Europe pets are kept inside and safe? Several times I saw a police jeep come with a large dog to Prince Albert St. at night, bec. people are scared of the coyotes. And I saw a hot chase of a coyote by 2 police dogs on 8th Ave and Guelph st. abt 2 yrs ago. Let's not be philosophers with our pets. Feed them and protect them.

Feb 04, 2017

As an ardent animal activist I thought I had seen and heard everything when it came to how animals are abused. This book opened my eyes on further deprivation innocents are subjected to by MEN. This book is not for the faint of heart and have a box of Kleenex at the ready...

We took dogs out of the wild thus it is our responsibility to help them negotiate our world. And not everyone is cut out for being an animal guardian. The book sheds light on just whom the worst candidates are and some may be surprised, for it's families with young children-they are just not that invested. ( I would not leave a dog alone with children unsupervised - it's often the worst way to aggravate the dog. And that's when unkindly things occur and the dog suffers the consequences.) It's a 13-15 year commitment and if you are not on board don't bother. And they cost money. And they need training and socialization. And if you are not prepared for the fact that your dog's needs will, at times, trump those of their humans. JUST DON'T DO IT!


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