Eastern Illinois University Logo
Humanities Center |

Meaningful Work


Reflections on Being Mortal

Health & Medical Humanities



Spotlight Series

Translation and the Humanities

Faculty Opportunities

For Students


How to Help

Contact Us


Bioethicist and writer Jessica Pierce has published two recent books.  Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (2009), written in collaboration with cognitive ethologist Marc Bekoff, builds a scientific case that animals exhibit a broad range of prosocial behaviors including empathy, cooperation, and fairness. The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the Ends of Their Lives (2012) explores end-of-life care, dying, and euthanasia in the lives of our companion animals while chronicling the decline and death of her beloved dog Odysseus.

Pierce is currently working on two new books. The first (forthcoming in early 2015, with the University of Chicago Press) is entitledRun, Spot, Run: Confessions of a (Reformed) Pet Addict, and makes the case that the keeping of pets is, at best, morally ambiguous and, at worst, a moral nightmare. The second, as yet untitled, explores the practice of euthanasia, particularly as it relates to companion animals. In both publications, Pierce questions some of the common tropes of human-animal interaction and challenges prevailing social attitudes and practices related to animals.

To read a selection of Pierce's recent articles, please click on the titles below.

Jessica Pierce, "Can Bioethics Survive in a Dying World?," Journal of Medical Humanities (2002)

Jessica Pierce, "The Dying Animal," Bioethical Inquiry (2013)

Jessica Pierce and Marc Bekoff, "Wild Justice Redux: What We Know About Social Justice in Animals and Why It Matters,"Social Justice Research (2012)

Douglas Seale, "Jessica Pierce and Marc Bekoff: Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals," Social Justice Research (2013)