Dr. Jessica Pierce: Bioethicist, Author, & Expert on ethical aspects of human-animal interactions

My NativeAdVert:

Hi. My name is Jessica Pierce and I’m a writer and bioethicist. My work explores a broad range of ethical issues in biology, medicine, and human-animal relations. I’ve written ten books, including The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the Ends of Their Lives and Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets. My essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian and I’m a regular contributor to Psychology Today. My most recent book (co-authored with Marc Bekoff) is called Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide To Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible will be released by New World Library in March of 2019. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and an M.T.S. from Harvard University and am currently an Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School. I live in a small town in Colorado with my husband, dog, and cat. You can find my blog, All Dogs Go to Heaven, here: www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-dogs-go-heaven.

My Goal of the Day: Don’t take anything personally.

My Action of the Day: Be kind (to all living creatures).

My Pic of the Day:

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I love the natural landscape. We’re in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and from my front porch I can see two of Colorado’s highest peaks, Long’s Peak and Mount Meeker. We’re surrounded by rolling hills and red rocky outcroppings, and from my door I can access two fantastic trail systems for running and mountain biking. We often see deer and fox on the hillside behind our house and have eagles flying above the ridge and a flock of wild turkeys who roam around our neighborhood. I also love the small town feel of Lyons, population 2000.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Oatmeal with some berries and slivered almonds, topped with cinnamon. Or my famous homemade vegan waffles with chopped pecans and raspberry jelly.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – I’m a morning person, so by 6am I’m usually at my desk working and enjoying a cup of coffee. The first thing that happens when I get up, though—and before I even get to make that coffee—is what my husband calls “the animal parade.” When I come downstairs, I must immediately love on my cat and feed her breakfast (she will be meowing like crazy) and then go straight to the back door and throw a morning frisbee for my dog (she will be waiting at the door, frisbee in mouth).

10:00 AM – Midmorning, I’ll usually take a break from writing and go out for a run or a mountain bike ride.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

I’ll usually eat lunch at home (salad, typically), or sometimes I’ll be out and about and will grab soup and bread on the run.

7:00 PM -  Dinner time. When it is nice out, my husband and I will sit in the backyard and look at the mountains while we eat. When its chilly, we’ll often be lazy and eat while curled up on the couch by the fire.

11:00 PM – In bed asleep, for sure!

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

My morning ritual involves a cup of strong coffee (Dazbog French Roast only!) made in my Aeropress. Occasionally, I’ll have a second cup at my local coffee shop. Later in the day, if I’m low on energy, I’ll drink sparkling water or have a bite or three of dark chocolate.  

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Audible. I listen to books while I drive and while I cook or do chores. I also listen to books while I fall asleep—it is one of my tricks for dealing with insomnia and “busy mind” syndrome. And it reminds me of when I was little and my father read to me every night before I went to bed.  

What should everyone try at least once?

I try to do something that scares me every day, whether it is making an uncomfortable phone call, telling someone how I really feel, trying a hard, rocky section on my mountain bike, or learning to ride a motorcycle. When I do something (however small) that requires courage, I get a boost of self-confidence that carries me all day.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In the forest. I am a big believer in “tree therapy” and find that being surrounded by trees makes me feel calm and happy.