Welcome to my website, which offers a guide to my work as a writer and bioethicist.
Over the last two decades, I’ve written extensively and broadly within the field of bioethics, beginning with an early interest in the interconnections between health care systems, environmental degradation, and health (The Ethics of Environmentally Sustainable Health Care). I helped nurture environmental bioethics into a recognized (though still marginalized) field of discourse within medical ethics. Over the past decade, my work has increasingly turned toward one of my principle passions in life: animals. My 2009 book Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, written in collaboration with cognitive ethologist Marc Bekoff, builds a scientific case that nonhuman animals exhibit of a broad range of prosocial behaviors, including empathy, cooperation, fairness. My 2012 book, The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the Ends of Their Lives, explores end-of-life care, dying, and euthanasia in the lives of our companion animals, weaving analysis together with a journal chronicling the decline and death of my beloved dog Odysseus.
I am currently working on two new books. The first (forthcoming in early 2015, with the University of Chicago Press) is entitled Run, 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 of these books, I question some of the common tropes of human-animal interaction and challenge prevailing social attitudes and practices related to animals.
After graduating from Scripps College in Claremont, California, I went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in religious ethics from the University of Virginia.