It was a Tupperware tub of live baby rats that made Dr Jessica Pierce start to question the idea of pet ownership. She was at her local branch of PetSmart, a pet store chain in the US, buying crickets for her daughter’s gecko. The baby rats, squeaking in their plastic container, were brought in by a man she believed was offering to sell them to the store as pets or as food for the resident snakes. She didn’t ask. But Pierce, a bioethicist, was troubled.
Aimee Hartley, like most people, thought she knew how to breathe – she had, after all, been doing it all her life. She had also given it plenty of thought, having trained as a yoga teacher. But then she took a lesson with a breathing coach, who told her where she was going wrong. He pointed out she wasn’t taking the air into her lower lungs but was, she says, an “upper chest breather. He then taught me this conscious breathing and I felt my lower belly open, and I felt myself breathing a lot better after just one session. So I then became fascinated by how we breathe.”