Companion Animal Psychology Book Club May 2024

“Deeply reported and vividly told, Brookshire’s exploration of our most reviled animal neighbours will forever change how you see nature and our relationship to it.”—Riley Black. 

The flyer for the Animal Book Club May 2024

By Zazie Todd PhD

This month, the Animal Book Club is reading Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains by Bethany Brookshire.

From the publisher,

“An engrossing and revealing study of why we deem certain animals “pests” and others not—from cats to rats, elephants to pigeons—and what this tells us about our own perceptions, beliefs, and actions, as well as our place in the natural world

“A squirrel in the garden. A rat in the wall. A pigeon on the street. Humans have spent so much of our history drawing a hard line between human spaces and wild places. When animals pop up where we don’t expect or want them, we respond with fear, rage, or simple annoyance. It’s no longer an animal. It’s a pest.

“At the intersection of science, history, and narrative journalism, Pests is not a simple call to look closer at our urban ecosystem. It’s not a natural history of the animals we hate. Instead, this book is about us. It’s about what calling an animal a pest says about people, how we live, and what we want. It’s a story about human nature, and how we categorize the animals in our midst, including bears and coyotes, sparrows and snakes. Pet or pest? In many cases, it’s entirely a question of perspective.”

Pests is available from all good bookstores and my Amazon store.  

The cover of Pests by Bethany Brookshire features silhouettes of all kinds of animals from snakes to elephants

The book club is open to subscribers to the Companion Animal Psychology newsletter or substack. Details of how to join are included in your welcome emails.  

Here's the first sentence of the introduction to whet your appetite:

"Consider the squirrel."


"Consider the squirrel." And the Companion Animal Psychology logo.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and one cat. 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As an Etsy affiliate and Marks and Spencer affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Follow me!

Support me