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Art Woods, Marty Martin
What makes a pest? Why are some animals revered in one culture and vilified in another? How do our ways of life bring us into conflict versus companionship, and what do these interactions mean for us and them?
Rats, squirrels, coyotes, pigeons...often, we view animals like these as pests. We usually don't like them, even try to get rid of them…but what makes a species a pest? On this episode, we talk with Bethany Brookshire about her new book, Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. Bethany is a science journalist interested in human-animal conflict, and in the book, she tells the story of how both historical and cultural context explains why the same animal species can be viewed as a friend or foe.
Cover photo: Keating Shahmehri
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Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 103: Pest-o, change-o: how culture shapes our view of animal commensals (with Bethany Brookshire)" (2023). BigBiology Podcasts. 105.