Peter Christie

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Unnatural Companions

Rethinking Our Love of Pets in an Age of Wildlife Extinction

Island Press

"Highly read" — TNC's Cool Green Science

We love our pets. But there is a dark side to our domestic connection with animal life. The pet industry is contributing to a global conservation crisis for wildlife—often without the knowledge of pet owners. In Unnatural Companions, journalist Peter Christie argues that to reverse the alarming trend of wildlife decline, pet owners must acknowledge the pets-versus-conservation dilemma. Our well-fed and sheltered cats too often prey on small backyard wildlife, seemingly harmless reptiles released into the wild might be the next destructive invasive species, and the popular trend of designer pet food may have deleterious effects on the environment.

Christie's book is a cautionary tale to responsible pet owners, but he concludes with the positive message that the small changes we make at home can foster better practices within the pet industry that will ultimately benefit our pets’ wild brethren.

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