Craig Brestrup worked for 20 years in the public sector of the mental health profession, first as a psychotherapist and later as CEO of mental health clinics in Texas and California. He has been executive director of five nonprofit organizations since 1980. In 1989, he received a Ph.D. in medical humanities, with a concentration in medical and environmental ethics and the philosophy of nature, from the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. In 1994, he left mental health for animal protection, becoming executive director of the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, an organization with major programs in three areas: wildlife rehabilitation, animal advocacy, and companion animals (shelter and vet clinic). He published a book, Disposable Animals, in 1997 that was a study of animals and culture, emphasizing the plight of companion animals, millions of whom are killed in animal shelters annually. More recently, he wrote and published Reverence for Existence: A Way of Knowing and in 2021 will release A Short Life Story & Other Essays.

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