Are Trophy Hunters Serial Killers?
Though I've been a vegetarian for 21 years, that doesn't mean I can't understand why people enjoy eating animals. After all, I was raised eating them, too. At 19 I made a personal decision to stop, though I realize eating flesh is still the norm, and to each his/her own. Do what you want.
Some people hunt for food, and that's okay with me as long as it's done humanely. I know that around here, the deer population, for example, is too high. If they're not shot, they'll starve to death, and so hunting takes the place of their natural predators (which we've killed off.)
One thing I've never understood, however, is trophy hunting: hunting in order to mount body parts to your wall to "show off"--well, I'm not sure what. Your "courage"? "Skill"?
I'd always considered it strange and grotesque, but after reading Gareth Patterson's essay, "Is Trophy Hunting A Form Of Serial Killing?" I realized he'd hit on exactly why it's always creeped me out.
Similarities Between Trophy Hunters & Serial Killers
First off, I should make the distinction between these two terms.
Serial killers kill humans; trophy hunters kill any animals other than humans.
- Compelled to keep a trophy souvenir from their victims
- The killing is addictive and leads to more killings
- They seek fame, attention, and notoriety
- The kills are premeditated (who, what, where, how)
- The killing gives a surge of adrenalin ("thrill kill")
- Stalking the victim gives a feeling of excitement
- Killing becomes a compulsion (addiction)
- The killing is seen as a "sport" or "game"
- There's a down time ("cooling off" period) between killings
- Gives the killer a feeling of power, dominance, and control over their victim
- They are titillated by "the hunt" and fantasize about the kill
- Many document their kills via photos and/or videos to gratify themselves later
What Do You Think?
Are Trophy Hunters A Type Of Serial Killer?
Have you ever thought about this before? Does it make sense to you, or do you think the similarities are too generalistic?
Do you completely separate humans and animals in your mind, or are you aware that killing is killing is killing, no matter who it is?
Do you know any trophy hunters, or are you one yourself? Do these descriptions describe them or yourself?
What do you think?
© 2011 Kate P