Some People Simply Like to Kill Other Animals

In the title of an October 2nd post to his blog column in Psychology Today, University of Colorado evolutionary biology professor Marc Bekoff, PhD, asked, “Do Some People Simply Like to Kill Other Animals?”

The answer seems to me a foregone conclusion.

Bekoff writes, “Many know that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, made a pledge in May 2011 only to eat meat he hunted so that he could be ‘thankful for the food I have to eat.’ Of course, it’s not obvious that he has to eat other animals… Surely, in the arena of who, not what, winds up in our mouth, Mr. Zuckerberg and others are not my moral compass. It’s always good to remember that a significant percentage of the food we eat was once sentient beings who cared deeply about what happened to them and to their friends and family. They should be referred to as “who” not “that” or “what.” So, when someone wants to talk about a meal it’s a matter of who’s for dinner, not what’s for dinner.”

His post included the subheading, “‘Ethical hunting’ raises numerous difficult and sticky issues,” about which Bekoff states, “I see no reason to kill other animals for a meal that isn’t needed. Every time I read an essay about “ethical hunting” it makes me reflect on a number of different and challenging issues. One that comes up time and time again is that maybe some people simply like to kill other animals and then offer a wide variety of excuses about their lust for blood (consider also the unrelenting war on wildlife including the wanton killing of wolves, the man who used a trapped wolf for target practice…)”

Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson backs up the assertion that some people enjoy killing other animals, “Behind all the chit-chat of conservation and tradition is the plain simple fact that trophy hunters like to kill living things.”

But no one makes the case as clearly as hunters themselves. One anonymous thrill-killer recently posted the following shocking admission to an animal advocacy site: “What i like to do as a hunter is go in the woods and kill everything possible and let my dogs chew on it. I once shot a deer and it layed in the creek and i had to shoot it again in the head while it was crying and it kicked me lol when i stuck my knife in its belly so my brother cut its throat it was soo funny. Me and my uncle was guttin one he told me to hold its head and when i did he pushed on its belly and made it bahh at me and scared the crap out of me haha. Hunting is awesome like when you see a herd of deer and just start firing right in the middle and then go and see how many different blood trails there are.”

Prairie dog hunting is a popular “sport” that can in no way be defended as “ethical” or necessary for subsistence (people don’t eat them). Private ranches offer “sportsmen” the chance to kill prairie dogs to their heart’s content—for a fee. The following is an ad for a typical prairie dog hunting excursion: “We approach the edge of a prairie dog town and set up and shoot for an hour or two or until the prairie dogs start getting scarce, then we pull up and drive over the hill and continue prairie dog hunting…after you get tired of the carnage, it‘s also fun to try shots over 1000 yards.”

Note that the ad uses the word “fun,” laying to rest any doubt that they enjoy the killing. So, why shouldn’t people be allowed to have their fun? Beyond the obvious answer that their animal victims are not enjoying this “sporting” behavior, society at large should discourage this kind of conduct for public safety reasons.

Keith Hunter Jesperson’s history of aggression toward animals began when he was only six. An avid hunter and part-time serial killer, Jesperson got his first taste of killing living beings by bashing in the heads of gophers. He discovered that he enjoyed it. Later, while living with his parents in a mobile home park in Washington State, he started killing larger animals. He would beat stray dogs and cats to death with a shovel, strangle them with his bare hands, or shoot them with his BB gun. His proud father bragged to others about how Keith had gotten rid of the stray cats and dogs in the trailer park.

“All this did is spawn in me the urge to kill again,” Jesperson told an interviewer. “I began to think of what it would be like to kill a human being. The thought stayed with me for years, until one night it happened. I killed a woman by beating her almost to death and finished her off by strangulation,” he said.

Keith Jesperson is by no means the first hunter to go on to become a serial killer of humans. As long as we enshrine hunting in books, magazines, cable TV shows and acts of Congress, there will always be people wanting to expand their species hit list to include our own.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

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32 thoughts on “Some People Simply Like to Kill Other Animals

  1. It’s as though hunters are a subculture of psychopaths that are the “pets” of our government. They shouldn’t be allowed to claim that their bloodlust is altruistic.

  2. Great post, as was the one by Marc Bekoff. I hope people will visit his site and read some of the comments. All the usual BS about how hunters are the true environmentalists, havinge saved elk and deer from extinction, blah, blah, blah… That sport hunters are moral degenerates and that “ethical hunting” as practiced in modern America is an oxymoron, is beyond dispute (at least to the readers of this blog, I suspect). The bigger question is what to do about it, especially given this perilous moment in planetary history; forget the much touted “fiscal abyss” that our politicians love to rattle on about, we are standing on the edge of an ecological abyss, an extinction event, from which there will be no return. And even at this late date, after 40+ years of environmental “education” and countless television documentaries about animals and ecology, at least one-half of the American electorate neither knows nor cares about what we are poised to lose. Indeed, a cretinous bowhunter could well be elected our next vice-president! Television series like “Flipper” and “Lassie”, as unrealistic as they often were, at least held out the hope of a future enlightenment in man’s dealings with the natural world; now the dominant culture themes seem represented more by programs like “Swamp People” and “Wicked Tuna.” Only the mentally unsound believe that doing the same old things, the same perpetual fund-raising, the same tired tactics, will somehow, miraculously, bring about different results this time.

    Desperate times call for some desperate measures. Something that goes beyond the threadbare platitudes and hand wringing that seems to typify much of the “environmental movement” and the usual confections about “teach the children” that are reliably dragged out by those who may be radical in thought but are too cowed by authority and the iron-fist of the state to act decisively. So, what does a truly moral, ethical person do when the political system they dwell in and the laws they are forced to obey are inherently corrupt? At a bare minimum, they ought to be visiting and learning useful skills from the Hunt Saboteurs website.

    • Yep. Meanwhile we need to convince the average person that these are desperate times for more than just thier pocketbook.

      “Swamp People” asked to buy the rights to one of my nutria photos, but I refused after finding out what that idiot show was all about. Flipper, Daktari and others were definately leading us in the right direction, but I saw an early episode of Lassie where (or maybe it was Rin Tin Tin) where the owner of a fox fur farm wanted him/her to help protect his operation…

  3. So very true. Their real goal was ALWAYS to kill people who’d spurned or otherwise damaged them, but the coward’s way out is to take what lives he knows he(she) can get away with, until that isn’t “satisfying” anymore, then they’re compelled to kill people, always helpless, unsuspecting, disadvantaged. It’s a trait people have bred and nurtured in our species because of the addiction to meat. Such people have always been “needed” to get these things to people’s awful, cutely decorated tables, where they pretend to be doing only what they NEED to, what they MUST do, to survive in good health. When we know the opposite is true. What “survives in good $$$ health” are the slaughter biz and the medical & research industries, all heavily into animal “sacrifice” to keep perpetuating the need for their “services.”

  4. >>>As long as we enshrine hunting in books, magazines, cable TV shows and acts of Congress, there will always be people wanting to expand their species hit list to include our own.<<<

    Absolutely…And this is exactly why I always say: "The animals take a bullet for us". I have no doubt whatsoever.
    My local newspaper has a twice a week "sports" column that includes stories about hunting and fishing. The readers are "treated" to photos of dead wildlife and smiling Cretins. At least last year I was able to stop them from plugging a 3 day, kill-all-you-can coyote/fox/bobcat slaughter in Sullivan County, NY. They argued that they felt obligated to publicize anything sports/hunting related. I argued back "But TEN TIMES??! If the Lion's Club was hosting a special event, you'd only publicize it ONCE….besides, most hunters would be ashamed of this!!" They never responded to that…however….the coyote kill was not publicized again. So far this year…nothing. Time will tell.
    (Did I digress? lol Imagine!)

  5. Jim, as much as I’ve seen, heard and read, I admit that quote from the idiot about the deer-torture episode still felt like a kick to the heart. This is precisely the argument I make with hunters who claim a framework of “ethics” in bloodsport. The mere permission given to humans to do as they see fit with weapons of their choice is an open door to the types of sick constructs described here. Open any “varmint hunting” article or magazine and you’ll find the types of claims made by the prairie dog shooters. As I always say, I have never — I don’t use that absolute of a word lightly — I have never met a hunter who dreads the onset of his or her favorite hunting season. I have yet to hear a hunter express moral trepidation over the impending killing they’ll “have” to do. More often, they’re champing at the bit because of “buck fever” or duck hunting withdrawal. If hunting were truly about survival, there would be some measure of reluctance and reticence, at least among some of them. You’re absolutely right that the rest of it is simply lip service. Some are honest enough to admit it’s about pure enjoyment. But most know that’s not the best PR strategy to sway a non-hunting public to tolerate the killing.

  6. Ridiculous to think hunters call themselves Environmentalists.

    An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, “a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities”.[1] An environmentalist is engaged in or believes in the philosophy of environmentalism.

    Most politically inclined environmentalists identify themselves as greens and they have strong views on issues that concern the environment. The Green Parties are generally applied to those in the environmental movement working as volunteers, activists or paid staff. However, the term could also be applied to environmental scientists. Some environmentalists are also green anarchists, arguing that true environmental change cannot occur under the present economic model. Others are eco-socialists, who combine Marxism, socialism and ecology with environmentalism to produce an anti-capitalist ideology that sees capitalism as the cause of environmental problems, social injustice and inequality.

    Typically, environmentalists have conservationist views – in general, they advocate for the preservation, restoration, or enhancement of the natural environment.

    Environmentalists are sometimes referred to using informal or derogatory terms such as “greenie” and “tree-hugger”

    The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future.

    The early conservation movement included fisheries and wildlife management, water, soil conservation and sustainable forestry. The contemporary conservation movement has broadened from the early movement’s emphasis on use of sustainable yield of natural resources and preservation of wilderness areas to include preservation of biodiversity. Some say the conservation movement is part of the broader and more far-reaching environmental movement, while others argue that they differ both in ideology and practice. Chiefly in the United States, conservation is seen as differing from environmentalism in that it aims to preserve natural resources expressly for their continued sustainable use by humans.[1] In other parts of the world conservation is used more broadly to include the setting aside of natural areas and the active protection of wildlife for their inherent value, as much as for any value they may have for humans.

    Neither definition mentions hunting. My ex boyfriend took up hunting. One of the reasons I dumped him. He used to try and bring me deer which I would refuse.

    • Good for you for refusing–and for dumping him;) Hunters nearly always support anti-environmental policies. Saying they’re any kind of environmentalist is a joke, but “the best environmentalists”? What an outrage.

  7. Pingback: Hunting Perverts Kids’ Natural Affinity for Animals | Exposing the Big Game

  8. OMG i couldn’t bring my self to read all , that much i was disturbed , is this real ? God i am deeply sadden to read the deer story and i stopped reading right from there. are we really living among this kind of ppl in the world ? i feel i am in CAVE ERA… this cannot be happening in CIVILIZED WORLD… what a shame ! that human heart is so cruel ignorant and heartless … i hate to say this ..but i wish all man kind who hurt any animals and enjoy, he should die in a same manner and he/she shouldn’t be helped at all to survive if found .. seriously i would walk away .. what for ? to give life ? to any one who destroy mother nature . what for ? also i wish we have law that we can hunt down this kind of people .. we don’t need this kind of people around who sets bad example trust me world is better with out them …. …

  9. Trust me on this WHATS GOES AROUND COMES AROUND …THEY WILL DIE ON THE SAME MANNER … ITS NOT A JOKE WHEN YOU HURT ANY ONE .. ANIMALS ARE THE MOST INNOCENT CREATURES ON THE PLANET AND THEY CANNOT SPEAK OR FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS .. ITS PATHETIC WE CALL OUR SELF ADVANCE AND CIVILIZED AND BEHAVE LIKE THIS … this post disturbed me so much and i cannot imagine any one can hurt a DEER so much and have a laugh about it … what kind of criminal mind is that ? what will they contribute to the community ? what will their children will be some day ? GOD BLESS US ..

  10. I used to be a vegetarian that would only eat meat I killed, like it was some return to my hunter gathering ancestry or a rebelliOn against the industry. I have now killed animals and eaten friends kills and decided it is a return to ur Paleolithic ancestry, a barbaric and brutal ancestor that I would rather leave 50,000 years in the past

    • @ CASSIDY lil encouraging words for you —every one has eaten meat/ fish at least some period of their life that’s includes me , but luckily i started understanding and what animals go through at age of 15 and i stopped eating red meat first and then went on step by step .. finally i achieved my goal and since 7/8yrs i am a vege avoiding cheese with animal rennet , now i understand more of unfairness happen to this beautiful animal and what is all about milk industry… i am now heading towards , becoming a VEGAN and for the first time i put in my cereal almond milk and had a cup of tea with almond , it was better than having cow milk .. i lv star bucks and i now ask anything with soy milk .. its lovely ..i love it . THANK YOU GOD AND . thanks for the ppl who has kind heart Who open my eyes … life cannot be better than this knowing that you live with no blood in your hand .. i decided until the day i leave this world i will be a voice for these innocent creatures who is abused in hands of CIVILIZED HUMAN BEING ….

      • Good for you Siri. It’s a step by step process, but the more you learn about what happens to the animals, the easier it is to give up animal products.

  11. i like to mention something here ,, this is for some one believe in GOD and who ever believe in Creation , and, for who is Christian -..seriously i have no idea why people believe in circle of life and , that GOD created animals to eat , because in the Bibile in creation , in first book , in GENESIS 1-29 Written GOD has given us to ‘ eat fruits vege and nuts ‘ and it never mentioned about any animals ( pls read ).. and in Bible in Danielle read whole first chapter what Danielle and his frnds did.. and PROVERBS 12- 10 SAYS, ; righteous man cares for the needs of his animal ‘ , due to my job i travel but i attend church services where ever i go .. but none of the PASTORS PREACHERS ever talk about being kind to animals .. and that has put me off .. they mostly talk about 10% tithing.. there is so much good in Bible i never saw any place in the Bible that JESUS Himself killed any animals , i see pics he is carry lil baby lambs on his shoulder etc..( i am not taking about jew ceremonies ). why magnify the nasty part and follow it , ? and why the good part is invisible ? wht not take the good part and be healthy ?? why are we feeding our children this blood tainted food ..? thank God there is a christian channel call 3 ABN (3 ANGELS BROADCASTING NETWORK ) , TALK ABOUT VEGE/VEGAN DIETS AND THEY GIVE UNBELIEVABLE RECIPES .. PLS TUNE IN TO IT . IT VERY HELP FULL THEY EVEN SHOW HOW TO MAKE VEGE HOT DOGS/ VEGE BURGERS ETC ETC…. I HOPE THIS INFORMATION IS VERY HELPFUL TO YOU .. GOD BLESS …..

  12. What I try to understand is how so many people who kill animals can just pawn off the excuse of need. Yet none of them live in a place with no electricity, running water, or other commodities of today’s world. Even in Alaska I have to deal with those “I only kill for survival” nutcases, even worse it’s not a fair fight, it’s cheating to use guns, traps/snares, and industrial bows. Why not kill with only the things you we’re born with? like intense speed, swiftness, strong jaws, and sharp claws. But you won’t find a “hunter’ (living that is) to be able to kill with his bare hands.

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