The psychopathology of animal abuse and hunting
I am not a hunter. And I don’t believe hunting keeps any ecological balance in the areas where bigger predators have been extinguished. But here I wanted to talk about something else.
Today I would like to address a series of questions that keep coming to my head every time I think about this. Questions that I had while spending long hours with hunters, over a span of four years, to make a film.
Is there any relationship between killing for sport and psychopathy?
Is there a lack of empathy in all hunters?
Can I trust someone who kills for fun?
There are numerous psychological studies that suggest that the lack of empathy and compassion for animal suffering can be a symptom of deeper mental pathologies very dangerous to society. If you have the time, and the interest, read a very interesting study called “How empathy and compassion toward other species decrease with evolutionary divergence”. A quote from it:
"the emotional perceptions we can feel for a member of a given species seems to be largely related to its ability to arouse anthropomorphic projections (attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities). Species exhibiting physical, behavioral, or cognitive similarities with humans tend to evoke more positive effects than those without, and among the different classes of vertebrates, our empathic responses appear to be more important for taxa that are closely related to us"
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