Psychological Appreciation About Hunting

The animal rightists have been telling the world for many years that hunting is a cruel, barbaric and archaic practice that should be outlawed by modern civilised society? They claim that ordinary hunters are “sadistic and/or psychopathic”; and that trophy hunters “are mentally ill and derive pleasure from behaviours that hurt other living things – and they are even willing to expend extra effort to make another living being suffer (sic).”

In a recently published article – in the NRA’s America Hunter magazine – a number of internationally renowned social scientists provided us with an opposing opinion. They state that hunting is “a healthy pastime for mankind”. And they point out that: “Very few of the articles that claim hunters are crazy are written by behavioural scientists who study humans.”

“Most prominent psychologists of the 20th Century,” these professional authors state, “agree that hunting is motivated by a natural instinct, and it is beneficial to mental health.” In his highly acclaimed study of human aggression, ‘The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness’, psychologist Erich Fromm wrote: “In the act of hunting, the hunter returns to (his) natural state, becomes one with the animal (he is hunting), and is freed from the burden of his existential split: to be part of nature – and to transcend (nature) by virtue of his consciousness. In stalking (his quarry), the hunter and the animal become equals,” Fromm states, “even though man eventually shows his superiority by use of his weapons.

Consistent with Fromm, Yale sociologist Dr. Steven Kellert and Amherst College professor, Jan Dizard, found that the reasons why people hunt are: “to experience nature as a participant; to feel an intimate, sensuous connection to ‘place’; to take responsibility for one’s food; and to acknowledge kinship with wildlife.” Psychiatrist Karl Menninger, MD, wrote: “Freud fearlessly explored the unconscious layers of the personality, and disclosed that it is no more abnormal for a human to want to kill (in hunting) than it is for a cat to want to kill a mouse or a fox a rabbit”.

Emory University professors Boyd Eaton, MD., anthropologist Marjorie Shostak and psychiatrist-anthropologist Melvin Konner, MD., conclude that denial of the hunting instinct can lead to psychopathology. They state: “Our hunting instinct has gone awry in ‘civilised’ society, where the thrill of the chase and the kill are no longer part of our experience and there are no clear avenues of expression except, perhaps to our peril, in the streets and subways of today’s urban jungles.”

What are these eminent scientists saying? To me their message is clear: that the violent crimes that humans inflict upon their fellow men in the big inner cities of today’s ever more congested world, are the result of stressed out city people not being able to get ‘release’ from psychological pressures – (social tensions) – by executing their sub conscious natural instinct to hunt. In support of this interpretation, criminologist Chris Eskridge compared hunting license sales with violent crime rates on a county-by-county basis nationwide (in the United States), and he found that “as hunting license sales go up, so violent crime comes down.

Ron Thomson

RON THOMSON His passion, today, is concerned with creating a better informed society – better informed, that is, about “best practice” wildlife management and the wise and sustainable utilization of our wild living resources for the benefit of mankind. He has a strong and passionate commitment to exposing the menace and iniquities of the animal rights doctrine. He is a founding member of the True Green Alliance (TGA) and, for the duration of 2016, he was its President. In January 2017 he was appointed CEO. The TGA is affiliated to South Africa’s wildlife Industry insofar as it has undertaken to fight the industry’s battles to overcome pernicious opposition from the South African and international animal rights movement.

Ron Thomson has 150 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

One thought on “Psychological Appreciation About Hunting

  • September 10, 2017 at 9:40 am

    this is the Truth that PETA and other so-called Animal rights groups don’t want the hoipoloi to understand. With rare exceptions the vast majoirty of Hunters Worldwide are boringly normal, Law abiding Citizens with ‘ordinary’ jobs and a Mortgage. Almost NEVER do Law Abiding Firearms Owners and Hunters ‘break the law’ or ‘behave unethically’. The vast majority of Hunters of my acquaintance are scrupulous in their behaviour while on and off the field and quickly pull up any tyro who oversteps the mark. Its just a pity the World relys on 30 second ‘New grabs’ and sensationalism to fill up the so-called ‘News’ each night.


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