What drives a human being to kill an animal for the sheer sport of killing and then to display its carcass [“Practically Alive: The Art of Taxidermy Lives in Franklin,” Feb. 13]? Is it performed as an expression of his superior hunting skills? (If so, what hunting skills? Shooting a lion with a high-powered rifle while riding in the back of a jeep in a preserve? Or worse, shooting a shy plant-eating creature, such as the giraffe, which is virtually defenseless against an armed human?) Or is it simply an act of perverse pleasure?
To hunt for subsistence or as a wildlife management tool may have arguable merit, but to kill an animal for the purpose of brandishing a trophy is indefensible. Although some of the promoters/supporters of these hunting safaris that were referenced in the article may argue that profits from these trophy hunts may assist in financing programs that benefit certain endangered species, there is something very counterintuitive in this argument. Have you not ever heard of photo safaris?
Perhaps this hunting/trophy-presentation behavior is performed to satisfy some primitive need of certain individuals to distinguish themselves as great hunters or protectors of the clan—sort of an alpha-male thing. In defense of alpha wildlife species, such as the wolf, their pack-dominating behavior is instinctual and is performed to ensure the survivability of the species; in case of the trophy hunter/alpha-human, his behavior is likely to result in the widespread extinction of global wildlife, if not humankind as well.
— Jeffrey Smith