Seeing someone pose for photos next to the body of a dead animal can make people feel really really angry — but not every time.
When images went viral of Tess Thompson Talley sitting with the corpse of an 18-year-old giraffe she had shot in South Africa – outrage erupted online.
She was condemned explosively – described as ‘disgusting’ – ‘vile’ and worse and accused of being ‘selfish’.
As a vegan I find this anger understandable — I hate any exploitation of animals.
But maybe that’s also why I think the outrage is laced with such hypocrisy.
We can scroll through the same social media feeds any day of the week and find other people posting photos of their spaghetti bolognese or smiling with their chicken wings as they have a ‘cheeky’ Nandos.
In that context photos of people posing next to dead animals are greeted not with hatred but with ‘likes’.
In both cases animals were killed for the enjoyment of humans.
To be clear I’m not suggesting that killing animals for meat is the same as killing for sport.
No; in many ways it’s actually worse to kill for meat.
Firstly a typical meat eater causes the deaths of over 50 animals each year – far fewer than a typical trophy hunter kills.
Also – animals killed by hunters have usually enjoyed years of freedom before their horrific deaths.
In contrast the animals people usually eat for dinner endure short – painful and unhealthy lives before being slaughtered in bulk.