You're right, I feel like there is a lot of emphasis on animal cruelty in the diagnostic criteria for psychopaths, typically juvenile cruelty. Does animal cruelty only appeas to a juvenile psychopath's mind? Or they shift their cruel behavior to humans as they age?
I myself have no affection for animals, certainly no greater affinity for them than I would have for any person. Still I don't go out of my way to hurt or kill them, but I have also never shied away from it when the situation called for it. For instance, I don't have the urge to kill a chicken just to see its blood spill, but no problem killing it to slaughter it for food. I am the type of person that would kill a neighbor's barking dog if I knew there would be no negative repercussions from it.
I saw this on some site: "I know one sociopath who really likes her Preying Mantis and doesn't like dogs. An enjoyment of dogs generally requires some degree of caring, empathy--characteristics devoid in sociopaths." Maybe. I just don't understand the appeal of animals, other than their pure utilitarian value. But I love children and inanimate objects, so I'm not judging or anything.
i've also been thinking, though, in regards to everyone that asks me if they are a sociopath or not. my thought is this, either you believe that sociopaths exist, or you don't, you think that they are self-aware narcissists or have ADD or asperger's or autism or are borderline or manic depressive or schizoid, or not loved as a children, guarded, unemotional, or the myriad of other "disorders" that if you stack them on top of each other in the right combinations could explain everything a sociopath is. but if you believe that 1-4% of the population has a condition called
"sociopathy," then ask yourself -- in a room full of 100 people, am i the most coldhearted, remorseless bastard in that room? if the answer is yes, than that is probably a good indication that you are a sociopath. if no, or if maybe, then you probably aren't, or your aren't enough to really be concerned about it. and as many have said before, labels do not have any intrinsic value, just the value from being able to explore the truth about yourself and others.