General Zaroff's main goal in life is to be entertained through the experience of hunting. Here's a man who has money to burn and nothing to hunt that challenges his mental and physical skills. Zaroff explains his ideal prey like this: "it must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason." Of course, the only animal able to reason on earth is a human, so Rainsford picks up on the clues pretty quickly that Zaroff hunts humans. Zaroff's philosophy on life can be summed up when he says, "Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong, and, if need be, taken by the strong. The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure." General Zaroff, then, is fulfilling his naturally-given potential to exercise his strength and to prey upon the weak. Weak things, creatures, and people of the world mean nothing to him. He feels justified, because of his physical, mental and financial strength, that he can do whatever he wants to do in order to live a pleasurable life.