Where The Buffalo Lounge

Where The Buffalo Lounge

Jan. 26, 1997                       Lazy Beasts Set a Bad Example

 

Domrzalski

 

I have yet to see a buffalo--even one with teeth--smile. They have a brooding, confused, disoriented look to them. If you were lost and asked one for directions it would probably attack you. Anger isn't good. If they're not happy anyway, why not shoot them?

 

 

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            There are two, three and sometimes even hundreds of sides to a story or ways to view an issue.

            The great buffalo hunt controversy is no exception. So far, I've seen a limited discussion of the issue, which, sadly, is making people angry at one another.

            State of New Mexico officials say that nine old bulls in the Fort Wingate herd need to be hunted because they've ground down their teeth, can't eat and could face an agonizing death by starvation. It's more humane to shoot them, the officials say.

            Animal rights groups and some Indian tribes have howled that not one ground-down tooth of the hairy, sad-looking beasts shall be harmed (unless they are harmed by hunters who have paid the tribes thousands of dollars). A federal court judge has blocked the hunt, ruling that the Army needs to conduct a study to determine what environmental impact there would be to killing nine measly buffalo.

            Such limited debate is the ally of ignorance and the enemy of enlightened and just decisions. So, in the interest of blunting the rising tide of ignorance, I offer some other ways to view this complex issue.

            I have yet to see a buffalo--even one with teeth--smile. They have a brooding, confused, disoriented look to them. If you were lost and asked one for directions it would probably attack you. Anger isn't good. If they're not happy anyway, why not shoot them?

            No buffalo has ever held a job. They have been on this continent thousands of years, lived through the greatest economic expansions in the earth's history, and still can't find work. If they can't produce, maybe we should shoot them.

            Why has no one done a study on what effect keeping a herd of buffalo at Fort Wingate would have on the environment? These overcoats on legs eat enormous amounts of grass. One would think that the same environmentalists who challenge cattle and sheep ranching industries on the grounds that they have destroyed rangeland the west, would take a dislike to the prairie-munching buffalo.

            If the buffalo are allowed to live and multiply, will they eat up the entire state of New Mexico?

            Buffalo, like all animals, are air polluters. They take nice green grass and turn it into the foul and dangerous methane gas, which they expel in massive amounts. Has the EPA studied how much gas the stub-tooths are releasing? Is there the possibility that if someone throws a lighted match out of an airplane window, New Mexico, because of the buffalo-produced methane gas, would blow up?

            Are not the buffalo guilty of earthacide? All plants, we know, inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, the gas that sustains human life. When someone chops down a rain forest, the environmentalists scream that they are helping deplete the globe's oxygen supply.

            Grass produces oxygen. By chewing up vast stretches of the continent's grasslands, are not the buffalo nothing but four-legged oxygen depleters who are slowly suffocating us?

            Although the bison has no truer friend than I, and is an enduring symbol of the West, and Mid-west and Great Plains and the Ohio River Valley and areas back east, is it not a symbol whose time has past?

            The buffalo is a lumbering, overweight giant. It eats, rests, sleeps, eats some more, rests, expels its digested food and eats more and then sleeps and gets up and does the same thing all over again.

            It is a lifestyle that is the epitome of sloth.

            They run only when chased, and prefer eating binges to exercise. Compared to the sleek deer or antelope they are pathetic.

            By saying that no buffalo shall be killed and elevating it to animal sainthood, are we not sanctifying laziness and bad eating habits? This is an era when America is firing millions--oops, downsizing--in an effort to be lean so as to engage in global competition and make CEO's filthy rich. In a time where image is everything, must we sanction laziness?

            Should the buffalo hunt be allowed? Who knows? I'm going to ponder the question over lunch. I'm having a buffalo burger.

 

Copyright 2003 Dennis Domrzalski All Rights Reserved