I just saw this photo on Reddit and I had to share it. This is a picture from the mid-1870s of a pile of American bison skulls waiting to be ground for fertilizer.
The photo shows the sheer magnitude of the slaughter of buffalo in the nineteenth century. This is just a small percent of the kill, of course.
19 thoughts on “Ever Wonder Where All The Buffalo Went?”
I have eaten ground bison (not the skulls)-It is better than ground meat, less fatty and more tasteful.
You maybe correct, and I maybe correct as in some areas they were extinct. I think at this time and usage they can be interchangeable depending on what part of the US they were found……It was still horrible what they did…..to the animals and natives…..
That is something that I had read about…..It also a shame to lose a child the way he did…..you know died by his own hand…..
AY – I believe you meant “extinct” rather than “extant” since extant means “surviving and still in existence.” Otherwise, I believe you are correct–that buffalo were considered the support basis for native people and were therefore “removed.”
What our forefathers did to the bison and native people of this land, we are doing to the land itself. Appalachian “mountain removal” mine that ruins the land, and fracking that ruins the water and undermines the land, and rapid burning off of the planet’s store of hydrocarbons, and filling the oceans with plastic debris that kills those who eat it, ad nauseum, are their own kind of exterminations.
We should examine our history of wrongs in our search for wisdom, but we can’t ignore the fact that we are probably more irremediably destructive in this age than in any other.
“TR’s family lost the most, although he was a well known hunter he got around to giving hack to America the national treasures such as the national park systems…”
TR was always more of a naturalist than a hunter. His early childhood was spent tromping through wetlands and woods spotting various creatures. His ambition, nearly until he graduate Harvard, was to be a natural historian.
While he was always an avid hunter, he was never one for taking more game than necessary. Much like most of us hunters, we want nothing more than the opposite of erradication.
Now, tell me again. Which is the evolved, compassionate species in that photograph?
Thanks back. Gandhi proved that not all lawyers are bad. 😉
Dredd – had not heard that one before, thanks.
My two favs from the Mahatma:
“What do you think of Western civilization Mr. Gandhi?”
“I think it would be a wonderful Idea.”
“I like your Christ very much. I do not like your Christians, they are nothing like your Christ.”
The Buffalo holocaust.
What people do to animals they eventually do to people:
AY has that drought workin out for ya’ll down there in Texas. The ground get’n enuff ta drank.
I think you’re correct about the genocide issue…. We had 2 Roosevelts in office…. Both families had extensive investments in the railroads…… Both were well established families….. TR’s family lost the most, although he was a well known hunter he got around to giving hack to America the national treasures such as the national park systems… And conservation rather than eradication….. Then FDR….. He systematically tried to eliminate corruption within the financial industries….. Well, the rest you can say is history being undone…..
They might talk about ‘sport’ in shooting buffalo but the main goal all along was to starve the native population and drive them off of land the settlers would want.
Yeah but now the government will let them kill two eagles for religious purposes so they are happy. Environmentalist are pissed but it doesn’t matter because according to Obama he’s drilling everywhere.
Well I think Republicans would consider that a proud accomplishment.
AY – exactly! They might talk about ‘sport’ in shooting buffalo but the main goal all along was to starve the native population and drive them off of land the settlers would want.
As genocide it worked pretty well.
The railroad companies,investors and the government had expansion, growth, and more importantly(to them) GREED, on their mind. Like the push grates on the front of the trains, they wanted to clear the tracks of anything or anyone that stood in the way of making a profit. So many lives of humans and animals were lost for the profits of a few. That same mindset is alive and stong today. That is precisely why we are in the “economic shithole” were in today. It started with the Buffalo and the Native Americans. Where will it end?
An amazingly sad picture.
Same thing happened to the abalone off the California coast, and the sardines in the same place. Treating living things as if they were coal to be strip mined is unsustainable. Come to think of it, so is strip mining.
Yeah, we’re a lovely species.
Except for the conservation efforts of Ted Turner they would mostly be extant…..
It is my understanding when America expanded west it was thought that the American Bison was as usable as the Native Americans and they had to be eliminated….
Get rid of the Bisons and you get rid of the main food source and you starve them….. Besides they got in the way of train operations….. If you’ll recall this was before bobbed wire and the animals roamed free…. Hence, clogging tracks….. So they invented a scoop on the front on the trains that kinda of plowed them over as the trains rolled down the tracks….. Besides…. It was thought sport to shoot them from moving trains…. I read one account about a person that claims to have shot 50 or so in one segment of a trip…. Hence, the dead bodies just laid on the prairies….. If I recall, the railroads paid bounties on confirmed dead…. Bisons that is…. If a native was shot…. Not much was said…… They too were sport….
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