Sunday, March 9, 2008

[Jim's Eclectic World] New comment on Downloadable flyers for - “Fighting for the Buffal....

Mike McCord has left a new comment on your post "Downloadable flyers for - "Fighting for the Buffal...":

The "plight" of the buffalo? How do you people take yourselves seriously? I mean, really. The population of the bison herd in Yellowstone was at an all-time high this winter. And you, yourself pointed out that historically, there may have only been around 1,000 buffalo in Yellowstone before conservation measures sent their numbers to the current level.

I will agree with ya'll on one point, capturing bison where there aren't any, and won't be any, cattle is stupid. Okay? I'm with you there. Hell, I'll even agree that calling the roundup "disease management" is BS. It's more like "keep 'em in the park" management. But with numbers beginning to exceed optimal population levels for the environment to support them, where does the "plight" part come in?

Is there something going on that I'm not aware of? Are they getting ready to into Yellowstone itself and wipe out every last one of them shaggy beasts? Are they on the verge of extinction? Are they?

What happened after record numbers of bison were killed the last time? Nothing! Their numbers rebounded, and at the beginning of winter 2007-2008, there were a record number of them in and around Yellowstone. So take an educated guess as to what's going to happen after this winter. My money is on the buffalo.

All of you buffalo-people act like they're slaughtering them on the field and leaving their carcasses to rot. Which brings up another point. You had to have seen the article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle some weeks back that talked about what some of them Nez Perce were doing: Letting meat go to waste, shooting from the road, leaving gut piles and heads where respectable folk could see it. Where was your outrage then? I didn't see one note of it from you, and if you did, point it out to me and I'll apologize. Or is it "Lo, the poor Indian," and "curse the evil government" with you people?

And I think I've mentioned this before, the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado, is out of control, and they're getting ready to actually go into the park and start getting rid of some of them. Are ya'll going to go down there and protest, or are you strictly for bison?

I think that's what bugs me the most is that all I ever hear and read is buffalo, buffalo, buffalo. You know there's also a problem with jackrabbits in Yellowstone. Yeah. There aren't any, anymore. Got a serious problem with wolverines too. And what about the white pine nut beetle infestation?

Nope. It's the end of the world! They're killing buffalo! Our whole society . . . nay, the future of mankind, depends upon ending the senseless slaughter of buffalo in Yellowstone!!!

So, say they do. Then what? What will be your next crusade, Jim? Say you fight the good fight and win. What will you do? I'm betting that because you seem to have such a hard-on for these creatures, you'll find some other indiscretion against them to complain about. They won't have enough land to roam on. There'll be too many of them and they'll be starving, and then you'll want the government to feed them. Or there'll be poachers that the government isn't doing enough to protect them from. There'll always be something.

Now, I know you think I hate buffalo. I don't. I'm pretty fascinated by them myself. I've read "Where the Buffalo Roam" by Anne Mathews. I agree with the whole idea of restoring bison to historic rangeland that's no longer in use. And if the Indians want to go out and have good old-fashioned hunt on horse-back with bow and arrows, or if they want to run 'em off of a cliff like they used to before they had horses, I'll volunteer to sell the tickets to the event so we can all watch. You know, to raise money so more land can be bought to put more buffalo on. I think the whole experience would be beautiful.

I often think about what it must have been like for Lewis and Clark to travel across the continent, about what they must have seen. About what we will never see. About the things that we can only imagine. Herds of buffalo in the hundreds of thousands, an endless brown sea of undulating backs thundering across the plains, spooked by God-knows-what.

No, I'm not against buffalo. I'm not against Indians either. Neither am I necessarily for the cattle people. What I'm against are you whiny, cry-baby sons-a-bitches with a single-track mind that think you have to save something, and so you focus in on one thing, whether that be trees, or owls, or wolves, or frogs, or bison, and then you anthropomorphize that thing until suddenly, they're not killing buffalo, they're killing Grandma.

(weeping) "How can they kill Grandma???"

I know, you have never (at least as far as I know) compared rounding up bison and sending them off to be processed, with killing an elderly member of your family. And much of the time, when I say "you," I mean people like you. Mike Mease comes to mind.

I've sat here and watched for years as you people have protested and tried everything short of actually murdering other people to keep those animals safe. And for what? You're never going to bring back old days when they could roam wherever, whenever. There's too many people. Too many people competing for land that buffalo and bears and wolves and elk need to wander on. Life is a zero-sum game, my friend. If they're not being shipped off and fed to people that need the meat, which you and your kind never seem to mention, then they'll be starving because of a harsh winter and not enough food to feed them, or maybe they'll be underfed, because there's too many of them, and other predators will take advantage of their weakened condition. In the wild, as everywhere, Death is always hovering . . . waiting.

So what do you consider to be an acceptable death for bison? Starvation? Old age? Predation? Good old-fashioned Indian hunt? What?

I've already said that agree that calling this thing going on in Yellowstone "disease management" is a load of crap. I know that there's never been a reported case of brucellosis being transferred from buffalo to cattle, and that elk are full of it, and do transmit the disease, and that no one is calling for them to be kept inside the park. Wouldn't want to disrupt the fall hunt, after all. K? I'm not a completely ignorant red-neck.

But I honestly believe that you people create more problems than what you solve. You stir people up, make them believe that life for a wild animal is completely sanitary, and somehow holy, and that the evil government and cattle barons are out there to crucify them like Christ.

Get over yourselves. You want to tell a story? Tell the real story. Life is cruel, everything ends in death, whether by the government's hand, or by predation or starvation, or by their own horns during mating season. Life for a wild animal is a short, endless struggle for survival. There's no such thing as a "good death."

The bison in Yellowstone are fine. If they kill another thousand of them this winter, they'll still be fine. Why don't you put your considerable energies towards a cause that can actually do people some good, like lowering housing costs in Bozeman, or creating a homeless shelter, or a program to get those same people off of the streets and into jobs, or anything else that will make the human "plight" better. I mean, it must be nice to be able to waste time trying to save something that doesn't need saving.


P.S. Can't wait for that meeting. I'm sure it'll be hoot!

Posted by Mike McCord to Jim's Eclectic World at 3/9/08 7:29 PM
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