Why didn’t the Native Americans tame bison and ride them?

This question has been posited to me several times on Quora, and I’ve tried to answer it several times.  But I do think it’s best that I just post it here with simple video.

There was movie called Buffalo Rider in 1978 that had the main character as a sort folk hero who rode a bison around taking down evil doers all over the West. It is not the best -acted or best written movie (to say the least), and one thing you very quickly realize is how hard it would be to ride a bison.

I have a sense of humor, so I will post a Jomo and the Possum Posse video that makes fun of this film. You can see how hard it is to ride a tame bison!

So when I see this on Quora again. I’m just going to link to this.

And I should point out that when you go to tame wild bovines, you’re kind of putting your life in your own hands. Even domestic cattle are pretty dangerous animals, and I cannot imagine how brave one would have to have been to domesticate aurochs, which were larger and far more recalcitrant.

If you can live where you can just hunt them, you’re a lot better off.  You are not forced to live with them in intimate contact every single day.

So there was never good reason to tame bison in America until Europeans arrived, and there were plenty of good reasons to leave them as a natural resource that one could harvest in much the same way we harvest white-tailed deer.

Natural History

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Win a Surprise Package of Dog Goodies!

We’ve been having a BUSY month, first with a booth at POP Cats show in Austin, and this past weekend with a booth at the Austin Pet Expo! We had the chance to meet some super cute dogs at the…

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DogTipper

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Celebrity Rescue News–Spring Adoptions & More!

As the old saying goes, April showers bring May flowers… and, as we enjoy May, let’s take a look back at last month and a few of the many animal-loving notables who showered dogs and cats in…

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DogTipper

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Doug Peacock and Grizzly Bears

Posted on The Atlantic’s Youtube channel, this week:

He’s one of my heroes. I won’t lie about it.

Natural History

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One thing I have noticed

poet at lake milton

Photo by Jenna Coleman.

One thing I’ve noticed as I have worked with a large variety of dogs over the past year is that I’ve lost my desire or need to fight with people on the internet about them.

I’ve worked with everything from Yorkshire terriers to Pit bulls, and I can tell you that I’ve learned a lot.  And I feel more confident than ever working with dogs of various types.

Am I the Dog Master? LOL. Of course not.

But I have come to the conclusion that most people who want to fight about dogs on the internet are suffering from profound insecurities. The internet is a great place to spray around your demons like hot deer urine in a Windex bottle.

I know, because I did that very thing. You probably came to read me because I was artful at my virtue signaling neuroses that I really knew it all.

I didn’t. I knew a lot. But I don’t know as much as I do now, and I still don’t know enough.

So when you see someone trying to make a career out of writing toxic pieces about dogs or people who do something with dogs, keep in mined that you’re often looking at a very insecure person, one who feels a great need to tear others down to make themselves look good.

I’m really not interested in that game anymore. I just want to do my thing, learn more, and enjoy the animals. And help others, too.

I feel an inner peace now that I would have given my right hand to have experienced a decade ago, and I wish those who still feel that need could somehow find it.

But because that sort of blogging and internet writing is what gets the attention, my guess is that many of these people will never find it. It simply pays too well to be an asshole.

Sad but true.

 

 

Natural History

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Happy Mama’s Day – In Every Definition of Mother

Mother’s Day weekend is officially here, and I wanted to take a minute to say something to all of you with children, animals, babies in spirit, babies to whom you had to say goodbye, friends or other humans you nurture, as well as those of you with moms, step moms, moms-in-law, moms no longer on this earth but still in your hearts, or just people in your life who are nurturing to you… Every single one of you deserves to be recognized on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day can feel like a holiday of exclusion, and it shouldn’t be. Motherhood doesn’t only include females who have children. It goes so far beyond that. And I wish all of you a wonderful Mama’s Day.

Every single year when my husband and kids ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I say some peace and quite and time to myself. And within an hour, I miss my family and we inevitably spend the day together. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Our Bohemian Inspired Outdoor Living Space

I feel like I’m cheating a little with this post, since I shared our patio reveal (and most of these pictures) about a year ago, right after our patio was complete. But we’ve started to get it set up again for the season, and that makes me so happy that I just felt compelled to share it again.

It’s been many years since I actually had a backyard, and for a long time I dreamt of having a space that felt like an oasis. I envisioned something colorful (which is normally not my aesthetic at all) with a strong boho vibe. When we moved into our house last year, our backyard started off with nothing in it at all except a concrete step leading out to it. It was a mess, and I couldn’t wait to get started. First my husband and I designed a poured concrete patio and hired a local company to install it. I wanted it to resemble slate, and in turned out beautifully. Then my friend Tyler Wisler (he is amazing) and I worked together for about a month to come up with the overall design. We ordered the furniture and accessories and collected lots of plants and flowers. My dad and my husband built the cedar slat wall, Tyler and I arranged the furniture, and it was complete.

(Before, below.)

We spent so much time in this space (especially in the evening) last year, and I am thrilled and grateful to be able to do it again. Thanks for letting me share my excitement, friends!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Ecosystems are Not Timeless

woodland caribou

I had the pleasure of listening to Diane Boyd, a noted wolf expert, talk about wolf conservation issues on Steven Rinella’s Meatear Podcast. It is very good info about wolves, including wolf conspiracy theories.  One part I found particularly interesting was about the history of Isle Royale, which is experiencing a wolf reintroduction this year. Isle Royale is, of course, home to one of the longest running ecological studies that has examined predator and prey relationships.  The study mainly focuses on moose and wolves on the island, but an inbreeding depression reduced the wolf population of the island to two individuals last year.

I have always thought of Isle Royale as being a place of wolves and moose. But wolves came to the island only in the 1949, and moose came only in the early 1900s.

In the podcast with Diane Boyd, she mentions that Isle Royale was originally known for its woodland caribou and Canada lynx.  Boyd speculated that moose introduced brainworm to the caribou, but a more likely reason for their disappearance is that woodland caribou are sensitive to human-centered activities. All the logging and mining that happened on Isle Royale could not have done the caribou many favors. The last caribou was documented on the island in 1925.

Canada lynx are not particularly good predators of caribou. They were likely living on snowshoe hares, which are found on the island. Maybe, when snowshoe hares experienced the crash portion of their boom or bust population cycle, the lynx occasionally turned to hunting caribou, as they did in Newfoundland.

If Isle Royale’s fauna had remained the same at the beginning of the twentieth century as it did at the beginning, maybe it never would have become such a great place to study predator and prey population dynamics.

The restoration of wolves to Isle Royale, which is happening as I write this piece, is an attempt to bring back an ecology that dates all the way back to 1949. I have readers who can remember 1949.

We have this idea that conservation is about restoring things to an Eden when things were unmolested, untrammeled, and pure.  But what seems to be timeless is ultimately just temporary.

Last night, I was grappling with the concepts of conservation, specifically the idea of rewilding.  Rewilding is about restoring organisms to the land that were there at some point. Some think of feral horses in the West as being rewilded, from the Pleistocene though I am greatly skeptical of this idea.

Of late, though, there have been proposal to restore Pleistocene fauna to their former ranges, and if that animal can’t be found exactly, then a facsimile will be brought in.

In the case of North America, African elephants have been proposed as being equivalent of the Columbian and woolly mammoths. African lions might take the place of old Panthera atrox.   Some have even suggested that the plains of Texas, which are filling with blackbuck, might be a great place to turn out some cheetahs, thinking of course that Old World cheetahs are somehow the equivalent the long-legged coursing cougars that once roamed the Pleistocene wild of North America.

We don’t really know what killed off all these fantastic beasts of the Pleistocene. I lean more toward rapid warming at the time of the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary, but many reasonable people find some merit in Paul Martin’s “Overkill Hypothesis.”  This hypothesis contents that the Siberian hunter-gatherers who came into North America wound up killing off much of the megabeasts, or lacking such evidence of profligate killing, contend that these hunter-gatherers killed off a few keystone species, such as mammoths and mastodons, to cause ecosystems to collapse.

If this hypothesis is correct, there is a moral force for this Pleistocene rewilding concept. Humanity is responsible for killing off the megabeasts, and it is our duty to restore North America to its former glory as the land with the great bison, pachyderms, camels, and equines.

But this takes me back to Isle Royale. Humans certainly disrupted that ecosystem. If we wished to restore Isle Royale to its form ecosystem, we should be shooting off all the moose on the island and turning out woodland caribou from Ontario. We shouldn’t be trapping wolves and turning them loose. We should be trapping Canada lynx instead.

Canada lynx are much rarer in the Upper Midwest than gray wolves are, so by a triage of the conservation needs of the species, it would make more sense to preserve Isle Royale for the lynx.

Of course, that’s not what is being done. The wolf and moose studies are too deeply ingrained in our science and our understanding these two species. And if you were to twist my arm, I’d say choose wolves and moose over caribou and lynx.

But this is logic of Pleistocene rewilding. It is to say that we can somehow turn back the clock on that happened long before North America had cities and agriculture and way long before the continent was divided into nation-states.

Indeed, while we’re theorizing about Pleistocene rewilding, we’re not really coming to terms with that fact that Pre-Columbian rewilding is a project that will only go so far. Yes, we’ll have wolves come back to the Upper Midwest and the Western States.

But no one is seriously considering restoring grizzly bears to Texas or even attempt to bring back wolverines to Michigan.

We cannot handle that idea of wildlife now. That we have managed to hold onto so many wild places and restore so many wildlife species is a certain greatness about the United States. However, this feature is one that always exists in tension, one that must be recognized and fully understood.

Isle Royal in 2019 is not the same as Isle Royal in 1960, which was not the same as Isle Royale when the loggers and the miners came.

And if that one island is so different, imagine how different the entire continent of North America has become since the Pleistocene gave way to the Holocene, which has now giving away to the Anthropocene.

There is a sadness in knowing that things pass, and we certainly have a moral duty to prevent extinction and to preserve what ecosystems we can.

But we should understand that what we’re preserving was never timeless, and even in our attempts at restoration, we aren’t always going back to the known original condition of a place. We often go back to what seemed wondrous and pure and wild.

And if we can understand this simple fact, maybe we can get a handle on what our species continues to do to the planet and the rest of life that resides here with us. We have done much, but we shouldn’t assume that we are preserving any kind of stasis.

I write these words from the northern edge of Appalachian Ohio, awaiting the arrival of the nine-banded armadillo, which will some day come working its way up from North Carolina and Tennessee into Virginia and then West Virginia.  Xenarthan,  the “strange jointed stranger”  with roots in Latin America, it will come scurrying along into this part of the world.

What it may change in our ecosystems, I cannot guess. But it is coming.  When it arrives, it will roam where wolves once howled and elk bulls bugled.

And its story on the land will be one to note. It will not be timeless. It will a temporal as the fleetingness of existence, a bit of the faunal guild of the Anthropocene making a name for itself in a new land, just as those Siberian hunters did all those thousands of years ago.

 

Natural History

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Celebrate National Pet Month with Your Dog!

National Pet Month is here,  and as you dream up fun ways to display how much you care for your canine companion during the 31 days of dogged devotion to companion animals, why not transform…

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DogTipper

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訴訟・告訴について思うこと

調べ物を進めていくと、人は悪いうわさを流すのが好きだなあ、と思うことがあります。
私は今美容整形をしようとしていて、そのためにいろいろと知識を吸収しようとしているところです。
だから美容外科についての情報を調べているのですが、今日は訴訟、告訴という言葉に行き当たりました。
訴訟、告訴、どちらも普段過ごす上ではあまり耳にすることのない言葉ですね。
正確には、耳にすることは多いけれど自分とは直接関係がないことがほとんどの言葉です。
私も今回、自分が受けることを考えている類の手術に関して告訴、訴訟といった言葉を目にして驚いたほどです。

自分の責任で行うはずの美容整形なのに、結果が不服だからと訴訟だ告訴だと言ってしまうのはどうなのでしょうか。
少なくとも、私はそうはならないだろうなと感じました。
私は先日、品川美容外科でカウンセリングを受けてきました。
手術の前に、どういった内容で手術を行うのかという相談をしたのです。
今回、たるみ始めた頬なども気になってはいたものの、それより先にしわをどうにかしたいと思いしわ取りをお願いしました。
先生は私が特にどこをきれいにしたい、と主張するのを聞いてくれ、その上で全体のバランスからどこのしわをどのくらい取るのがいい、という話をしてくださいました。
1ヶ所のしわを取りすぎてしまうと不自然になってしまうので、全体をバランスよく、かつ私が一番気にしている部分が取りすぎて目立つことがないように、綿密に治療計画を立ててくださったので私もかなり安心してお話を聞くことができました。
症例写真も見せてもらえ、どこに何を注射するとこうなるか、ということをわかりやすく説明してくださったのは、私にとっては嬉しい事でした。

品川美容外科クリニックのホームページでは各施術について説明とともに副作用が表記されています。
あらかじめ品川美容外科クリニックのホームページを確認していたので施術後に副作用があることを知っていましたが、施術をする前も副作用についても詳しい説明があったため、不安になるより、むしろ心構えをして施術にのぞめるのではないかと思いました。

注射程度の軽い整形とは言っても未経験のことですし、私は元々納得のいく説明を求めてしまう質です。
そういう意味では、私と品川美容外科の相性はとてもよかったと言えるのではないでしょうか。

これまで調べていった中で裁判を行ったケースもあり、改めて手術に対する意識を深めました。
裁判にまで発展したものを調査してみると、事前に施術内容や効果の説明を怠っていたかどうかが焦点になっている事例が多くありました。その責任を裁判で明らかにするというものです。
手術自体が失敗したのならともかく、きちんと自分の納得するまで説明を受けていないのなら自己責任と言われてしまってもしょうがないのかもしれません。
裁判をするのにも時間とお金がかかりますので、私が品川美容外科で納得のいくまで説明を聞いたように、しっかりと説明を聞いて信頼できる美容外科で手術を受けることをおすすめします。

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