Skip to main content

West Texas. Buffalo. They Live to Die.

Two men fighting over animals, but neither one loves them. Reading this article, I was once again reminded of how vast and varied our country is. The closest I have been to a ranch is somewhere south of Redbank, New Jersey, but that's horse country. This is cattle country. At the core of the matter is that age-old ethic of being a good neighbor. I consider it an a priori fact that even the early humanoids had to get along well with their neighbors. " Ok, you stay in your cave and I'll stay in mine. " Well, things didn't go as smoothly between QB Ranch's foreman Edmund Cassillas and neighboring ranch foreman Jackie Doyle Hill of Niblo Ranch.

As you read through the article, you will notice that the animals, buffalo in this case, are considered nothing more than chattel property. Clearly, this is about commercial property and not animal welfare. In fact, The QB Ranch isn't a home for animals but a 20,000 acre slaughter pen. With a few exceptions, when one makes animals his business, he turns a cold eye to them and he begins to consider the animals as investment rather than living, sentient beings. As an animal lover and biophiliac, this mentality is totally foreign to me. I reject it completely. Wayne Kirk, the owner of the QB Ranch, lamented the loss of 51 buffalo as a " terrible injustice. " I reckon he isn't sorry for the loss of life, but the loss of profits. Read on.


Popular posts from this blog

Northern New Jersey. Dog for Adoption. Simba. Pomeranian.

Here's a dog I want you to meet, Simba. He's an energetic little fellow who literally leaps in joy when it's time for a walk. I mean, Simba leaps vertically like he's on a pogo stick. He's very amusing. Simba was rescued from a pound down in West Virginia, and he's now with us in northern New Jersey. I love small dogs, and he's become my most recent favorite. Simba certainly qualifies as a lap dog. Last Sunday, after walking him, we sat in our patio area at the shelter and I gave him tummy rubs and back massages while he laid like a pillow on my lap. I've been told that Simba doesn't like having a collar put around his neck, and so he wears a harness instead. Interestingly, Simba is microchipped. So, he belonged to someone who cared for him. He's a good boy and only two years old. All predict that Simba will get adopted quickly, like most toy dogs do.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society

UPDATE: Adopted by the Small Animal Rescue of Princeton, NJ

Poem. Captivity, Longing. Cruelty. Misery. Free the Animals.

Thumbing through some Robert Frost poems, I was led to this one by Maya Angelou . I don't know if Frost ever had an influence on Angelou, but certainly any American poet living today would be familiar with Frost's work. Frost and Whitman are my favorite poets, and the romantic poets ( Keats, Byron, and Shelley ) I can't bear. I find their work dense, abstruse and impenetrable. It's just a matter of taste and connectivity. I am no expert on verse, but I will accept the opinion of those who are. They warn us that Frost's poetry is deceivingly simple. If we were to try our hand at it, to put complicated emotions into simple verse, we would be tied up in knots.

Anyway, Angelou's poem below, Caged Bird, touches on the plaintive cries, the longing for better things, that captive individuals must go through. You can apply the core meaning or sentiment of this poem to any situation involving imprisonment or captivity, human or animal. Think of the dog in a dank, dark ba…

Hiking. Protection Against Snake Bites. Gaiters.

You might wonder what on Earth are these? They are called, "gaiters," and fashion has nothing to do with them. Gaiters act like shin guards against briars and other thorny plants, worn by those who work outdoors like forestry rangers, ranchers, and farmers. Gaiters come in different styles and material, but they normally protect the ankles up to the knees.

This pair provides protection against snake bites. New material called SuperFabric makes protection possible without putting on the usual thick, cumbersome gaiters with polycarbonate sheets embedded in them. This pair is flexible and light, made by Whitewater. I got this pair from

I believe that such protection is necessary for hikers considering that rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are not rare along the trails, and they can be difficult to spot on the ground. I am willing to accept the prevailing theory that snakes, like most wild animals, will avoid hikers if given enough tim…