On The Exalted Teaching of Native American Buffalo Carcass Use and Anthropocene Anxieties

In the realm of par exemplar scenes of heavenly and harmonious human life on Earth, hardly any surpass the Native American’s total use of the American Buffalo carcass. Seriously. From grade school through college, no teacher of mine could avoid using this example to illuminate my classmate’s and I’s young, dim minds while lifting up the poor Native Americans as the truly perfect earth-inhabitants, despite simultaneously being the unfortunately (and remarkably) trusting foes of the white man and his futuristic ideas of prosperity.

I mean, the fat from the buffalo was even used exhaustively. And all the bones! Even the organs were put to good use!

(I say the following soberly for affect.) Their total use of the buffalo carcass was amazing, simply amazing.

Here’s my question: Why isn’t the West’s growing and seeming total use of the Earth viewed as just as noteworthy? Isn’t the use of coal and other fossil fuels (and now wind and solar and more) a perfectly matching analogy, down to the quark? If not, then what’s your problem with the analogy? That your own mind lacks the ability to process the scale of “time”?

Maybe you would call my attention to landfills? So we have landfills today. Didn’t the Native American have to set aside some part of the buffalo before attending to it? One thing at a time, like?

Or maybe it’s deeper. For instance, do you, when you imagine these conquered gods besides their bloody victims, picture that they developed this lofty and perfect total use of the buffalo carcass in one post-hunt pow-wow? Or do you give it some time to develop into the behavior that teachers exalt today?

My intention here is to use this comparison to reveal that your problem with life is that you’re afraid that we’re inventing problems too difficult for us to solve, in our quest for prosperity, while acknowledging that on a small scale we perfectly solved our problems.

Put shorter: You believe we can’t solve problems.

In a word, you’re depressed.

It’s not that I’m not wrong for using everything I can get my hands on to gain whatever perceived advantage there is in this life. It’s that you’re simply depressed and hopeless.

Look around you. Focus. Life goes on. You can’t stop it. Neither can I. So chin up. Put your oar in the water. And cut the Henny-Penny crap.


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