For most of my life, the buffalo was an enduring and majestic symbol of the great American West.
With that in mind, I think it’s time that we ask ourselves some serious questions. It is my hope that these questions and the answers to them will help the namby-pamby types, who sadly dwell among us, to finally realize how truly boneheaded their ideas really are, if commonly used in American vernacular.
In his time as an Old West lawman in places like Dodge City and Tombstone, Wyatt Earp was often known to slip up behind drunken or unruly cowboys and knock the men unconscious with his revolver. This practice was known as “buffaloing.”
Now, whenever we see Wyatt Earp portrayed in cinema or written about
in literature, will we have to say that Earp was “bisoning” the cowboys?
This realization has forever destroyed some of the pure enjoyment
and sheer entertainment value I normally receive from watching the film,
This level of lunacy over a name is just the sort of thing that might cause Doc Holliday to question your friendship.
Of course you have all heard about the black cavalry soldiers in the Old West, men who were commonly referred to as “Buffalo Soldiers.”
Will we now have to call them “Bison Soldiers?”
Funny, isn’t it? Bison Soldiers, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
And then, last but not least, we have the man known as Buffalo Bill,
William F. Cody, famed buffalo hunter, Indian fighter, Army scout,
and world-wide showman.
If we are to follow the all-knowing wisdom of the namby-pambies,
then we should be referring to the man as “Bison Bill” Cody.
However, I’m thinking if you actually used that term directly to
Cody’s face, he might have pulled out a gun and shot you, an act
which should largely be regarded as justifiable homicide.
These three examples have illustrated how incredibly stupid it is to alter a term which has commonly been used in this country for a couple of centuries.
I’ve had enough of being buffaloed!
Let’s not permit the namby-pamby crowd in this country to continue
to dictate language to us, to define normal, and to destroy the myth,
the adventure, and the finest traditions of the great American West.
We live in the United States of America. We’ve always called it a
buffalo. Buffalo hunters called it a buffalo. Everyone in the Old West
called it a buffalo. My dad called it a buffalo.
It’s a buffalo.
Perhaps the best reason of all is: The buffalo don’t care!
Then why should we?
Buffalo vs. Bison
Unfortunately, some American geniuses came along, folks who are more commonly known as namby-pambies, folks who wish to spoil everyone’s love and appreciation for the traditions of the Old West.
Perhaps the only time that this buffalo vs. bison debate really matters is when it comes to ordering food from a menu.
If you are hoping to get a burger made from buffalo meat, and you do not like like buffalo wings, I suggest you do not order a buffalo burger.
Please don’t ask me how I learned this.
I will, however, say this is a critically important time to
differentiate between the two terms, bison and buffalo.
Okay, I get it. What we have always referred to as the
American buffalo is really a bison.
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