Klerifying Fact: As many as 60 million bison roamed North America’s plains and grasslands before humans hunted them to near extinction due to sport hunting, demand for bison leather, and as part of an effort to reduce food available to Native Americans.
If it weren’t for the leadership of conservationists like President Teddy Roosevelt, the New York Zoological Society and a handful of other people, America’s national mammal, the Bison would be extinct. The bison population dipped to as low as 1,000 individual animals.
Now, however, the bison are back and the herd is growing in National Parks, Native American Reservations, and most bison live on private ranches. Eating bison is a simple act you can take to support nature conservation while enjoying a healthy meal!
Restoring the herd and our grasslands!
Today, over 380,00 bison roam the plains on ranches and in parks. The restoration of bison to North America is a significant conservation achievement. Not only did we save a species, we helped conserve America’s natural heritage. Bison are also critical to the Native American cultural heritage.
Bison play an important role in grazing to maintain a healthy ecosystem in which they evolved and helped shape. Bison grazing is good for grasslands in a manner that is better than a typical cattle ranch. Bison graze in a different manner than cattle. Their behaviors and method of grazing increases the diversity of grass species while creating habitat for other creatures like birds. This can lead to increase carbon sequestration in the soil, which is great for the climate!
MORE Protein, LESS Fat per Bison Bite
Most bison are raised to sell to you, as a nutritious cornerstone of a meal. Bison meat typically is high in protein and much lower in fat and calories than other sources of animal protein. So while you enjoy a great source of protein to restore your muscles, you are also restoring grasslands!
By eating bison meat, you support ranches that help restore the natural ecosystem of North America. The more you eat, the more you encourage ranches to raise bison. So even though you’re eating bison, you’re helping to expand the herd!
Check out the following places to get bison for a great meal that will protect America’s natural heritage and create good jobs for America’s ranching communities!
Bison meat direct from the ranch:
Bison meat is also available at Costco and Whole Foods.
Remember, though it is more expensive per pound than beef, you don’t need as much since it is higher in protein…
And if you can’t find bison meat, certified grassfed beef is still a solid, sustainable shopping choice!
We did not make this up!
Individual bison: By Jack Dykinga [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Bison Herd photo: By PD-USGov-Interior-FWS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons