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18 Buffalo Quotes About The Robust Bovids

I see many buffalos tirelessly working in rice fields where I'm from. Their strength is truly a testament to hard work and endurance. This bovid symbolism is present across many cultures, inspiring a wealth of meaningful buffalo quotes. 

Recognizing their significance, we've also included thought-provoking sayings about bison despite the common mix-up of these distinct animals.

Buffalo Quotes About Their Declining Population

The terms buffalo and bison are often used interchangeably, yet they refer to different animals. Bison are native to North America and Europe, while various buffalo species live in Africa and Asia. Both of them are part of the Bovidae family, alongside cows and goats.

Historically, bison populations have suffered severe declines due to overhunting during the 19th century. Since then, conservation efforts have resulted in a more stable population. On the other hand, all wild buffaloes are facing threats of habitat loss and hunting. In particular, IUCN has continued to classify Tamaraw as critically endangered since 20001.

The following quotes represent insights into the bovid populations.

Related Read: Buffalo Facts.

"The extermination of the buffalo has been a veritable tragedy of the animal world." -Theodore Roosevelt #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #dogood #world #animal

"The extermination of the buffalo has been a veritable tragedy of the animal world."
- Theodore Roosevelt

"The buffaloes are gone. And those who saw the buffaloes are gone." -Carl Sandburg #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #bethechange

"The buffaloes are gone. And those who saw the buffaloes are gone."
- Carl Sandburg

"The buffalo isn't as dangerous as everyone makes him out to be. Statistics prove that in the United States more Americans are killed in automobile accidents than are killed by buffalo." -Art Buchwald #trvst #quotes #beinspired #thinkgreen

"The buffalo isn't as dangerous as everyone makes him out to be. Statistics prove that in the United States more Americans are killed in automobile accidents than are killed by buffalo."
- Art Buchwald

"I can still remember the feel in my hand of that most wonderful American coin ever minted, a nickel with a buffalo on one side and the head of an Indian on the other. That nickel was a daily proof of our country’s past. Bring it back!" -Paul Engle #trvst #quotes #impact #gogreen

"I can still remember the feel in my hand of that most wonderful American coin ever minted, a nickel with a buffalo on one side and the head of an Indian on the other. That nickel was a daily proof of our country’s past. Bring it back!"
- Paul Engle

Quotes About Buffaloes And The Plains Indians

Bison were essential to Native Americans in the Great Plains. They provided food, clothing, and shelter. The way of life for tribes is also centered around the bison, shaping their culture and survival.

Sadly, as previously mentioned, both the bison herds and the indigenous way of life they supported were almost erased due to relentless hunting and land changes. Here are some quotes detailing the relationship between Native Americans and bison.

"Historically the buffalo had more influence on man than all other Plains animals combined. It was life, food, raiment, and shelter to the Indians. The buffalo and the Plains Indians lived together, and together passed away. The year 1876 marks practically the end of both." -Walter Prescott Webb #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #socialchange #food #life #influence

"Historically the buffalo had more influence on man than all other Plains animals combined. It was life, food, raiment, and shelter to the Indians. The buffalo and the Plains Indians lived together, and together passed away. The year 1876 marks practically the end of both."
- Walter Prescott Webb

"In the last 10,000 years, the Great Plains have never been without human influences; the very dominance of the bison in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries owed itself in part to the hunters, who, at the end of the last Ice Age, helped to kill off giant herbivores and thereby opened a niche for the bison. For as long as they have existed, people have inhabited, altered, and been affected by the nonhuman natural world… To assume an unchanging, harmonious relationship between Indians and the Great Plains environment classes both Indian culture and nature as static." -Andrew C. Isenberg #trvst #quotes #takeaction #thinkgreen #nature #natural #human #relationship #people

"In the last 10,000 years, the Great Plains have never been without human influences; the very dominance of the bison in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries owed itself in part to the hunters, who, at the end of the last Ice Age, helped to kill off giant herbivores and thereby opened a niche for the bison. For as long as they have existed, people have inhabited, altered, and been affected by the nonhuman natural world… To assume an unchanging, harmonious relationship between Indians and the Great Plains environment classes both Indian culture and nature as static."
- Andrew C. Isenberg

"There is no question that, so long as there are millions of buffaloes in the West, the Indians cannot be controlled, even by the strong arm of the government. I believe it would be a great step forward in the civilization of the Indians and the preservation of peace on the border if there was not a buffalo in existence." -James Throckmorton #trvst #quotes #gogreen #collectiveaction #peace

"There is no question that, so long as there are millions of buffaloes in the West, the Indians cannot be controlled, even by the strong arm of the government. I believe it would be a great step forward in the civilization of the Indians and the preservation of peace on the border if there was not a buffalo in existence."
- James Throckmorton

Metaphorical Buffalo Quotes To Think About

Even if they are herbivores, buffalos are known for their brute strength and size. These characteristics make them a common metaphor for facing challenges head-on. For instance, activist Wilma Mankiller compares buffalo charging into storms with tackling problems directly. Just like buffalos, promptly confronting issues can lead to quicker solutions.

Reflect on more quotes below with different buffalo representations.

"Cows run away from the storm while the buffalo charges toward it – and gets through it quicker. Whenever I'm confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment, I become the buffalo." -Wilma Mankiller #trvst #quotes #takeaction #impact #storm

"Cows run away from the storm while the buffalo charges toward it – and gets through it quicker. Whenever I'm confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment, I become the buffalo."
- Wilma Mankiller

"Buffaloes are stronger than the lions, but they often fall prey to lions because they hesitate to be courageous and thus run away! Be determined or accept being destroyed!" -Mehmet Murat Ildan #trvst #quotes #socialchange #changetheworld

"Buffaloes are stronger than the lions, but they often fall prey to lions because they hesitate to be courageous and thus run away! Be determined or accept being destroyed!"
- Mehmet Murat Ildan

"A cold wind blew on the prairie on the day the last buffalo fell. A death wind for my people." -Sitting Bull #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #changetheworld #wind #people

"A cold wind blew on the prairie on the day the last buffalo fell. A death wind for my people."
- Sitting Bull

"The meat of the buffalo tastes the same on both sides of the border." -Sitting Bull #trvst #quotes #gogreen #collectiveaction

"The meat of the buffalo tastes the same on both sides of the border."
- Sitting Bull

"I had the best buffalo horse that ever made a track." -Buffalo Bill #trvst #quotes #takeaction #socialimpact

"I had the best buffalo horse that ever made a track."
- Buffalo Bill

"No person, I think, ever saw a herd of buffalo, of which a few were fat and the great majority lean. No person ever saw a flock of birds, of which two or three were swimming in grease, and the others all skin and bone." -Henry George #trvst #quotes #gogreen #socialchange #person #birds

"No person, I think, ever saw a herd of buffalo, of which a few were fat and the great majority lean. No person ever saw a flock of birds, of which two or three were swimming in grease, and the others all skin and bone."
- Henry George

Buffalo Proverbs Full Of Lessons

Not only Native Americans but buffalo have also imparted various lessons to other cultures around the globe, as seen in many proverbs. For instance, the African proverb implies one's tendency to stick to one's origins. The Vietnamese one suggests that latecomers may face less desirable conditions. Meanwhile, the Filipino saying reminds us that having a higher vantage doesn't make one superior. 

Together, these proverbs reveal the global cultural significance of buffalos. Try to relate the rest of the quotes to your life.

"The buffalo does not wander from the marsh where it was born." -African Proverb #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #planetearthfirst

"The buffalo does not wander from the marsh where it was born."
- African Proverb

"The buffalo that arrive late will have to drink muddy water and eat dried grass" -Vietnamese Proverb #trvst #quotes #gogreen #dogood #water

"The buffalo that arrive late will have to drink muddy water and eat dried grass"
- Vietnamese Proverb

"The fly on the back of a water buffalo thinks that it’s taller than the buffalo" -Filipino Proverb #trvst #quotes #bethechange #bethechange #water

"The fly on the back of a water buffalo thinks that it’s taller than the buffalo"
- Filipino Proverb

"A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass" -American Proverb #trvst #quotes #socialchange #dogood #wind #people

"A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass"
- American Proverb

"A buffalo does not feel the weight of his own horns" -Indian Proverb #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #thinkgreen

"A buffalo does not feel the weight of his own horns"
- Indian Proverb

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Bubalus mindorensis: Boyles, R., Schutz, E. & de Leon, J. (2016). [Dataset]. In IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

By Isabela Sedano, BEng.

Isabela is a determined millennial passionate about continuously seeking out ways to make an impact. With a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering with honors, Isabela’s research expertise and interest in artistic works, coupled with a creative mindset, offers readers a fresh take on different environmental, social, and personal development topics.

Photo by Thorsten Messing on Unsplash
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