Quotes from American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon

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“There's a fine line between being practical and being a candyass, which is a word that my father used to describe someone whom he considered to be the opposite of tough. ... Because I'm very afraid of becoming a candyass, I'll sometimes do things that I know to be impractical just so I don't have to worry about being a candyass.”
― quote from American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon


“At once [the buffalo] is a symbol of the tenacity of wilderness and the destruction of wilderness; it's a symbol of Native American culture and the death of Native American culture; it's a symbol of the strength and vitality of America and the pettiness and greed of America; it represents a frontier both forgotten and remembered; it stands for freedom and captivity, extinction and salvation.”
― quote from American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon


“Every schoolboy knows that the Indians used every part of the buffalo, which is true. But they did not use every part of every buffalo.”
― quote from American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon


“I used to be endlessly troubled by meat-eating people who were uneasy with hunters and hunting. ... How can someone suggest that paying for the slaughter of animals is more justifiable than taking the responsibility for one's food into one's own hands? ... Civilization is a mechanism that allows us to avoid the necessary but ugly aspects of life; most of us do not euthanize our own pets, we don't unplug the life support on our own ailing grandparents, we don't repair our own cars, and we don't process our own raw sewage. Instead, the delegations of our less-pleasant responsibilities is so widespread that taking these things on is almost like trying to swim upriver. It's easier not to do them, and those who insist on doing so are bound to look a little odd.”
― quote from American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon


“Indians only needed so many implements and decorations. If a tribe drove three hundred buffalo over a cliff, they wouldn’t feel obligated to make twenty-four hundred buffalo-hoof spoons and six hundred buffalo-horn charcoal carriers. Rather, they might just take the meat and hides from the best-looking female buffalo, those that weren’t too smashed up or buried under other buffalo. That might be all they touched. After all, their time and energy had value, just as ours does.”
― quote from American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon



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