American Buffalo in Search of a Lost Icon | Part. 1

Over thanksgiving my brother-in-law handed me this book and suggested I read it. I wasn’t actively looking for a non-fiction, but I am glad that he insisted I borrow it. The author of this book is Steven Rinella, owner of MeatEater, Inc. “MeatEater, Inc. is an outdoor lifestyle company founded by renowned writer and TV personality Steven Rinella. Host of the Netflix show MeatEater and The MeatEater Podcast, Rinella has gained wide popularity with hunters and non-hunters alike through his passion for outdoor adventure and wild foods, as well as his strong commitment to conservation. Founded with the belief that a deeper understanding of the natural world enriches all of our lives, MeatEater, Inc. brings together leading influencers in the outdoor space to create premium content experiences and unique apparel and equipment.” (Rinella, 2019, p.1).

After I read the first page of the book, I laughed out loud. Steven starts his book by saying, “In the past week I’ve become something of a buffalo chip connoisseur. The perfect specimen has the circumference of a baseball cap, with folded layers like a sheik’s turban. It’s as dense as a gingersnap cookie, with the color and texture of old cardboard that’s been wet and dried out again. Of course, when I say, “buffalo chip,” I’m talking about buffalo dung, or what’s left of vegetation after it passes through the digestive circuitry of North America’s largest native land animal, also known as the American bison (Bison bison). These chips will burn with an orange-colored halo of flame surrounding a coal black center; they let off a good heat, not many sparks, and a blue-hued smoke that smells nothing like you’d expect it to. At times I’ve dipped my face into the smoke and picked up the odors of cinnamon and cloves, dried straw and pumpkins, and sometimes the smell of walking into a bathroom after someone smoked a joint.” (Rinella, 2009, P.1).

While I am only a couple chapter in, I find myself craving to read it. I need to explore the pages, discover the story and learn about the history of Alaskan Buffalo. When I think of buffalo, I feel reverent and mystified. You can feel the passion and respect for the animal in Rinella’s voice…

“The most promising debut by a nature writer in years… a hymn to a complicated, long-standing human-animal relationship.” -San Francisco Chronicle

“Captivating…. engaging, sharp-eyed writer whose style fuses those of John McPhee and Hunter S. Thompson.” -Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Both a fascinating piece of outdoor writing and a gonzo meditation on the history of the mighty beast in our national life.” -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“One-part Hemingway sparseness, and one-part anthropological history of buffalo hunting over the past few thousand years…an adventurous and educational tribute to a great American animal.” -Men’s Journal.

“Wildly Entertaining.” – Men’s Journal.

I could continue raging about how good this book is. Instead, I am just going to recommend that you go and read it. Click on the picture below to buy now.







“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”


Rinella, Steve (2019, December 8). About Us. Retrieved from

Rinella, Steve (2009). American Buffalo, In Search of a Lost Icon. New York, New York. Spiegel & Grau.


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