"Desperate to rediscover purpose" in his life and disillusioned with working like a serf for the bank while supporting cows--those lumbering, small-brained icons of the plains that O'Brien describes as "a sort of reverse beast of burden. I was carrying them!"--he made a snap decision one day in January 1998 to take in 13 orphaned buffalo calves from a fellow rancher. Later, after much soul searching and contemplation of both practical and emotional matters, he decided to jump headlong into buffalo ranching. He expected differences between the two animals, of course, but was pleasantly surprised by the buffalo's self-sufficiency. Since buffalo are native to the plains, they are much gentler on the land and are able to find most of their own food and water. Plus, their meat is healthier than beef (and delicious to boot), and buffalo do not need the heavy doses of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones that cattle require--a process O'Brien likens to "locking children in a room with ice cream and potato chips and treating the health problems that result with expensive medicine."
O'Brien is a splendid storyteller, and his narrative is a skillful weave of the history of the buffalo on the Great Plains, colorful portraits of fellow ranchers, descriptions of the plains' rugged beauty, and a clear-eyed account of the harsh realities of ranching in this unforgiving landscape. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Outstanding book, a recommend read for everyone.
The story, as it unfolds, is full of the personal details of Great Plains life, and the honest self-exploration that make O'Brien's books a pleasure to read.
Dan O'Brien has a view of the Great Plains that he shares through his decision to convert his cattle operation to a buffalo ranch.
On its surface, this book tells the story of how a South Dakota rancher got out of cattle ranching and moved into bison ranching, eventually helping establish a boutique company... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Arthur Digbee
O'Brien is one of the best authors writing about South Dakota. His descriptions of the land, weather and people was correct. He captures the plains accurately.Published 20 days ago by Norma Assam
Great message, great writing, struck many sympathetic chords!Published 1 month ago by Richard R. Dodd
Though most memoirs can't be expected to keep you completely engrossed from beginning to end, Buffalo For The Broken Heart does just that. Dan O'Brien's prose is lean and concise. Read morePublished 3 months ago by D. Benson
Growing up on a farm but also being in love with the buffalo it was fascinating to learn of the differences. Enjoyed the story and story teller. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Custer
I've been in the Rapid City - Black Hills area and never tire of a visit. A few motorcycle rallies (Sturgis) and just riding or driving through the area. Read morePublished 5 months ago by bvail