A well informed polemic on public lands and other cattle ranching.

“Why You Should Eat Yak Instead of Beef-“

Maybe folks ought not just “like” this on Facebook. Send it to your governors.  Oregon’s governor could use a copy now.

Why You Should Eat Yak Instead of Beef. By Christopher Ketcham. Truthdig.



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  1. Nancy Avatar

    Ralph, is it just my computer or is this website’s article (typeface) awful and almost impossible to read?

    I did get thru it though and it is a view many of us, who live around cattle grazing on public lands, witness way too often.

    I mentioned on a previous topic regarding Cow Pies (think Ken posted that topic) and how ranchers brush their own lands to loosen the “pies” and spread them around so the hay will grow, without interruption (while the cows are off on public lands for the summer) But, the same consideration is not being paid to public lands or forest areas where those “cow pies” lay indefinately, on the landscape.

    Begs the question – why is steer manure better for gardens, instead of just plain ole cow manure?

    1. Barb Rupers Avatar
      Barb Rupers


      I don’t think that it is because steer manure is better for gardens, but that there are more steer in feedlots. The cows and bulls have a longer life span since they produce offspring for the next generation in meat production.

      1. Nancy Avatar

        Barb – what I’m trying to relate to is the liquid goo (puddling in large quantities) out of the average cow’s ass compared to say their offspring or horses or any other grazing species.

  2. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    I did call my governor regarding the intended execution of the Imnaha alpha male and one other young, pack member. Thanks to the person who supplied the phone number.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    The story at Truthdig, “Why you should eat Yak instead of beef seems to be fixed now.”


    1. Nancy Avatar

      Nope, still hard to read Ralph. But it is a good article and yak meat does have a nice taste, tried it a few years ago. I would imagine they probably would stand a better chance with preadtors, like buffalo.

      1. Maska Avatar

        Nancy, try going to the “print” version. It’s nice and clear.

  4. CodyCoyote Avatar

    The idea of raising Himalayan Yaks in the American West in lieu of Scottish and English bovines is not new. It was put forth during those early US Army expeditions to reconnoitor the West in the 1970’s and 80’s by visiting British-Scottish officers who had served the Empire in Asia. If only they had been listened to more closely.

    The main downside to Yaks is their tendency to ignore fences, as in bust through them and keep on going. Last year here in Wyoming a huge brouhaha went thru the Wyoming cattle industry over a herd of Yaks that kept busting out of their hobby ranch in the Big Horns and going walkabout on the neighbor’s places for weeks on end. Where are all those rough and tumble Cowboys when you need one? Neither the owners nor the afflicted could find, let alone round up and corral, the miscreant Asian hairybeasts. The Yaks were not misbehaving. They were just being Yaks. The ranchers?— draw your own conclusions.

    There was an attempt to pass Legislation regulating Yaks in last winter’s Wyoming legislature. Surely that would be more effective than fences or cowboying, wouldn’t it ? Yaks are smarter than cattle — the intelligence has not been bred from them, rather it’s been reinforced,actually. Yak herders have not dumbed down their stock for countless generations like our peerless cattle barons of America. Yaks can read and therefore will follow the law, won’t they ? Hee hee.

    Everything else about Yaks is pretty much on the upside , as this article delineates. Better disease resistance, better birthing, better foraging and water conservation , better all around grazing behavior. Most important of all: Yaks are better suited to marginal high elevation semi-arid rangelands .

    The Yaks are good to go . It’s our American West ranchers that need to come into the 21st century and adopt realistic business models that actually work and are profitable without hammering the resources.

    Is that cowboy over there singing ” Git Along Little Dogie” in Tibetan ? Pashtun ?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      I read an article in one book that suggested that the West was much better suited to ostrich ranching than cattle.

      Here is a bit about ostrich ranching from a quick Google search.

  5. CodyCoyote Avatar

    Typo: I meant to say the visiting officers from Great Britain toured the American West with their counterparts in the 1870’s and 1880’s , not in our century.

    ( That’s the cornerstone of American West ranching: finding new ways to make the same old mistakes.)


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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