Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Next Step Forward

Introduction. I received this proposal from the anonymous guest blogger and let me say that it struck me as very strange at first and it will no doubt stir things up, but after I did some research, I found that this idea is not all that crazy. I know that some people who said "what's next, goats!?" in response to the proposed chicken-keeping ordinance are going to say "I told you so". Well, so be it. We must not be deterred from pursuing new ideas by the narrow thinking from yesteryear.

This proposal will contribute to our community sustainability, transit service, local food, a new event for the festival, and tourism. -Doug

And now the anonymous guest blogger returns with a modest proposal:

Since the proposed backyard chicken ordinance has been welcomed with nary a peep of opposition, I thought it is high time that we invite Backyard Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis backyardus) into our fair city. It's the latest thing in the local food movement.

As explained below, if allowing full-sized water buffalo is too radical, there are mini-water buffalo that many think are better-suited to urban living. And no, this is not a 'Madison idea'; more like a Rangoon idea.

Not ready to go the Full Buffalo? Try the Manchurian Miniature Water Buffalo or Bubalus cebuensis backyardus. OK, these little fellas are harder to find - some science guys seem to think they are extinct. Ancient Miniature Buffalo Discovered LiveScience. Actually, they are small enough to live indoors. Add dirt to your spare bathtub and voila, miniature indoor mud wallow.

Or try the little and little-known tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis backyardus) Little Known Asian Animals With a Promising Economic Future: Part ...

Backyard water buffalo is yummy - many people say it 'tastes like chicken' - and healthy - it's wayyyy lower in fats and bad stuff than beef cattle or pork. Calories in water buffalo meat, cooked, roasted - Nutrition Facts ...

While the Backyard Water Buffalo Movement is in its nascent stages, they already allow water buffalo in Milwaukee (and, duh, not just at the zoo!). Water Buffalo Restaurant and Bar Milwaukee - 249 Water Street ... And there's even an American association and everything: American Water Buffalo Association. That's AWBA for short.

There are two main types: Swamp buffaloes from China and River buffaloes from India. I'm leaning towards River Buffaloes because of their way cool curled horns. Think this little fellow's face might be a crime deterrent!?

Plus, River Buffaloes are also known for their dairy products and meat production. Whoa, pets with bennies. And as the AWBA says, they "hold their heads high". And well they should.

The mind boggles at what this movement could do for Monona. I mean, it would put Monona on the map...well, we're already on most maps, but this could even get us our own zip code - ahhh, the Holy Grail.

And, water buffalo contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. No more sending away to far off Vermont for a bit of water buffalo yogurt. Bufala di Vermont water buffalo cheese, yogurt, and specialty meats.

That's not all, folks, your water buffalo can also provide transportation for those personal trips - short or long.

But, aren't water buffalo mean, nasty, and vicious? Heck no! According to a sciency Internet guy who seems to know what he's talking about:

"The domesticated water buffalo is one of the gentlest of all farm animals. Despite an intimidating appearance, it is more like a household pet-sociable, gentle, and serene...

Millions of water buffaloes are managed in 'backyards' in Asia. Management and expenditures are minimal. Care of the family buffalo is usually entrusted to children, old people, or women not engaged in other farm duties.

The buffalo fits the resources available on the farm, but it is also an urban animal. Thousands of herds of 2-20 buffaloes may be found in the cities and towns of India, Pakistan, and Egypt-all fed, managed, and milked in the streets."

Want more fun factoids? The Water Buffalo: New Prospects For An Underutilized Animal (1984 ...

Respect your neighbors and protect your pet. The proposed water buffalo ordinance strikes a delicate balance between personal liberty and nosy, meddling neighbors. To keep everyone happy, including your very own pet backyard water buff, please follow these provisions of the proposed water buffalo keeping ordinance:

  • Provide a wallow at least 40' square feet and no deeper than 4'.

  • Alternatively, use sprinklers or buckets of water to cool your pet.

  • Keep your wallow no closer than 7' from your lot line.

  • Maintain the proper mud/water balance in your pet's wallow.

  • Milk your pet in the backyard only.

Remember: High temperatures can cause infertility and loss of libido in bulls.

Move over Wife Carry! And we could just have a new event for the Monona Festival: Extreme Water Buffalo Racing Challenge Japan Probe


Next up: Backyard Elephants. Hey, if crummy old Thailand can do it, so can we ! Yes, we can!

Urban Giants See the plight of Thailand's domesticated street elephants in this multimedia feature.


  1. Madison already has them. Monona in lockstep will follow it's leadership again.

  2. Madison has water buffaloes?? Besides at the zoo?? Whoa, dude, totally cool.....

  3. You know, I am considering voting for you 'cause I figure a vote for you is a vote to continue Monona Doug and this wild and wholly blog.

  4. I dunno, Doug. What about the methane problem?

    First you want to pollute our lake with all that phosphorus from chickens and now you want to worsen global warming. That's the problem with you liberals. You always make things better by making them worse. You need to concentrate on things that really matter. Like a drug-sniffing dog.

  5. In the spirit of the "third way" how about Monona getting drug sniffing chickens? Or chicken fried steak? Or totally baked chickens, that can then sniff out themselves?

  6. April Fools Joke, very well done, says I!

  7. Can the wallow be reserved for political debates?