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U.S. Hippo Ranches and Lake Cow Bacon

By   /  April 18, 2016  /  4 Comments

But for a vote that never happened back in 1910, today, farmers in Louisiana might be raising hippos, while giraffes and white rhinoceroses would be roaming the southwest. And Americans would be eating them too!

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On March 24, 1910, Congressman Robert Broussard of Louisiana sponsored a debate on a bill he had in
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  • Published: 5 years ago on April 18, 2016
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  • Last Modified: April 11, 2016 @ 5:24 pm
  • Filed Under: Consider This

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Greg says:

    This is a terrible idea, hippos and such megafauna are extremely dangerous, they kill hundreds in Africa annually. Hippos also do not eat when they are in the water, they move onto land every night and graze in grasses and crops… another reason why its a bad idea, hippos are notoriously aggressive and there WILL be clashes between farmers and such animals. These hippos will also overturn boats, reduce the water quality and are known to create soil erosion and such problems with their frequently used paths.

    What is my experience? I was born and still live in Africa, I have a degree in zoology and I have worked with these animals in the wild. Hippos in particular will be a negative species to introduce. Rhinos will be poached for their horns which will be sold on the middle eastern market and giraffes can also be dangerous. They have a kick strong enough to kill a lion. If you do not believe me research any of these facts yourself.

    These simple two birds with one stone solutions are often unfounded and poorly thought out.

    • Kathy Voth says:

      See what people didn’t know back in 1910 when they were thinking about this?! And even today, I didn’t know that hippos don’t eat while they’re in the water. Meanwhile, here is a picture of a hippo that was part of the campaign to show folks back in the early 1900s that hippos were docile and easy to manage. What stories we tell ourselves! 🙂
      Hippo being weighed and measured

    • Brian Tremback says:

      If you’re looking to domesticate a landscape and exterminate everything that won’t be subjugated, you have a point. On the other hand, we have managed to make room for bison, bears, moose, elk, and alligators and feel privileged to still have them with us, both for the ways they benefit and maintain the environment and for the grandeur they lend to the natural world.

  2. Brian Tremback says:

    This is similar to what scientists like the late Paul S. Martin advocated for rewilding North America with megafauna to replace the many species of mammoth, mastodon, giant ground sloths, camels, giant beavers, etc., etc. that went extinct 10 to 12 thousand years ago. I don’t know about the domesticability of hippos, but repopulating the landscape with large mammals to take the place of those lost seems like a noble and exciting project.

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