During the start of the 20th century, a group of eclectic men decided to tackle America’s meat crisis by introducing hippopotamus into the American diet. Hippopotamuses, it turned out, could solve a number of problems for the country, all at once. — Hippo meat nearly became an American food staple. He proposed a bill that would allow the country to import hippopotami and ranch them for meat. The majority of the hippos still live inside Escobar's former estate, which was turned into a theme park in 2007, but the issue is that they can't keep them contained. What they may not have realized is that hippos have a reputation for being aggressive and territorial and probably wouldn’t have settled in very nicely in the Louisiana bayou. Plus, hippos could live in the bayou unlike cattle, which needed grasslands to feed. When meat is tender, add vegetables. In 1910 an extraordinary conversation took place at the House of Representatives, when Congressman Robert F. Broussard of Louisiana opened up discussion of H.R. He was also Burnham’s enemy. the Hippo Bill, in 1910 to secure $250,000 in funding for the import of useful animals, including hippos, into the United States. It became known in newspapers as the Meat Question, and two colorful characters, Frederick Russell Burnham and Fritz Duquesne, proposed hippopotamus as the Meat Answer. As radical a solution as it was, the transition to hippo meat very nearly became a reality, failing in the U.S. Senate by one vote. Do you like your hippopotamus rare or well done? Hippo steak may have become a common menu item today had they succeeded. What was supposed to be a celebration in Kenya, Maku Tano turned in to a disaster when a man dies after eating hippo meat. Broussard enlisted the help of notorious conman Frederick “Fritz” Duquesne to set their plan in motion. The bill failed. Something Brassard didn’t take into account, however, was the behavioral difference between hippos and cows. Watch These New Movies, Dallas County Judge Says New COVID-19 Restrictions Are An Opportunity To ‘Be Patriotic’, Tragedies At Fort Hood Have Led The Army To Rethink Its Response When Soldiers Go Missing, Women Who Flew: The Silver Winged WASPs Of World War II, For Mexico, It’s Not The Drug Trade, But The Gun Trade Causing Cross-Border Tensions, Amid White House Pressure, Second Texas Lockdown Unlikely. Join Ripley’s Newsletter and get weird news and exclusive offers like 20% OFF Books + Free Shipping when you sign up! He moved to Africa in 1893 and was the inspiration behind the Boy Scouts and the big-screen action hero Indiana Jones. Today, most Americans wouldn't know what hippopotamus tastes like. Louisiana Congressman Robert Broussard officially introduced the “Hippo Bill,” seeking $250,000 to import the animals into the United States. Burnham was a proponent of eating hippopotamus meat because animals such as cows, sheep, poultry, and pig were not native to the United States yet they were a large part of the American diet. March 1910 In light of a national meat crisis (caused by the Beef Trust), Robert Broussard, Frederick Burnham, and Fritz Duquesne introduce the ‘Hippo Bill’ to the US Agricultural House Committee. Jon Mooallem: The dawn of hippopotamus ranching in America was 1910. Hoping to fix a food crisis and stop an invasive plant, Burnham and a Louisiana Congressman thought it would be a great idea to import hippos to the American South. This plan failed to take into account some key facts about hippos: they are … Sign up for our Newsletter and get weird news and exclusive offers to Ripley's, delivered straight to your inbox! Simultaneously, Burnham was ordered to kill Duquesne. A steam shovel is useful for this. Although the idea of eating lake cow meat might sound ridiculous, there was a point in time when Texas was seriously considering making the switch. Villagers say hippo meat usually comes to markets unannounced. Hippo steak may have become a common menu item today had they succeeded. Louisiana Congressman Robert Broussard also supported the importation of hippos because he thought the mammals could help solve a problem he had in his district. Gailey says one of the biggest lessons to be gleaned from the hippo meat proposal is that human ideas rarely trump those established by nature. The seemingly insurmountable challenge facing America at that time was solved, not by hippos, but by a wartime economic boom and the long-term industrialization of agriculture. Support Wildlife Conservation Day At Ripley’s Aquariums! Also, African animals such as ostriches and camels had easily adapted to certain areas of the United States, and Burnham believed hippos could do so as well. Broussard introduced H.R. Years ago, in an America that never was, the United States government introduced herds of hippos to the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. Writer Sarah Gailey says the U.S. wasn’t just looking into starting a hippo meat industry – they were excited for it. “Then we’d eat the hippos, and everybody wins,” Gailey says. Will UT And Texas A&M Ever Meet Again On The Football Field? Broussard, nicknamed “Cousin Bob,” hoped the hyacinth-loving hippopotamuses would take care of the issue. Bison had become nearly extinct, so there weren’t any animals left to hunt. In 1910, they met again, this time on the same side of a lobbying and legislative push for funding to import African hippos to the swamps of Louisiana to solve America's urgent meat crisis. Source: San Diego Zoo via GIPHY. “Except for the hippos, who don’t win because they’ve been eaten, but he wasn’t too worried about them.”. ©2018 Texas Standard. The company has a long successful history in book publishing, product licensing, radio and popular TV shows. Burnham was an American adventurer, soldier, and chief of scouts for the British army during the Second Boer War. Part of the problem was that, unlike now, Americans weren’t eating enough meat, and … Duquesne was a soldier and a spy who did whatever was required of him to get ahead. First, there were too many people and not enough animals to feed to them. In the early 1900s, a bill was introduced to Congress to solve two problems at once: a meat shortage and a proliferation of the invasive water hyacinth, which the hippopotamuses were supposed to like to eat. The FBI arrested him and his spy ring in 1941, and Duquesne served 14 years in prison. “A lot of our attempts to mitigate what we consider problems in nature lead us down a bad road,” Gailey says. At one point he was ordered to kill Burnham, then chief of the British Scouts, during the Second Boer War. Garnish with parsley. Five Incredible Artists That Will Leave Your Mind Blown! Although hippos live in the water, they … For starters, they constituted a blubbery, elegant fix to what newspapers had taken to calling the Meat Question. In the early 1900s, meat was in high demand due to a growing population and overgrazed land. The animals would be put into the Mississippi and eat the invasive water hyacinth. 23261, a.k.a. As for Duquesne, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen before becoming a spy for Germany. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. A Senate bill that failed by one vote would have allowed the country to import and grow hippopotami for the food industry. Cut vegetables into cubes (another 2 months). In her book River of Teeth, Gailey says that a man named Robert Brassard identified two problems that the hippo switch could solve. Hippos consume large quantities of grass on a daily basis, with some estimates suggesting that they can eat up to 150 pounds in a single night. Hippos aren’t the only surprising cannibals-read on for more examples. Hippo meat was delicious, they claimed, and the animals would happily dine on the abundant water hyacinth in the swamps until they were harvested. At least 511 Zambians became infected, and five died, because they handled or consumed hippo meat … Americans dine primarily on four kinds of meat: poultry, pork, beef, and lamb/mutton. But a man named Frederick Russell Burnham was convinced hippo meat was the solution. In the early 1900s, high immigration rates and overgrazed rangeland prompted what was called the “Meat Question,” or a nationwide demand for meat that was unsustainable. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Fun fact! In the early 1900s, meat was in high demand due to a growing population and overgrazed land. Shovel in salt and pepper to taste. The New York Times coined the phrase “lake cow bacon,” describing the flavor of the hippo meat, and some believed it would only be a short time before it was readily available in America. And that means that humans who come into contact with hippo meat need to take care. Now, this was a terrible idea for a lot of reasons a American Hippo is a bindup of the two novellas (River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow) plus two new short stories set in the same world, and I loved all of it! He dubbed himself “The Black Panther of the Veldt” in reference to the predatory skills of the panther. America was withering under a serious meat shortage at the time. ©2020 Ripley Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved |, Crafty Fisherman Pipe-Cleans Up With Record-Breaking Catch. Also, African animals such as ostriches and camels had easily adapted to certain areas of the United States, and Burnham believed hippos could do so as well. This exotic proposal greatly excited the press—and compelled many citizens to reevaluate their own eating habits. From A Dutch Immigrant To A Texas Musician, One Pair Of Boots Has Traveled Through Generations, Need To Avoid Talking Politics With Family This Thanksgiving? Both the New York Times and the Washington Post declared that Americans would soon be leaving Texas beef behind for hippo bacon. During the start of the 20th century, a group of eclectic men decided to tackle America’s meat crisis by introducing hippopotamus into the American diet. In the early 1900s, meat was in high demand due to a growing population and overgrazed land. In the wild, hippos spend much of their time in the water, coming out at around dusk to feed mainly on the short grass that surrounds their habitat. Cut hippo meat into bite sized pieces. “Sometimes we hear of hippopotamus meat in the village market,” said Agustin Ndimu, a … View Images A barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) seems to … A service of the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin, Their Lives Were Upended By Harvey, But Thanksgiving Goes On, In El Paso, Some Celebrate Thanksgiving In April, Despite A Volatile Climate And Marketing Challenges, Hill Country Wineries Keeps Growing. The attempt to import hippos failed to come together and the hippos were never brought … Poaching has become the number one threat to iconic, endangered animals like elephants, gorillas, bonobos, and hippos -- not to mention … Following the defeat, Burnham went on to prevent an assassin from shooting President William Howard Taft and was invited by Theodore Roosevelt to lead a delegation in France similar to the Rough Riders. “Giant animals with huge teeth don’t behave quite the way that we’d like them to behave,” Gailey says. Duquesne was a South African Boer and big-game hunter. Broussard, meanwhile, served eight terms as a congressman and one as a senator. Simmer slowly for 4 more weeks. In order to find a sufficient amount of food, hippos may travel long distances, which can exceed 6 miles. Apparently, at some point in (actual) American history, there was a proposal to solve a meat crisis by introducing hippos to the Louisiana marshes and raise them for meat. There was a very serious meat shortage. Place meat into large pan and cover with gravy. Its sale is illegal and it sells fast. To meet meat demand, meatpackers increased supply, grazing lands became feedlots, and wetlands were drained to form grasslands for cattle. In the early 1900s, high immigration rates and overgrazed rangeland prompted what was called the “Meat Question,” or a nationwide demand for meat that was unsustainable. By Joy DiazNovember 23, 2017 10:15 amArts & Culture, Food & Drink. One booster apparently tried to influence reporters by feeding them hippo jerky. The division never got off the ground, but the adventurer eventually struck it rich after discovering oil in California. He dubbed himself “The Black Panther of the Veldt” in reference to the predatory skills of the panther. Burnham was a proponent of eating hippopotamus meat because animals such as cows, sheep, poultry, and pig were not native to the United States yet they were a large part of the American diet. “Imagine if you took a cow and you bumped it up to about 3,000 pounds, and then gave it a mouth full of daggers and a temper like you would not believe.”. But a man named Frederick Russell Burnham was convinced hippo meat was the solution. Neither carried out their orders, and several years later Broussard tapped on Duquesne’s knowledge of African animals to help him and Burnham seek authorization to import hippos to America to boost the meat supply. Per this book there was the idea promoted by several people in 1910 to bring hippopotamus ranching to America. By Noelle Talmon, contributor for Ripleys.com. A service of the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin | Contact us. This will take about 2 months.

By Noelle Talmon, contributor for Ripleys.com. William Newton Irvin from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was also an advocate of hippo importation and testified on the men’s behalf. As U.S. meat supplies fell in the wake of bison kill-offs, a group of adventurers sought to bring hippo meat to the swamps of Louisiana. 23261, or to give it a more familiar title, the “Hippo Bill.” The bill was designed to address a make or break issue for the future of America, namely the “Meat Question.” During the start of the 20th century, a group of eclectic men decided to tackle America’s meat crisis by introducing hippopotamus into the American diet. The idea was to alleviate the then current meat shortage and to free up rivers that were being choked (at that time) by the invasive Japanese Hyacinth which the hippos would eat. Thanksgiving Dinner With Rebecca The Holiday Raccoon. Ripley’s Offering $10,000 Reward For The Missing Utah Monolith, Two Pardoned Turkeys Relocate To The Magic Kingdom, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade By The Numbers, Making Moves With Mose, The Two-Legged Dog. Mooallem's piece actually goes beyond the question of hippo meat and focuses on Burnham and Duquesne, who were themselves sort of American hippopotamuses: larger-than-life … The 52 year-old man was pronounced dead when he was rushed to a hospital seeking medication. Alligator meat is legal and is readily available in many locations both within the US and in other countries. Second, an invasive water hyacinth was choking off the trade routes in Mississippi waterways. Simmer for 4 weeks. In addition, we operate more than 100 attractions in 11 countries around the world. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post declared that Americans would soon be leaving Texas beef behind for hippo bacon. 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