Okay, I don’t get any $$ for advertising this bar…unfortunately :), but I have to say that I can personally attest to the buffalo/cranberry bar…yum. I almost didn’t buy it because the ingredient list stated it had “spices”…but it wasn’t specific. I was afraid of the old MSG being inserted under that non-specific ingredient. Fortunately, the lady at the natural food store offered to look up the TankaBar website for me, and they stated that there was no MSG. I’ve eaten two of them, and I can say that I have not had a migraine or nausea after eating them. Yay.
The company is based on Pine Ridge Reservation, a very poor region. They have set up a fund to help undo the damage of the European destruction of the buffalo herds. I think that is wonderful.
To understand the greatness of the buffalo and how the Lakota view not only its physical contribution to their lives, but the spiritual, as well, here is a video of Lakota women explaining it:
Note how the last speaker talks about how the Buffalo preserve the plants by not destroying the roots like cows do. She also notes how they eat medicinal plants, which benefits those that eat the meat. Food is medicine!
The Natives also have noted that they respect the buffalo because when they are hunted, they will herd the young ones in the middle, with the females forming a circle around the young ones, and the males forming a circle around the females to protect them.
They also respect them because they run pretty darn fast which is remarkable for their size. It’s really hard to convey their size by looking at photos — but seeing a stuffed buffalo up close…it is bigger than any bull I have ever seen…simply massive. You have to respect something that huge that can move that fast. 🙂
**edited to add: The website also explains about the Lakota beliefs towards the buffalo. I found this quote very moving:
‘It gave its life so Indians could live. The buffalo’s generosity provided Indians with food and shelter. Indian people modeled the buffalo’s generosity, and it became fundamental to the economy of the American Indian.’
They respect and give thanks for the animals that give their lives so that people can live. I admire that so much. It was because of this belief that I was able to go back to eating meat after I had become vegetarian…up to that point, I had not come across such a deep spiritual belief towards animals. I became a vegetarian because of not wanting to hurt animals, and was in crisis after being told that I needed to because I was becoming ill. After learning of the Lakota beliefs, I could reconcile eating meat again, but with a spiritual connection and always giving thanks to the animals for their sacrifice. Without them, we would be dead.