How Did Cows Construct the American Cowboy?


In this essay Timothy LeCain explores the intersection of human niche construction theory and neo-materialism through an analysis of late nineteenth-century open-range cattle ranching in Montana. He shows how human-cattle cooperation resulted in the creation of an ecological niche in which both species could flourish. The power and wealth of Texas ranchers was an outcome of multiple factors, including the genetic evolution of cattle over millennia and the human ability to consume beef and dairy products.