In "The Buffalo", Francis Parkman believes that nature belongs to man. Nature provides the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, and transportation. Also, nature is the place that man can show his power, his strong and manhood, and gives man entertainment. By hunting the buffalo in the woods, readers can see that Parkman loves adventure. He is driving on the wild prairie, under the storm, and in darkness. In Parkman's point of view, nature serves as a background where man proves his power over nature. No matter in what condition, man will win over nature. At first, the readers think that he hunts buffalo for food, but then he is not only hunting buffalo, but also other animals: antelopes, cows, calves, etc. Obviously, he is not hunting to live, he hunts to entertain, and to prove his power, or man's power. There is a connection between man and nature, especially Native American man.
They live very close to nature and depend on nature for food and necessities. The relationship between emigrants and nature in the story is a good example. They live a simple life, move from one place to the other. Nature is their home, their necessities, and their transportation.
In contrast, Henry David Thoreau declares that nature will give all we need as long as we keep it simple. He does not like to destroy nature, for example by hunting and fishing, especially, by destroying nature to live a luxurious life. In other words, Thoreau would disagree with Parkman. By hunting and fishing, people destroy and betray nature. In Thoreau's view, humans should appreciate what nature gives them, select what they need from nature, live as vegetarians. In addition, Thoreau wants everyone lives simple, and sets the nature free like humans. By living a simple life, people will maintain independence and give themselves freedom. People do not worry about debts and bills in the simple life. Also, people will develop their higher emotions and feelings when they are free from borders of "hunting" and "fishing". As a result, humans are approaching to the society with intellect. At this point, Parkman lives in Thoreau's life. He is living with the emigrants, driving his own horse, and doing everything by himself. Both Thoreau and Parkman try to develop a social democracy.
In my opinion, Parkman is correct when he declares that humans should get food and necessary from nature. There is nothing wrong if man is hunting and fishing for food and living. In order to survive and develop, humans need to get energy from other sources. The food from vegetables is not enough protein for man. Moreover, nature will not balance among organisms if humans are not hunting and fishing. Animals will be over-populate and take all the space. As the result, nature will control humans. However, Parkman hunts everything that is moving. As Emerson points out nature is not a toy to be played. At this point, Parkman sees nature as his entertainment, and a tool to show his authority. That is not right. Nature will be dying if people keep hunting and fishing as an entertainment. Humans will be the only organism in the world. Man cannot get energy from photosynthesis. In order to survive, he has to get energy from nature. Therefore, human would be extinct if nature were destroyed. In short, using nature to make man's life is better and more convenient, but do not destroy it or let nature controls humans. Nature should be appreciated and provides humans' needs.