Guest contributor: Brooke Faulkner
I have my own reasons for adoring goats. I grew up near a goat farm, for one. And there’s their charmingly rakish ability to scale, well, just about anything. The rest of the world is finally realizing how awesome goats are. It’s long overdue.
We all know that happiness does not come from the outside. Money can’t make you happy. Food can’t make you happy. Work can’t make you happy. But goats, perhaps, can.
Think of it, all the ways they bring positivity to the world. Their leaps, their bleats, their funny little rectangular pupils. Goats just might be the key to unlocking the world’s collective happiness locker.
Let’s take a moment to revel in all the ways goats improve our lives.
Free Yard Work
The rumors are true: goats will eat a lot of strange things. It's even been said that they'll eat anything. But not everything is healthy for them - rhododendrons, for example, are toxic to goats. That being said, their four-chambered stomachs do make them some of the most resilient eaters around.
It’s a common misconception - especially in urban environments - that goats can replace a lawn-mower. Not quite. They’re more akin to a weed whacker, preferring brushy and brambly foliage over boring old grass.
Random goat fact: Goat’s rectangular pupils allow them to see up to 340 degrees. Humans can only see between 160-210 degrees.
They know no boundaries
To the consternation of goat owners around the world, goats are notorious escape artists.
They are widely accepted to be one of the most difficult livestock to contain with fencing, constantly testing electric fences by squeezing their bodies between the wires, pushing up against them, and even just leaping over them.
They’re so charming about it that goat owners just seem to go along with it and let the little guys do their thing. If the owners are lucky, they can catch the whole escape on video and set it to the tune of Mission Impossible. Even a goat at its most wily brings joy to the lives of its people.
How can you criticize an animal for being so wholly and fully itself?
Random goat fact: If a goat really wants to, it can climb a palm tree.
Goats liven up any event
One perk of having a goatishly charismatic personality is that it’s easy to be the life of a party. And parties, it turns out, are in dire need of that little extra creative oomph.
People are bored of weddings, festivals, and conferences with all the usual drab trappings. They want their events to feel inspired. They want decorated tents and elaborate lighting; they want a little life to the party.
What says life like a herd of pygmy goats bounding about?
Goats make great companion animals. They are not territorial and females are non-aggressive - the ideal party guests. How could you resist? Just look at those faces.
For party goats, it’s probably best kept to the small breeds - nigerian dwarf and pygmy goats - so that the elaborately set tables don’t get swiped clean.
Random goat fact: There are over 210 breeds of goats in the world.
Goats aren’t just takers. They’re givers too. Dairy goat products - like cheese, milk, and butter - are a healthy alternative to traditional dairy.
Here are just a few health benefits of goat milk:
- It has anti-inflammatory properties
- We can absorb more nutrients from goat’s milk than cow milk
- It has twice as many beneficial fatty acids as cow milk
For all these reasons and more, goat milk is a recommended substitute for people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetics have to balance their intake of sugars, triglycerides, and calcium - they can’t intake too much fat, but at the same time they have to make sure they’re getting enough calcium.
Goat milk, which contains less sugar and 13% more calcium, is a the perfect alternative to high sugar, high fat cow milk.
Most of us, not just diabetics, can use a little less sugar and fat in our lives.
Random goat fact: Goats have no upper front teeth. Instead, they have a hard “gum pad” up top.
Photo credit: www.pygmygoat.co.uk
Last but not least, the symbology of the goat is enough to bring a smile to most people’s faces.
Goats symbolize abundance, independence, courage, and spiritual ambition.
If a goat enters your dream, it’s a sign of increasing wealth - and a warning to proceed with caution because there might be people looking to stand in your path. But goats can overcome just about any obstacle, not to worry.
From pygmy goat to mountain goat, from rectangular pupil to toothless mouth, there’s nothing not to love about these creatures. If you have a pet goat, tell us about him or her in the comments (so the rest of us can live vicariously through you).
Thank you Brooke for your delightful article. On a side note, peeps may want to see this, having had 35,000,000+ views. Never gets old for me.
About the Author: Brooke Faulkner is an animal advocate and mother of two (humans) in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter @faulknercreek