My daughter tells me that goats are super popular among the gamer set online—she would even go so far as to say that cats and goats actually rule the internet. A quick Google search pulls up 74 million references to goats; cats get a significantly higher number of 439 million; and to be fair to canine fans, in my search there are 710 million dog mentions.
I won’t disappoint my daughter with these results. Clearly it makes more sense that your garden variety domesticated animals would come out on top. But I’ll tell you lately I’ve been thinking and appreciating goats quite a bit and I think I know why.
- They dominate petting zoos. We meet goats at a very young age and as long as we don’t lose a finger to one of them, we do develop a kind of comfort among them. As an adult I’ve found it kind of lame that these fun, furry zones are marketed as actual zoos when really the majority of the animals are in fact goats with a sheep, a pig, and an errant llama or two. But the kids love them.
- The increase in goat’s milk and cheeses in restaurants, supermarkets, recipes, and dog boutiques. Twenty years ago blue cheese and gorgonzola dominated the salad menus at restaurants. Today? No self-respecting mid-high level restaurant would be caught without a goat cheese something or other in salad, on pizza, pasta, and more I probably haven’t come across yet. In the supermarket expect to find at least three varieties and multiple brands. At the pet shops, they push goat’s milk on my dog like fine wine.
- In some countries goats are a symbol of wealth. I vacationed in Anguilla (British Caribbean Territory) some years ago. At the rental car shop we received a map with a bunch of wavy and straight lines that they called “a map” and were sent on our way. I was busy trying to figure out if we were on the correct “shape” of road as we putted along. One thing we weren’t warned about was the large amount of goats spilling into the roads; some tied up by the sides of the road; others grazing by homes. An elder lady in a T-shirt shop even asked us how many goats we had at home. Come to find out, more goats = more status in Anguilla. Who knew?
- The internet. While not exactly taking over cyber space there are still many references to goats out there and if you have a kid into video games you’ll find out about more. There is something out there called the “Goat Simulator” which my daughter thinks is hilarious.
- Counting goats? Sheep are out at nighttime, it’s in vogue to count goats. Yes, those bearded friends are now leaping fences in the hundreds in my house when it’s bedtime.
What does all of this mean for me? Well a couple of years ago I agreed to move about an hour outside of New York City to a place where the land is designated as “farm land”. On my two plus acre property, I can actually have chickens, sheep, horses, and GOATS! With a dog and two cats under control, my family is vying for a new pet goat. It hasn’t happened yet, but with all of the increased interest in goats these days, why not?
If you have an interesting pet to share, tweet me a picture at @mckinneypr!