Way back in 1987, Ronald Reagan declared the second week in June to be Dairy Goat Week. Over thirty years later, goats are still near and dear to our hearts, and to the diets of many who are lactose intolerant.
Some of my favorite entertainment moments involve goats – George Clooney staring down a goat in Men Who Stare at Goats, or Travis Fimmel and his medieval therapy goat in Vikings, or the poor sacrificial goat, left out to attract dinosaurs, King Kong or a Chupacabra in many a summer blockbuster.
If you’re not a fan of goat’s milk, here are ten different ways to celebrate Goat Week:
1. Petting Zoos
An easy goat fix can be found at any local zoological park or nearby farm. To make the most out of your visit, check out these suggestions: Make the most of your petting zoo visit
2. Goat Yoga
Try goat yoga. The goat yoga craze seemed to take off last year. Why? Because baby goats are the best therapy animal around! Check out the link below for a location, or find one near you by simply typing “goat yoga near me” into your search engine.
3. Goat Milk & Cheese
More milk products in the world are derived from goat’s milk than cow’s milk. It’s true. Many people with a milk allergy can use goat’s milk and cheese as an alternative. I love my Chevon fromage rolled in cranberries and walnuts. You can also try this Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie.
I also like caramels made with goat’s milk. They are sweet and a little tangy. I personally vouch for these Goat milk caramels and these artisan caramels:
4. Goat Milk Lotions & Soaps
Try goat milk personal products! Below is a link to a well-known producer. Many local farms produce their own goat milk products.
5. Goat Meat
Don’t look at me that way! Your favorite burger came from a doe-eyed cow! It stands to reason that if goat’s milk is more prevalent than cows’ milk, goat meat is, too. 70% of the world eats goat meat. In fact, if you order Lamb vindaloo in India, you’re probably getting goat, not lamb. The restaurant isn’t trying to mislead you. Mutton is the meat of a young lamb or goat.
Goat meat is more environmentally sound and lower in fat than beef. Pound for pound, raising goats uses less land, and they eat a greater variety of foliage. If you’re looking to try goat meat, any local Jamaican restaurant is sure to have curried goat. If you’re adventurous you can research local butchers who carry goat meat or try www.shepardsongfarm.com
6. Heifer International
If you’re in a giving mood, celebrate goat week by supporting Heifer International. What better way to help out the developing world than supplying it with a more sustainable food source! You can donate here.
The highest quality wool sought for couture is actually goat hair. But before you rush out and get yourself one of the oh-so-soft sweaters, educate yourself and search your conscience. There has been a spike in the supply of cashmere products. Many products on the market are made with cashmere that is low quality and frankly, unethical.
Cashmere wool goats are traditionally Mongolian. The spike in demand by the fashion industry has caused goat herders to start shearing their goats at the height of their hair length and thickness. Unfortunately, that thickest wool is produced in the middle of winter. As you can imagine, the winters in Mongolia have gotten worse, so many of the goats die from exposure after being shorn too early. Raising greater numbers of goats has also lead to overgrazing and erosion.
The product created by these mass producers within the clothing industry is usually a blended fabric and lower quality. So, if you think you’re getting a great deal at Costco, what you’re actually getting is a cheaply made product, produced with unethical raw materials. Save your money and get a well-made product that will last longer. I recommend Naadam.
8. Rent a Goat
Goats are a natural weed and lawn control. They eat almost anything, which is what makes them easier to raise than cattle. As such, they are an eco-friendly method of removing unwanted overgrowth and even invasive foliage. Search the internet for local goat herders who can help you with your unkempt acreage.
Send a friend a goat. You Goat Mail has a few types of (stuffed) goats to randomly send a friend for no reason. Why not; they make people happy!
10. Desktop Goat Therapy
If you’re having a stressful day, or week, a quick and free therapy session can be found all over the internet. Relax and breathe in the aroma of your coffee, while watching these recommendations.
Picture Sources: pexels, pixabay, History Vikings, Men Who Stare At Goats