(Photo credit publicenergy)
Joshua and I are planning to get sheep this spring. Every time one of us mentions this, someone says, “Have you considered goats?”
Every. Single. Time.
We’ve been planning for sheep since last fall, and we talk to people about our homesteading adventures a lot, which means I have heard, “Have you considered goats?” over and over and over and over again.
The problem with this is not just the repetition. The repetition might be funny, on it’s own. The problem is that the person speaking has never owned goats. Or sheep. Ou probably doesn’t know much about either except that some relative once owned some goats, maybe.
Let me assure you: I have considered goats. I mean, I moved to the country to do this stuff. On purpose. I have pigs. I have chickens. I have a garden. I compost. I have considered goats. And sheep. And cows. And ducks. And horses. And geese. And donkeys. And alpacas. And bees. And rabbits. There’s a real Old McDonald vibe going on in my brain, and I have considered all the options and what’s right for my situation and my land.
If you’re about to ask whether I’ve considered goats, ask yourself if you’ve considered what’s right for my situation and my land. Because you haven’t. Or you wouldn’t be suggesting goats. I’m looking for lawn mowers. I have a lot of grass. Goats are not lawn mowers. They will eat grass, but they prefer woody vines, shrubs, leaves, and twigs, which I don’t have. So, I’ve considered goats. And rejected them.
The repetition is weird coming from people who don’t actually know anything about goats. Or sheep. When I explain the difference between pasture and browse, this is the first they’ve heard of it. When they say they like goat milk/cheese, and I mention that we can get milk and cheese from sheep, too, they’re surprised. So, it’s not even like they have a real opinion. It’s like farm small talk or something. Except from people who don’t farm. What the hell?
And if it’s just random babbling, why is it always goats? Surely people have heard of cows. How come no one ever says, “Have you considered a cow?” Joshua summed it all up this way recently on my Facebook:
I don’t know what the deal is with goats. Every single time we mention sheep, someone says, “have you considered goats?”…It’s as if there’s this secret goat lobby out there, or some goat viral marketing campaign.
Finally, it’s not that I mind people making suggestions. But goats are not some exotic animal that maybe I’ve never heard of. I’ve heard of goats. Thanks anyway.
If you’re one of the people who’s asked if I’ve considered goats, don’t feel bad. This post isn’t about you. Every single time I’ve mentioned sheep, someone asks about goats, so it really isn’t about you. You’re in good company.
But, seriously, just for the record: YES, I HAVE CONSIDERED GOATS.