“To be the ‘Under-Goat'” by Syd the Kid; April 2021

To be the under”goat”

Looked down upon due to their association of evil and cruelty, devil worship: over shadowed by its counterpart, the sheep. The goat is the underdog of the ruminant domestic therians.

I did not discover this connection until I worked hands on with goats in my college years. I had identified (and still do) as a canine for years. And yet, It just felt…so correct being in the barn and the herd with the goats. I learned so much about them, and yet I still felt like I had to pull strings every time I talked about them. They’re only seen as either the devil’s mascot, the other sheep, or mischievous and obnoxious escape artists, but they are so much more. They curious, social, providers (meat, milk and fiber, companionship, transport) playful and wonderful.

I speak with my head as much as my heart, head butting those I’m truly close too (and unfortunately mentally with those I’m not…) My horns are my connection to the outside world, either used for comfort and affection or protection and anger: it’s all up to me.

Like most ungulates, my flight response is strong, that instinct to run from danger. I stress when I can’t see or hear the world around me, I want to know all the information I need to keep safe. The strangest sensation is the “ruminant stomach” it doesn’t truly exist on this plane, and yet it feels so strong. The awareness of digestion is disconcerting, at best. Although they may be scary to some, a goat’s soul is their eyes. They seek to understand, to connect.

this identity both affects my animality and humanity: fitting the stereotypes as much as the actual animal in some ways (though it is a struggle to make sure people don’t feed them unhealthy things.)It opened up a world of opportunity in my friendships and career. Now, I get to educate others on my fellow caprines.