Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I pulled over to the side of the road when I saw a field of goats, earlier this spring. They were quite far back in their pasture - somewhere between 12 and 20 of them. I didn't count.

One curious one nodding its head and looking at me sideways - long ears flopping over its face, came towards me.

It was joined by a brown and white one soon after and another began pretending not to see me as it nibbled grass with each step towards the fence where I had my camera poised.

They made me laugh...curious but not particularly brave with strangers. And though I talked in a low voice and was trying to be encouraging to get them to come close enough to be petted - wasn't going to happen. They were too skittish.

While I was admiring them  a truck went by and they all ran towards a bunch of rocks in the background
The first ones there clambered up onto the safety of the rocks and others milled around, a couple turning to make sure I wasn't following or that the truck wasn't coming into their field.

Wikipedia says: "Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. The most recent genetic analysis confirms the archaeological evidence that the wild bezoar of the Zagros are the likely origin of almost all domestic goats today.
Neolithic farmers began to herd wild goats for easy access to milk and meat, primarily, as well as for their dung, which was used as fuel, and their bones, hair, and sinew for clothing, building, and tools. The earliest remnants of domesticated goats dating 10,000 years before present are found in Ganj Dareh in Iran. Goat remains have been found at archaeological sites in JerichoChoga Mami, Djeitun and Cayonu, dating the domestication of goats in western Asia at between 8,000 and 9,000 years ago.
Studies of DNA evidence suggests 10,000 years BP as the domestication date. 
Historically, goat hide has been used for water and wine bottles in both traveling and transporting wine for sale. It has also been used to produce parchment."

I learned that there are now about 300 different breeds of domestic goat. Many farmers these days it seems are breeding goats for exactly the same products that neolithic farmers did... meat, milk and hides. Goat milk and goat cheese are very popular.

For me, since I love all animals, it's wonderful to see these creatures out in the fields, and not penned up inside some barn somewhere. And it's encouraging to see local farms making the beginnings of a comeback - small though it is - the movement towards "buying and eating local" is, to my way of thinking healthy for humans, animals and the economy in general. I recognize that the large agribiz companies don't agree. But at least we are getting more choice in what we eat and how we farm. All good in my opinion.

Hope you can enjoy some foods and beverages from a local farm, bakery, orchard, vineyard or brewery today. Nearby and delicious, healthy choices - just can't be beat!

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