Everywhere you look on the internet there are many pictures, videos, and witty captions of goats of all breeds and sizes. We have all seen the infamous YouTube video of goat sounds harmoniously blended with Taylor Swift’s hit song, “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Once people discovered the entertainment value, they couldn’t help but join in on the party. Wired UK declared 2013 “The Year of the Goat.” In response to that, Nerve.com recognized what seemed to be a “herd mentality” of people falling head over hooves with goat memes and videos. I, for one, am a true fan of this phenomenon.
More specifically, I am a strong advocate of bringing these wonderful creatures onto our very own UFV campus. Not only are they adorable and obnoxiously entertaining to watch, but they can also contribute to our environmental sustainability initiatives.
Owning a goat can increase one’s self-esteem, create a sustainable social network, provide therapeutic functions, and, of course, generate income, according to a 2011 study by Robyn Elizabeth Winsor and Morten Skovdal that appeared in the Western Kenya Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. More importantly, the human-animal bond creates a sense of security, comfort, and joy. Just as dog therapy has positive psychosocial effects on stress reduction, a goat has therapeutic value, while also going above and beyond the call of adorableness by adding to the environmental and economic sustainability initiatives here at the UFV campus. Just imagine going from one lecture to the next and suddenly being greeted by a smiling goat. I don’t know about you, but my stress levels would most likely go down enough to feel rejuvenated for my next lecture. Seeing goats can also increase one’s self-esteem when it comes to personal hygiene; no matter what you may think about yourself, know that you will always smell better than a goat.
Environmentally, goats are the most reliable and durable creatures when it comes to creating beautiful landscapes. They are hardcore mountaineers, and they clean up the brush and tread upon places no human dares to go. As stated on the Eco-Goats website, “Grazing goats are very effective at eating the kinds of excessive weeds and brush that pose a risk of unwanted fires … Goats eat year round, but the best time to use goats depends on the vegetation to be removed.” According to a 2009 CNET article, the Google Corporation brought in 200 goats as an alternative method for mowing their large landscapes in beautiful California. I don’t know about you, but bringing in 200 goats to mow your lawn sounds to me like way more fun than always hearing a huge lawnmower go by when you are in the middle of programming the world’s largest internet search engine. No matter what you are studying or working on, I believe that goats grazing right outside of your window allows a sense of peace and tranquillity.
There would be nothing more perfect than to have goats on our university campus, especially as we’re surrounded by farmland. How fitting would it be to have them mowing our large lawn, and fertilizing the land, while also providing milk, cheese, and other natural resources for our very own café? I say UFV needs to do something out of the ordinary. If we want to be known for something in the Canadian world of post-secondary prestige, let’s be the first university to have goats and decrease our carbon footprint on a regular basis. Let’s goat for it!