Jobless Londoner, Thomas Thwaites, had become a bit disillusioned with the city life so he did what any other normal person would do in that situation – he decided to turn himself into a goat and go and live on a mountain in Switzerland. Obviously.
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The 35-year-old spent a year making prosthetics that enabled him to walk on all fours while on the steep Swiss mountain and he studied goat psychology so he would fit in. And he even got an artificial stomach so he could eat grass and a helmet that “lets him experience the world as a goat would” whatever the fuck that means.
His efforts were part of a bigger plan to write his book ‘GoatMan: How I Took A Holiday From Being Human’. In it, he said that he would’ve never been able to go through with the whole thing if he didn’t get his grant approved. He added:
When I first had the idea a lot of people called me crazy, but I was fed up with my life anyway and I needed a break. I was jobless and I had a lot of personal problems, and I found everyday life so stressful.
One day I was walking with the dog of a friend and I noticed that the dog just seemed really happy about life, without any worries, and I thought to myself it would be really great to be you for a day.
Instead of letting go of that thought, he decided to carry it through, although he didn’t want to get into the dog life as he’s a vegetarian. Thwaites first choice was to be an elephant, but:
I decided against that because elephants seem to have the same problems we do – they get sad, they get upset and they can even suffer from post-traumatic stress. That was exactly the sort of thing I was trying to get away from.
I then came up with the idea of a goat while visiting a friend in Copenhagen. He told me he didn’t know why I was even thinking about which animal as it was clear I should be a goat.
Of course – what was he thinking? If anyone ever says that they’re going to turn into an animal and live in the wild, pretty much everyone knows that a goat would be the obvious choice. Standard.
After researching and getting all his prosthetics sorted, Thwaites then tracked down a goat herd in the village of Wolfenschiessen in the Canton Nidwalden in Switzerland that was prepared to allow him to live with his goats, and he just tagged along on their summer pasture. He added:
I suffered quite a lot as a goat, because of the slope I was constantly falling over, and of course I had to eat grass.
Also the goats didn’t seem to like me very much, sometimes I thought they were really going to try and attack me. And they have particularly dangerous horns.
But I later realised that they were just letting me know there was a hierarchy, and I should know my place.
The best moment was when one of the goats suddenly decided she was going to be my friend, and she just followed me everywhere. She would muzzle me with her nose and like to have me close.
The goatherd told me at the end that the herd had accepted me as one of their number – it was a great feeling.
So there you go. A guy went from being a jobless loser to a well known author and goat in the space of a couple of years. Maybe next time he can take it that one step further and breed with one of them to create a weird goat/man hybrid. But yeah, it’s a great story and important message – if you want to be an animal, follow that dream and don’t give up. A bit like Kyle’s dad in that episode of South Park: