Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Guest post: It’s a goat’s life

As some of you know, Miriam has always been like a sister to me. As such, she graciously agreed to contribute to this blog.

To the surprise of their friends and relatives, Miriam and her family recently became the proud owners of a… goat. Yes, you read that correctly. But I’ll let her explain in her own words:

Living With a Goat

A Guest Post By Miriam

I was asked to write about "Living With a Goat". I don't know if this was meant seriously, but a subtle hint appeared on this blog.

I decided to write since I am frequently asked about how I manage to live with a goat. (I had a pet rock once - which died - so I do not know why people think I am not an animal-friendly person.) I reasoned that if I write this, I can also answer well-meant questions with, "Read the Blog!"

I here then present the answer to the unspoken but intended question: WHY?!?

We have a pet goat - her name is Hephzibah, and she is 11 months old. She is grey, soft and furry (by hearsay, I do not go near enough to find this out firsthand) and very beautiful (if you are into goats). She lives in a beautiful pink and purple plastic house in our yard.

Hephzibah eats stale bread - ends, crusts collected from nursery school, left over rolls from Bar Mitzvahs, etc. She also eats all the peelings and cores from vegetables. She particularly enjoys food from our neighbors who are organic vegetarians. (They call ground-up sprouted wheat, "bread," and ground avocado seeds, "cake".) Hephzibah also enjoys eating grass etc., when she is taken to graze.

There are lots of positive things about owning a goat:

  1. One does not throw out food.
  2. Sedentary children, who would prefer to read all day, are forced to go for walks.
  3. Emotional strength that comes from taking care of a pet that loves you back.
  4. Fresh goat milk.

Goats can be milked after they have a kid. A good reason not to do this is then she would have to be milked every day. This is a good thing; it helps teach human kids responsibility. However, the willing workforce come back late from school, and one is going away to a dorm. The real reason not to do it, though, is that regardless of the well-documented advantages of goat milk, I like cow milk that comes in plastic non-biodegradable containers.

To answer the FAQ: Then why not a dog? Hephzibah is a kosher animal, and a dog is not. And the milk...

Thanks, Miriam. May you and your family continue to enjoy many more fruitful goat-filled years.



  1. Miriam, My neighbors who have goats don't seem to treat them as pets. You can always use the milk as a mitzvah.

  2. Batya - As someone who has known Miriam her entire life, I can attest that she doesn't exactly fit the typical profile for goat owners...

  3. It's nice of Miriam to mention, in all honesty, about her pet rock. But, she is also the owner (and buyer) of a fish. Thus, I feel Miriam is getting to be a real animal lover--which she wasn't always. People do grow up or at least do change somewhat :)
    Anyway we are--at least I am--very proud of Miriam and her animal collection.

  4. Imma - Some parents go around talking about their son, the doctor, or their daughter, the engineer. But it takes an extremely devoted and loving mother to find a way to boast about her daughter, the goat owner...

  5. "A real animal lover" - should think it is a positive thing that they are becoming one of those, as I still think it is a strange thing to own a goat, I am not classified as "A animal lover!" (B"H!!) I prefer to be known as a "animal tolerater as long as I do not have to go near the thing". :)

  6. Miriam - The lady doth protest too much, methinks...


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