Get your goat

Baaaaa-d ass.

Baaaaa-d ass.

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

Yes, it’s May, and your Aunt Ruth’s thoughts turn lightly to birthday gifts; she’s got two or three good friends with birthdays this month. Given the tumultuous state of the world—it all turns on a friggin’ dime—even if your gift list is short, well, just like every day is Earth Day, d’oh, every day is a good day to plan your next birthday gift to a person you love.

To this end, Aunt Ruth is thinking about goats.

A good friend of yer Auntie’s was recently in touch—let’s call her Gigi—and she is a goat lady in heart and spirit. Not that she owns any—Gigi’s an urban animal—but she’s a stone-chill advocate of all things goat: “Goats are green. Goats are the future. They are fun and flexible. Goats are intelligent and not like sheep. Contrary to popular belief, goats don’t eat everything, but they are great for clearing the brush around your home and in the urban/wild land interface.”

Indeed. Google, with great flourish, brought goats into their Mountain View headquarters as a low-carbon approach to clearing weeds and reducing fire hazard, using goats instead of “noisy mowers that run on gasoline and pollute the air.” Bravo to you, Nerd Mountain. A firm called California Grazing did that job and can extend such a service to you, if you so desire—they have a 4-acre minimum and will reportedly bring goats up from the Bay Area here to Summerscorch Valley.

Gigi raves on. “Their milk is full of tryptophan and is more digestible than cow’s milk.” Also true: Dateline NBC reported that goat milk is “rich in tryptophan, which lowers stress hormones and is a natural anti-depressant.”

Which brings us back around to birthday-gift giving. If goats can do all this for you, imagine what they could do in the Third World? Heifer International will take your donation of $120 and give a dairy goat to a Third World family. An environmentally sound bit of international aid? Sure. And then some. Yer Auntie gives goats in the name of her loved ones’ birthdays all the time—it is a caress of the heart. Goats do well in most climates; the milk, fertilizer and offspring are a blessing in impoverished villages. A goat can change a life.

Happy birthday, whoever you are. Get your goat on. And enjoy the summer heat.