In defence of old goats, and a new Kickstarter initiative

You’ve probably not heard mention of the plight of the goat before. That’s ok, most people haven’t. We tend to see a goat and think “what a cute, wee fellah!” and leave it at that. I’m not going to claim any massive knowledge about goat history, goat symbolism or anything else goat related, apart from one single point: Goats get a really raw deal. Existentially speaking. As in, they only exist because we want one thing from them.

Their milk. So that we can make cheese. And hence goats are kept, and bred, but almost none of their kids are permitted to grow up, as the milk they would feed from their mothers is so much more valuable as cheese. And milk is the primary commercial commodity goats give us, sadly. There is a tiny demand for meat, but nothing near what is available. Apart from that a goats raison d’etre is to be landfill. It’s heartbreaking.

Now this may be a transition that doesn’t sit well with everybody, but it makes sense: What if we used more of what the goat has to offer us? What if we could use more goaty bits and allow more kids to grow up, would that be a better deal for the goat? I know on a personal level I feel awful about the kid vs goat cheese trade-off.

There is a little change on the way though, in the form of a new Kickstarter initiative. We’ve seen all sorts of artisanal, crafty goings on in recent years. Beer, coffee, leathercraft and so forth. If it’s small scale, low investment and has a hipster ring to it, there’s bound to be a couple of beardy blokes prepared to give it a go.

I’ve no idea if the guys behind Billy Tannery are beardy or not, but they are starting up Britiains first micro tannery and will be tanning goatskins. These goatskins would otherwise be going to waste, the tannery itself will be using sustainable and eco-friendly methods, and it’ll be the first tannery to start up in Britain in over 100 years. Sounds pretty great, right? I think so. Both from the viewpoint of the goat population and because goat leather is very nice leather indeed. Soft, supple and strong.

They’ll be launching their enterprise via Kickstarter on May 24th, more info on their website here. Also take a look at the teaser photos on their Instagram.

I have my eye on one of their sublime brown leather backpacks. If anyone calls me an old goat, I can just smile knowingly and point proudly to my backpack.

Looking closely at the photos on their website it looks like the guys may be clean shaven, this may be a huge mistake. For goats sake, grow beards guys!

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