A holiday from being human (GoatMan)
1 July 2016

I tried to become a goat to escape the angst inherent in being a human. The project became an exploration of how close modern technology can take us to fulfilling an ancient human dream: to take on characteristics from other animals. But instead of the ferocity of a bear, or the perspective of a bird, the characteristic most useful in modern life is something else; being present in the moment perhaps.

Anyway I ended up in the Alps, on four legs, at a goat farm, with a prosthetic rumen strapped to my chest, eating grass, and becoming a goat.

I wrote a few paragraphs about the project. I sent them to Princeton Architectural Press, who said if you write the rest of the project up, we might publish it, and lo and behold, a book! My second book in fact. I’m pleased with it, but krikey, I’d forgotten how difficult writing is! Anyway… some links:

Amazon (US)
Princeton Architectural Press (Publisher)
Barnes & Noble (US)
IndieBound (US)
Amazon (UK)
Abrams & Chronicle Books (Europe)
Waterstones (UK)
Books at Manic (Australia)
Amazon (Canada)
Chapters (Canada)

Oh yes, once again thank you to the Wellcome Trust for supporting this project.

a friend says:

i aspire to be you sir. a haiku for you:

i want to be goat
eating grass on the hillside
I did not screw a goat

Sally Chisholm says:

HI Thomas – not sure if you’ve heard of or might be interested in BASN (British Animal Studies Network)
meeting next w/end conference in Strathclyde

Chris says:

Hi Thomas,
What an inspired project! I’m looking forward to reading your book.

Sven says:

Dear Thomas
People may look at you as “just a goat”, but I personally see you as a role model.
I have read your book many times, and the inspiration hit me like a goat headbutt.
Many Loves
Sven x

... says:

Henry Wellcome would never have bet a penny on his money sending a guy as a goat to the alps

Thomas_Thwaites says:

Certainly not! He did buy some some weird and wonderful things for his collection though, so maybe, in a way…

To Thomas
You’re my role model and when I grow up I inspire to be just like you.
People don’t understand me, but goats do.
I love grass and goats, its the perfect combination.
My parents will never approve, but when I’m legally an adult goat, I can do what I want and to be a goat is what I want.
I shall embrace my inner goat.
Thank you for helping me find my true self, you’ve helped so many young teens across the nation who don’t know themselves and who are scared to come out as a goat.
Many thanks, much grateful
From the goat I was suppose to be… Emily

James *Jason* Wentworth says:

Hello Mr. Thwaites,

I live in Fairbanks, Alaska in the USA, and I apologize for being two years late, but this morning I stumbled across online documentation of your goat experience (I will purchase a copy of your book about it), and:

I see that you have been subjected to much ridicule for your living-as-a-goat experiment, but your detractors are apparently unaware that it was—among other things (which I will address below)—a serious scientific experiment in goat psychology, in which engineers were also involved (goats’ mental abilities, in fact, are being studied by the Royal Society ). Regarding the other things:

You may not be aware of it, but what you did and said is a source of inspiration and comfort to many. This may sound barking-at-the-Moon mad, but you are far from alone in desiring to be another animal, but I fear that you consulted with the wrong shaman, because animal transformations of the astral variety are part of their “stock in trade.” Having experienced such an astral transformation myself (via a method a local shaman and a druid taught me), I know what it is like—mentally as well as physically, including all of the senses (although my physical body did not change)—to be a Shire draft horse and feel the grass under my hooves. You too could do this, and know to the full exactly how it feels to be a goat. There is even a community of like-minded folk, which I invite you to join if you wish (I will gladly send you the particulars via e-mail).

Sincerely Yours,

James *Jason* Wentworth

Scarlett says:

Hello Thomas. When you lived as a goat did certain areas of the field of grass taste better than others? Please respond this is a very pressing matter that I would like an answer to. thank you.

Thomas_Thwaites says:

Yes they did. Why?

Johannes says:

Hey,Thomas. I’ve been considering becoming somewhat of a Goatman myself,and I even live near the alps in Switzerland. The thing that I’m worried most about is the concept of having to eat grass. What tips do you have to make eating the grass easier?

Beatrice says:

Hei Thomas, it’s Beatrice from Camp. I didn’t see you at the opening yesterday and eventually Adam answered, he was very happy to see you in picture and he asked me to give a hug to you but I didn’t see you there anymore.
By the way, I didn’t realize you were the goat man!!
Hope to see you around again!

Reza says:

How bad??
that a man be tired of his human life and perhaps the people around him..
and joins to the animal life..?
The human needs be love and friends that they can understand him, but in animal life I don’t know..??

Pingback: I , Goat
Josh says:

Hi, I know I’m super super late but I just wanted to say that Goatman was a great idea and it really showed a whole new level of empathy and understanding. Thank you so much for sharing this Thomas. I’m wondering if I can ask you more about your experience? I run a group of like minded people and I would really like to know more about the Goatman experiment. Please contact me. Thank you!

James says:

Hi Thomas,
What an inspiring adventure you had ! I have read the original story back in 2016. This is just a follow up to find out, see if you have made any progress in the procedure of becoming a goat since. Would be fascinating to hear.

Nicole says:

I love your work, especially GoatMan! Which I’m currently trying to write a paper about for my PhD program in English Literature, while thinking a lot about the intersections of animal studies and critical disability studies. I’m fascinated that the Wellcome Trust chose to fund this project and would love to know any thoughts or musings you could share on why – can you shed any light on the type of grant/project you applied for? On the project’s connections to “medicine” or “wellness” in humans or other beings?

Goat Goatson the Third Sherpherd of the Brave says:

hello thomas, if i may be as colloquial as to call you by your first name. I imagine being a goat is difficult. How do they tell the time? How do they watch tiktok? How do they eat pizza? What could they do if it starts snowing and school is closed? do they follow government advice?

Please write back, eagerly awaiting your reply.
Goat Goatson the Third Sherpherd of the Brave

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