Becoming a goat: an experiment by Thomas Thwaites

Every once in awhile, everybody wants to take a short break from being human. But how do you do that?

Thomas Thwaites, a researcher from London, did some research, and transformed himself into a goat and left to live in the Alps. There he ended up at a goat farm where he, armored in a prosthetic suit, went to live as a goat for three days. The reason he chose to be a goat is because life as a human is difficult, depressing and stressful and he thought that living as a goat in the Alps would be quite peaceful.

Before he went, he studied their behaviour, and made prosthetics that made the experience even more realistic. He could walk on four legs, and he even tried to make an artificial goat stomach so he could eat grass like his new friends.

The three days in the Alps didn’t go as easy as he expected. The prosthetics were painful, the landscape was rough and Thwaites was suffering from the cold. But this wasn’t the worst: he also had to convice the other goats that he was one of them, resulting in a tensive encounter with them.

‘It’s much easier to walk up on my prosthetic front legs. So I ended up quite high on a hill surrounded by goats,’ he recalls. ‘That was possibly a goat faux-pas, because it shows dominance by how high in the herd you are. ‘I looked up and all the other goats were looking at me. Everyone else had stopped chewing and it was in that moment, when I thought, “those horns look quite sharp”. ‘Luckily, I think I made a goat friend. He made a move, and it kind of diffused the situation.’

Want to see what other project he’s working on? Visit his website and find out.
He also wrote a book about his experiences.

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