Quotes From Goats: Home Is Where The Herd Is, by Dan Monteiro
My feelings about goats are admittedly a bit ambivalent, and this book does a good job at pointing out that ambivalence in a humorous and lighthearted way. By and large, it is easy to appreciate goats and their spirited ways, whether it be jumping or headbutting or eating just about anything it can gnaw on. The Bible, of course, views goats as acceptable to eat and to sacrifice but compares them negatively to sheep when it comes to comparisons to believers. And it is easy to see, if one is remotely familiar with goat that this is not without reason. The very same aspects about goats and their independent-minded and reckless nature that are endearing to us and that fit our own robust self-image are what make goats a less than suitable model for our behavior in light of eternity. Whether or not many readers will be subtle enough in their understanding of goats to reflect upon this matter, and to realize that what this book says about goats is also saying something about us, and not necessarily praiseworthy things, these meanings are present. I think, though, that in the main this book’s readers will enjoy the funny pictures and silly captions and laugh because goats are generally pretty entertaining animals.
This book is rather straightforward in its contents and approach. Beginning with a short introduction, the author makes it plain that he views goats as praiseworthy because of their desire to climb every mountain, eat anything and everything indiscriminately, and for being a hairy rebel who lives life to the fullest, the vast majority of this book consists of vivid and colorful photographs along with captions that present the behavior of goats as some kind of wisdom. As might be imagined, this is of mixed benefit. Some of the advice is good, like the celebration of family and the enjoyment of adventure, within certain bounds. On the other hand, some of the advice, such as defying authority, going crazy, or going one’s own way, is not necessarily as worthwhile to practice. If this book is notable beyond its humor, it is as a sign of the sorts of qualities that our day and age considers to be praiseworthy. This book sees in the goat those qualities that the author celebrates seeing in reality, and not all of those qualities are something that we should feel proud of or assiduously cultivate, even if our instincts are to laugh.