Category: Weird Articles
Published on Friday, 21 August 2015 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
In the 2009 movie, The Men Who Stare at Goats, the U.S. Army unit training psychic spies are able to stare at goats till the goats drop dead. A conceptual designer from England is not contented with just staring at goats though, he decided to become a goat altogether and live with them. I kid you not.
Thomas Thwaites is passionate about how humans could use technology to fulfill desires, and his own desire is to experience what living as a goat would be like. So in September 2014, Thomas spent six days at a farm in the Swiss Alps, using technology to realize his dreams of being a goat. He designed special proshetic limbs that would enable him to comfortably move around on all fours, and even had a fake stomach fitted so he could graze on the open meadows.
“My goal was to take a holiday from the pain and worry of being a self-conscious being, able to regret the past and worry about the future,” he said. He wanted to experience being a “nonhuman animal,” which he believed would be a lot “calmer and simpler” without the “existential terror” of everyday life.
Goats wondering what the hell Thomas is doing
Unfortunately, Thomas soon realized that life as a goat is not as carefree as he expected it to be. He found that it was quite challenging to keep up with his herd which rejected him initially.
“I found myself at nearly the highest point on the hill of the whole herd of goats, and there was this moment where I looked and noticed that all the other goats had stopped chewing and were looking at me,” he told Motherboard. “I hadn’t been scared at all before, but I suddenly became aware of their quite sharp and pointed horns.”
“A particular goat that I’d been hanging out with a lot seemed to have defused the situation. I might just be making human stories in my brain, but that’s what it seemed to me,” he joked.
Thomas eventually got accepted as an honorary goat in the herd
He also did not have enough time to break in the prosthetics. The artificial hooves placed a lot of weight on his real arms, making downhill travel extremely painful.
“I was able to keep up for maybe a kilometer or so on this migration down the side of this kind of rocky mountain, and then they just left me in the dust,” he said. “So I spent the rest of the day trying to catch up to them and eventually I found them again, and it was quite nice, in the actual soft grassy pasture bit.”
“But actually heading down the mountain was petrifying,” he added. “Because if I fell I didn’t have any hands to stop me from hitting a rock.” It was also too cold and rainy for him to spend the nights with the goats outside, so he took the easier road and set up camp with his (human) team each night. But he eventually got used to the routine and ended up traveling three days with the herd and spending three days as a solitary goat.
Thomas either grazing or face-planting, no one knows for sure
Some of Thomas’s previous projects were centered around the future of genetic engineering and a hypothetical god-like service called Nebo. The main goal of his bizarre goat project was to figure out if humans could enhance their physical capabilities using technology in the future.
“Posthumanism, transhumanism technology and stuff, is about allowing humans to achieve their desires in a way,” he said. “And I guess desires aren’t necessarily to become super intelligent.”
So basically, Thomas is working on a vision that one day, humans will be able to live as goats, chickens, platypuses or whatever kind of animals they desire. What an ambitious dream indeed, it will definitely change the world for the greater good for furries.
If by any chance, you also fantasize about becoming a goat, may I suggest a more comfortable alternative – the Goat Simulator