Goat Meat

It’s not what’s for dinner, generally, in the US, but it’s pretty popular in the rest of the world. I’ve only had it a couple times myself (in Ethiopian restaurants).

But an interesting space-related point is that goats are a lot better for space colonies than beef, being easier to manage, more efficient producers of meat from carbs, needing less room, having more protein (and good milk). Keith and Carolyn Henson raised them in Tucson (in town) in the seventies, along with rabbits. They wrote an early paper on space colony agriculture, presented at the first Princeton Conference, based on their own experiences.

24 thoughts on “Goat Meat”

  1. One the one hand, I like goat meat. It’s a lot like lamb, just a bit tougher and gamier. And I love lamb.

    On the other hand, goats are really gross. 😀

  2. I worked on a farm during the summers when I was growing up. We had horses, chicken, cattle, not goats. But a farm down the way did. Goats are DESTRUCTIVE. They work at it. They think about it. They plan. They get into everything. They like to climb. And have nasty attitudes. There were good reasons my farm didn’t have goats. Yeah, I know about L-5 colonies and goats and all. Goats come at a high price for security against them.

  3. Another positive point for goats is that people who are allergic to cow’s milk usually can have goat milk, and other goat dairy products, with no adverse reactions.

  4. Miniature cows. Mini cows. A much smaller breed of cow that appears to have the same type of benefits listed as goats do. More efficient and healthy meat production, dairy production, eats a grass diet, the land size advantage, more economical raising. It’s an exciting time to be alive to witness such stunning advances in bovine science, and to know a perfect application for such an animal. A well fitting cattle option can be available as well to the prospective space colonist of tomorrow.


    video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De3XjqPVa0g

  5. Hi Rand,

    The idea of raising animals for food in space colonies always struck me as strange given the amount of labor and energy required. Kinda like Mother Earth News meets Buck Rogers.

    The reality is by the time space colonies emerge meat will come from a vat, on Earth as well as in space, for purely economic reasons, lower costs. The transition is already starting and will accelerate with the emerging biotech revolution.


    And by then most folks will probably not be able to tell the difference between vmeat or live meat, nor care about it.

  6. There’s a reason beef is so popular… it taste better. I can’t eat rabbit, goat or lamb. Buffalo taste even better than beef, but it is a nasty dangerous animal.

    I suspect rabbit will be first. Mini beef may follow not too far behind, being more efficient than full size beef. I agree with the comment about the destructiveness of goats.

  7. I had a friend who’s family had a pygmy goat for a pet. It stood about 1.5-2 hands high. It loved to chew on things. It would snag the edge of your pants and just; nibble nibble nibble. It also loved to head butt things. Hold your hand about 6 inches from its face and it would stop, stare, and then raise up on the rear legs and pound its head into your hand. I had my foot knocked out from under me all of a sudden one day. I almost feel down as I looked down at kamikaze goat ramming head long into me.

  8. I also took a trip to Anguilla one time. All I consumed was goat sausage, coconut puffs, and rum.

  9. People have been proposing kangaroo as a replacement for beef, because of better efficiency of meat production and several times less methane emitted in the process.
    Imagine a herd of kangaroos under a dome on lunar surface ..

  10. Where I’m living now, in the Shenandoah Valley, it’s mainly cows around here (Angus cows for beef, along with some dairy cows whose name I don’t know), but some of the farms here have goats and sheep, and one I saw the other day had an emu.

  11. Fish would make a lot more sense than goats. They can be raised in tubes, and although you have to keep the water clean, you’d have to keep the air clean of livestock emissions.

    If the space colony had water for radiation shielding, it could also be used for aquaculture.

  12. All I’ve heard about goats supports the above posters. They are smart, curious, and “playful”, meaning “ingeniously destructive”. The people I know who have raised them either have an indulgent attitude toward them, or actively hate the things. (If anyone wants to learn some Mexican curses, ask some Mexicans what they think of goats. There’s a reason Satan is often portrayed with a male goat’s head.)

    Now, the mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) does not seem to have been considered. It’s a primitive rodent and thoroughly unsocial, and it will never be considered a cuddly creature. It can also eat even cruder roughage than the guinea pig.

    As a side note, I lived in the woods for a while and ate mostly fish. Every couple of months I’d get a hunger for red meat and have to kill a fish duck for dinner. I suspect there is a dietary requirement for red meat that explains why so many Pacific Islanders were cannibals.

  13. Until we discover a particular planet to colonize these debates are pointless. The specific environment of a particular colony on a particular planet will determine what types of live stock will survive the best. This is why we should support heritage breeds and genetic diversity in our livestock animals and in our vegetables as well.

  14. Insects are another possibility. Very little living space needed.

    Homesteaders in space will just need to raise a grub steak.

  15. Insects will probably make their own way into space which is incredible to contemplate. They have other uses besides food (and they’d have to be processed to unrecognizable before I’d eat any) such as ants for pollinizing.

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