The roiling hordes of Internet users demand cute—but they also demand novelty. With Grumpy Cat nearing 100% mindshare, cats are played out. Puppies are just so, so obvious. Sloths are weird. Bunnies are niche, their appeal limited to avant/fashion types.
Hence: Welcome, America, to the summer of goats. Prepare to see goats at every turn, scampering across your Facebook news feed and perhaps even maintaining the lawns at your place of employment. Goats are so hot right now. Greet your new goat overlords with the appropriate level of rapture.
Allow me to make my case.
I believe we can pin the current explosion of interest in these gamboling creatures to the advent of Goat Simulator. (A case could be made for patient zero as Modern Farmer's September 2013 "Goat Week" and accompanying goat cam, but that wasn't quite enough to achieve true viral dominance.) Goat Simulator, with its havoc and mayhem, made everyone realize how much they truly want to be goats.
Goats don't care. Goats are free. Goats don't recognize your authority, man. Goats grow their beards as long as they want and they never, ever wear a tie to work.
Plus, baby goats are really fucking cute, especially in small doses ideally suited to YouTube videos. Look at this little guy's amazing freak-out over a bug flying into his nose. Check this wimpy kid. Remember Frostie, the goat who needed a wheelchair? Well, he's healed now. IT DOESN'T GET ANY MORE VIRAL THAN THAT. America loves whimsically challenged animals, and it loves miraculous recoveries anymore.
Don't even get me started about this stampede of tiny goats. Pause for baby goat stampede interlude:
That video has 2.4 million views, by the way, and suddenly the farm has a lot more visitors. People love that shit.
Goats are also in the news for their special talent: Eating. Amazon Japan has employee-ID-wearing goats trimming its grass. A billionaire turned a bunch of goats loose in Detroit, in an attempt at maintaining abandoned lots. (Detroit promptly asked him to please come retrieve his goats, as farm animals are prohibited within the city.)
Plus, they have cat-like levels of personality. Auburn professor of Animal Nutrition Sandra G. Solaiman told Modern Farmer,
"They are very curious creatures. I've worked with sheep, I've worked with cattle, and what I realized is that with goats they are much more personable. They can be pets, they are curious. That's why they get into everything."
As proof that goats are moving in the highest of circles: just last week Prince Harry met a goat. Prince Harry is ecstatic, and that goat could not give less of a fuck. That goat recognizes that Prince Harry is a frivolous creature. Even when they're the official mascot of a military regiment, goats are still anarchic figures, challenging authority at every turn. That goat knows what's up.
In fact, goats are the perfect summer animal. Humans display rare enthusiasm for fresh fruits and veggies throughout the season; according to Modern Farmer, goats are curious creatures constantly in search of their healthiest possible dinner options. Goats smell funny; summer smells funny. Summer gets weirdly intense and, by August, everyone's ready to fight or fuck or just break some shit; goats are traditionally associated with the devil. It fits!
Photo via Getty.