WRITTEN BY: MATTHEW CHIN
PHOTOS BY: TIM BOWDITCH
When trying to find an authentic experience while traveling, have you ever had the insatiable urge to ditch human life and take to the Swiss Alps to graze with goats in their peaceful, simplistic natural habitat? Me neither.
But in September last year, one man decided to boldly explore the alluring life of goats in an attempt to cross the Swiss Alps in a three-day quest.
Thomas Thwaites is an England-based conceptual designer with an interest in technology and futures research. He commissioned prosthetics shaped like hooves to wear on his limbs, and took to the rocky peaks of the Swiss Alps to graze with a goatherd and his flock of sheep.
In an email to Mashable, Thwaites said, “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.”
His adventure across the steep terrain had some complications. The prosthetics caused Thwaites pain in his limbs, and he was forced to sleep in a tent because of poor weather conditions. Integration into the herd wasn’t easy: the goats were initially alarmed by Thwaites’s presence.
“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 said in Motherboard. “I hadn’t been scared at all before, but I suddenly became aware of their quite sharp and pointed horns.”
According to Motherboard, in his preparation for the experiment, Thwaites visited behavioral experts to learn more about the characteristics of goats. Thwaites even considered creating an artificial stomach-like device, made from the gut bacteria of goats, to digest grass.
Before living among goats, Thwaites had been completing other explorative projects such as building a toaster from scratch by extracting minerals from rocks and combining materials from across the globe. According to his website, he is currently exploring life as a goat, and by 2016, he plans to release his findings in a book titled GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human.