Wherever there are goat dairies around the world there are unwanted billy goats with a grim prognosis. In an overwhelming majority of cases they are euthanatised.
In 2011, Erin Fairbanks had an idea. While working for Heritage Foods USA in Brooklyn, she and renowned cheesemaker Anne Saxelby wanted to end the practice of euthanising young male goats that the dairy industry had no use for.
From this senseless waste Goatober was created and with it a month-long celebration of putting goat meat on the menu of New York restaurants. The campaign had quick success and now there are over 100 restaurants involved in Goatober from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Goatober arrived in the UK in 2016 and mainland Europe in the following year. There are vibrant dairy industries across the UK and Europe who want to change the practice of euthanising and Goatober is part of the solution. The campaign aims to put a goat dish on restaurant menus and to encourage people to try cooking goat at home themselves, for all or part of October. And we are delighted to be a part of this, Goat meat will feature on the menu at River Cottage Kitchens this October.
Goatober spreads the word that goat meat is delicious, ethical and sustainable. The hope is to move goat meat into the mainstream with the goal that all billy goats born into the dairy system, anywhere in the world, will go into the food system, rather than being wasted.
Former River Cottage chef, James Whetlor founder of Cabrito Goat Meat, a Devon based ethical meat champion and producer, has been at the forefront of bringing Goatober to the UK, comments,
“This is a really exciting year for the Goatober campaign as it shows there is an international calling and drive to solve and end the systematic culling of male billy goats born into the dairy system and considered a waste product. Goatober is something that’s going to get bigger and bigger.”