TreeHugger has followed Thomas Thwaites ever since he built a toaster from scratch. He sort of succeeded. His latest project was to become a goat. He sort of succeeded in this too, and has won the coveted Ig Nobel Prize for Biology for his work. He describes why he did it:
I tried to become a goat to escape the angst inherent in being a human. The project became an exploration of how close modern technology can take us to fulfilling an ancient human dream: to take on characteristics from other animals. But instead of the ferocity of a bear, or the perspective of a bird, the characteristic most useful in modern life is something else; being present in the moment perhaps.
Anyway I ended up in the Alps, on four legs, at a goat farm, with a prosthetic rumen strapped to my chest, eating grass, and becoming a goat.
He tells the BBC that it wasn’t all just about eating lunch, and sometimes got tricky:
I was just sort of walking around, you know chewing grass, and just looked up and then suddenly realised that everyone else had stopped chewing and there was this tension which I hadn’t kind of noticed before and then one or two of the goats started tossing their horns around and I think I was about to get in a fight.
Business Insider has great coverage and photos of how it was done, including how he used a pressure cooker to make grass edible for humans. He describes the best part of the project:
‘Probably just hanging out with the other goats and being part of the herd,’ he told Business Insider. ‘It was quite a nice time.’
© Thomas Thwaites
See all our earlier Thomas Thwaites’ Toaster Project coverage below.