It has recently come to my attention that certain, uninitiated members of the community believe that goat cheese is both disgusting and unpalatable. Some have gone so far as to say the taste is akin to the scent of a smelly tourist attraction. I am troubled by this callous and disrespectful attitude.
In this enlightened time, is it not reasonable to expect that we release our preconceptions? Since man began to domesticate the animals and relied on husbandry over hunting, there has been an ever increasing prejudice against the goat. For years, people have adored the lamb and despised the goat. While sheep hold a place of honour in the grassy field, the goat is tied up in front of the trailer eating garbage. We request the mutton and turn our back on the chevon. Even our Christian imagery perpetuates this by showing Jesus and his followers as the Lamb and sheep while separating the goats for judgment. It may be that Christians are the most inclined to these prejudices.
Where the goat sets itself apart is in the giving of milk. Not only will it sacrifice its body for our sustenance, it gratefully offers its life giving milk. Yet even here, the goat must compete against Baal itself, the Cow. Both the idol and the goat give us this same gift and allow us to create, cook and, most importantly, make cheese. Its time that we put aside the idolatry and look the delectable creation that is goat cheese.
Bob Shea artistically attacks the goat prejudices in us all in his book, “Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great”. In this story, Goat is well rounded, talented and loving goat. Despite these amazing traits, Goat struggles to find his place in the hateful world. Enter the Unicorn. He is a depiction of the short sighted and self absorbed prejudices that have hounded the Goat for generations. Despite his best efforts, the Goat always falls short through the glasses of prejudice.
It is at this point in the story that Bob Shea takes one of the world’s great injustices and turns it into a story of redemption and roadmap to understanding. When the prejudices are set aside and the goat is viewed in an honest light, the reader realizes the goat has much to offer. And what is it you ask that finally turns the tide? Goat Cheese. It is upon opening its mind to what it has previously ignored, the Unicorn discovers the greatness that is goat cheese. It is in this moment of culinary delight that we understand that it is the differences of Goat that make Goat great.
In this gem, Bob Shea not only attacks our prejudice but shows us the way to understanding. It is time that we set aside our preconceptions and release ourselves from the prejudice against the goat. Remember, a vote against goat cheese, is a vote for prejudice.