I Love Goats
Goat are my new favorite animal. The NYT reports that they have recently been doing their part in the battle against kudzu, which as anyone who has ever lived in the South can tell you is the botanical version of locust. It arrives, covers everything, kills it, and then leaves a barren waste behind it. The article explains:
Kudzu, which is native to Asia, was introduced in the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, according to the United States Forest Service. It arrived in the South several years later, becoming a popular ornamental vine, then a forage and erosion-control crop. In the Great Depression, the federal government paid farmers to plant it.
First called “the miracle vine,” kudzu eventually came to be known as “the vine that ate the South.” It grows at an astonishing rate of a foot a day, smothering flora, swallowing houses and blanketing the landscape.
Yet another reason to oppose farm subsidies. Apparently one of the problem that the heroic, kudzu-eating goats face is attacks from dogs. Originally the city of Chattanooga, which introduced the goats onto public land, sent out guard donkeys. (No joke) When that didn’t work, they shifted to llamas, which have apparently done the trick.