April 2006, Nigeria: The Goat

so on the second day my dad wanted me to rest. and i did. i slept a good 8 hours for my first night, woke up for prayers and took another 6 hour nap. he wanted me to rest that day because a “few people” were coming to meet me on saturday.

saturday comes and we wake up, have prayers. dad tells me he needs to go somewhere and i can go back to sleep if i want. great, i love sleep. an hour or so later, my dad is sitting on my bed waking me up. he says he’s sorry he didn’t think to invite me where he was going – they went to pick out a goat.
sidebar: in nigeria, goats and chickens and lizards are like squirrels are in mn. they’re everywhere. so i knew that going to pick out a goat was more than picking out a goat. i figured the goat was for dinner.
so dad asked me if i wanted to come outside and see it. sure, why not? so i go out to find the goat tied up with a rope, alive and well. they made it clear to me that they were going to kill it and asked if i wanted to see.
hmmm…. on the one hand, grody mcbarfbag, hell no i don’t want to see a goat killed in front of me. on the other hand, they did it for me. and when am i going to get this chance again? after some chiding about being an american and only seeing frozen meat in the grocery store, i buckle down and vow to watch. again, if you’re squemish, stop reading now.
so first they bound his feet and then slit his throat. they kind of bled him out over the gutter. after that was sufficiently done, they tied a rope around the neck beneathe the wound to make sure no air could pass. then they unbound the feet and cut a couple of slits in the leg. they stuck a straw-type device in there and began to blow into the goat, separating the skin from the muscle. what used to be a rather cute little billygoat turned into a pretty fucked up goat balloon. the pictures don’t necessarily do my balloon analogy justice, but it conveys the nastiness pretty good. seeing it in person reminded me of a macy’s parade balloon… with its head chopped off of course. then they shaved the goat with a knife, but during that time i was sent to go get my hair done. by the next time i saw the goat, he was in little pieces in a bucket.
and yes i did try it. goat tastes pretty much like beef.

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