News / USA

Goats Butt into US Livestock Picture

It's good for the economy, but baaaad for the animals involved

Multimedia

Audio
Ted Landphair

Goat meat is a hot commodity in America's booming immigrant communities.
Goat meat is a hot commodity in America's booming immigrant communities.

Do you know what the fastest-growing segment of the livestock industry in America is?  It's a somewhat unusual one for a nation raised on beef and pork and chicken.

The answer is...goats.

As many as 80,000 U.S. farmers have goat herds - not counting milk goats and goats raised as pets. It's expected they'll bring about 700,000 of the horned, long-eared mammals to market this year. That's double the number slaughtered a decade ago.

Why are people driving all the way from New York City to the Pennsylvania countryside, 300 kilometers away, to bid on lots of 50 goats at an Amish auction? And why are hundreds of thousands of goats being fattened for the kill in, of all places, Texas, which is world-famous for its beef cattle and COW-boys, not rams and ewes and shepherds?

Why the rise in demand for goat meat? In part, it's the increasing popularity of dishes such as this goat curry.
Why the rise in demand for goat meat? In part, it's the increasing popularity of dishes such as this goat curry.

It's because goat meat - for stews, curries, even tacos and meatloaf - is a hot commodity in America's booming immigrant communities. Now that American farmers are breeding plump, tasty South African Boer goats, in particular, Muslim markets can't get enough goat meat. Hindus and Sikhs, who generally don't eat beef, are gobbling it up, too. So are Catholic Hispanics, African immigrants, and Chinese-Americans.

Earlier this year, VOA-TV's Mohamad Elshinnawi visited a farm where Mukit Hossain, his wife and two daughters are raising goats for the customer base of 300,000 Muslims in Northern Virginia who are looking for organic halal meat, free of hormones and chemicals.

Goats are relatively easy to raise. They're self-sufficient - surviving quite well on available grasses. Contrary to their cartoon caricatures, they don't eat tin cans.
Goats are relatively easy to raise. They're self-sufficient - surviving quite well on available grasses. Contrary to their cartoon caricatures, they don't eat tin cans.

Like animals raised and slaughtered according to Jewish kosher traditions, halal meat is prepared under Muslim religious guidelines. "I have more demand right now than I can keep up with," Hossain told VOA. "My big problem is not finding the customers; my big problem is building up my capacity."

So perhaps it is time to update the old children's song: Old MacDonald had a farm. And on his farm, he had some . . . goats. Probably lots of them.

You May Like

Gun Nation

This is who America's gun owners are More

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs