Women and Goats

Your starter for 10.  We were out for dinner at a friend’s house.  I was chatting about the menopause as my book had just come out. My friend bought it immediately on line, which was SO exciting.  THEN, rather unexpectedly her husband announced. “I know about the menopause”.  I expected him to then say because his wife was going through it – but no.

He said, “women and goats are very similar… you know I used to be a goat and sheep farmer,” he added swiftly as we were all staring at him in astonishment.   “Let me finish please,” he asked as we heckled him. “I know more about women’s complicated hormone system than the average man does”.  He looked at my hubs for support, but he was as stunned as us gals.   He continued swiftly, “whereas the basic concepts are fairly similar in mammals (sheep, goats and humans) I am well aware that direct comparisons are not great…”

As he put it, “systems that may follow the same principles but that show a large degree of variation…”.  He also told us in addition to being a farmer, his sister was a nurse and both his sister and mother had early menopause and developed brittle bones.

He carried on, ” I am very cautious of hormone treatments, having witnessed what is done to animals.”   It transpired that he had worked for several years managing an embryo transplant programmes with goats. He added that it was not always very nice and in the end he quit the job, as he felt he being pushed to do increasingly unethical things by the food industry.

Now that you have picked yourselves up off the floor, my friend IS quite right we ARE complex hormonal systems.  He knew more than I did certainly, not just about the menopause but also about farming and agriculture.  I have to say that evening, I felt a lot luckier than a lot of lady goats and sheeps.


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