Goatober originated in New York in 2011 and has grown in eight years to have events and participants all around the world, from London to Melbourne, from Amsterdam to Trinidad and Tobago. What started as a small campaign to prolong the lives of billy goats and to put a delicious, ethical meat on the menu has grown into an international campaign bringing together dairies, farmers, NGOs and individuals who are passionate about ending food waste in the goat dairy system.
Goatober aka No Goat Left Behind was the brainchild of former Heritage Radio Network Executive Director, Erin Fairbanks and renowned New York cheesemonger, Anne Saxelby. They launched the initiative together with Heritage Foods to address the growing problem facing New England goat dairies — namely, what to do with male goats? Male offspring create a dilemma for dairy farmers — they obviously don’t produce cheese, and unfortunately, there is no established humanely sourced market for American goat meat. From this senseless waste Goatober was created and with it a month-long celebration of putting goat meat on the menu of New York’s best restaurants. The campaign had quick success and now there are over 100 restaurants involved in Goatober from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Heritage Foods, who The New York Times called “— the company at the forefront of the nonindustrial meat movement —” is the largest distributor of rare and heritage breed meats in the USA. They are dedicated to supporting a network of over 50 family farmers who raise their livestock humanely, outdoors, on pasture and never with antibiotics or growth hormones. Its founder, Patrick Martins is also the founder of Slow Food USA and Heritage Radio Network.
"Goatober spreads the word that goat meat is delicious, ethical and sustainable. The hope is to move goat meat into the mainstream with the goal that all billy goats born into the dairy system, anywhere in the world, will go into the food system, rather than being wasted."
Goatober was introduced in to the UK in 2016 by James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat and into mainland Europe in the following year. There are vibrant dairy industries across the UK and Europe who want to change the practice of euthanising and Goatober is part of the solution. The campaign aims to put a goat dish on restaurant menus and to encourage people to try cooking goat at home themselves, for all or part of October.