Goats Rule! Fall in Love With These Spirited Farm Animals

Find out how goat enthusiast and author Leanne Lauricella has turned animal rescue into an Instagram sensation.

According to author Leanne Lauricella, you need a goat. Like, stat. The author of the vastly entertaining piece of goat eye candy, Goats of Anarchy: A Woman's Quest to Save the World One Goat at a Time, Lauricella’s photo book (and Instagram feed @goatsofanarchy with 370,000 followers and rising) celebrates her ever-growing tribe of rescue goats. 

Baby Goat Prospect

Baby Goat Prospect

Prospect was adopted by goat enthusiast and animal advocate Leanne Lauricella when he weighed just one pound.

Photo by: Leanne Lauricella

Leanne Lauricella

Prospect was adopted by goat enthusiast and animal advocate Leanne Lauricella when he weighed just one pound.

Like a storybook for grown-ups, Goats of Anarchy documents the playful antics, nutty costumes (think sunglasses and onesies) and heart-wrenching stories of Lauricella’s baby, pygmy, Nigerian Dwarf, Boer and dairy goats, many of them rescued from abuse and neglect. No goat is beyond saving Lauricella believes and so her motley crew includes goats with ears and legs lost to frostbite, blind goats, anxiety-plagued goats (their costumes sometimes help them cope) and several who need (cue tears) small wheeled scooters to make up for missing or non-functioning limbs.

Gird yourself for a bittersweet roller coaster ride of laughter and major feels as these goats become symbolic of all creatures—animal and human alike—who have managed to make their way in the world despite tremendous obstacles. Or as Lauricella puts it, “they accept life as they have been given and live to the fullest.” Goats, it turns out, are our better selves.

Like so many Made+Remade creatives, Lauricella escaped an unfulfilling job to live her dream, fleeing her career as an event planner in New York City to follow her passion as an animal advocate, eventually creating a unique goat sanctuary in New Jersey complete with goat playground and pet beds indoors and out occupied by snuggling goats (and pigs).

Goats of Anarchy Book

Goats of Anarchy Book

A picture book for grown-ups, Leanne Lauricella's charming Goats of Anarchy chronicles her efforts to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned, neglected and handicapped goats at her New Jersey sanctuary.

Photo by: Leanne Lauricella

Leanne Lauricella

A picture book for grown-ups, Leanne Lauricella's charming Goats of Anarchy chronicles her efforts to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned, neglected and handicapped goats at her New Jersey sanctuary.

Goats have long been heralded by homesteaders for their compact size that makes them ideal for smaller spaces, their milk-giving abilities, and their all-natural replacement for the conventional lawn mower. But Lauricella is all about their personalities, offering portraits of her beloved pets, Chibs, Prospect, Jax, Opie and many others that will make you long to adopt one of your own.

We asked Lauricella for five reasons goats rock, as both pets and helpful homesteader companions. Her Reasons to Love Goats were typically enthusiastic.

  1. They make great pets! Goats are the new cats! Goats are the new dogs! They each have very unique wonderful personalities and are extremely social animals.
  2. You will never have weeds, thorny bushes or poison ivy again.
  3. You will save money because you can cancel your cable. Goats are extremely funny and entertaining. Watching goats play is better than any television show.
  4. Two words: Fresh air. Goats will get you out of the house and breathing that fresh country air. The more goats you have, the more time you spend outside.
  5. Goats will keep you in shape. There's no need for a gym membership when you have goats. Between mucking stalls, lifting hay bales, feed bags, water buckets and sometimes goats, you'll get all the exercise you need.

But don’t just take Lauricella’s word for it. These photos of some of Lauricella’s goat buddies sell themselves.

Goat With Teacup

Goat With Teacup

One of animal advocate Leanne Lauricella's pet goats in a characteristically adorable moment.

Photo by: Leanne Lauricella

Leanne Lauricella

One of animal advocate Leanne Lauricella's pet goats in a characteristically adorable moment.

Goats Jax and Opie

Goats Jax and Opie

Twin Nigerian Dwarf goats Jax and Opie were the first goats author Leanne Lauricella adopted before embarking on her Goats of Anarchy mission to rescue and nurture goats at her New Jersey sanctuary farm.

Photo by: Leanne Lauricella

Leanne Lauricella

Twin Nigerian Dwarf goats Jax and Opie were the first goats author Leanne Lauricella adopted before embarking on her Goats of Anarchy mission to rescue and nurture goats at her New Jersey sanctuary farm.

Rescue Goat Poppy

Rescue Goat Poppy

Poppy, who needs this scooter to get around, is one of the many goats rescued and rehabilitated by author and animal advocate Leanne Lauricella.

Photo by: Leanne Lauricella

Leanne Lauricella

Poppy, who needs this scooter to get around, is one of the many goats rescued and rehabilitated by author and animal advocate Leanne Lauricella.

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