Between work, life, and pressures pushed down upon us by society, it often feels like being human is overrated.
We end up turning to look at our cats and think, “Hey! Maybe I should be a cat anyway.
All that would be expected of me then is to eat, sleep, and play.”
Sounds like a fantastic idea, really, and one that is incredibly tempting.
After all, who doesn’t like the idea of not having to worry about anything, and to cast aside one’s responsibilities and simply live life as carefree as possible?
That said, we usually just laugh about it a bit, take a break, and then get back on with our life.
Normally we don’t really entertain such thoughts much longer than a moment or two, and don’t dwell seriously on it.
Maybe we will even take a holiday break, upon realising we probably need one.
Thomas Thwaites, however, isn’t like the rest of us.
A designer based in England, Thwaites decided to seriously go through with the idea of taking a holiday from being human.
In 2014, he got commissioned himself a set of prosthetic limbs, strapped a prosthetic rumen to his chest, and got himself on the Alps.
There, he had spent three days throwing himself wholeheartedly into the role, eating grass and living among a herd of goats as if he was truly a goat himself.
The desire to take a break from being a self-conscious human being had resulted in the holiday Thwaites would become world-famous for – the transformation into a goat man for three days.
This wasn’t something he took lightly either.
He prepared for this transformation with not only prosthetics created by experts.
But also took to examining and studying the cognitive aspects of being a goat with a neurologist and a behavioral psychologist so he could “turn off” the parts of his brain responsible for higher functioning processes.
This, evidently, has all paid off.
In 2016, Thwaites wrote down his experience and published it as a book called GoatMan: How I Took a Holiday from Being Human, which netted him an Ig Nobel Prize for biology.
It’s a Nobel Prize parody presented by Nobel laureates meant to celebrate unusual or trivial scientific achievements that made people laugh, and then subsequently made them think.
It is actually quite an achievement for what appears to be a silly project, when you take into account the requirements and the actual results the research has proven.
The absurdity of it all, however, has unfortunately made it very difficult for reporters on the subject to maintain a straight face.
The three Canadian reporters, Maralee Caruso, Kevin Olszewski, and Gord Le Clerc were covering Thwaites’s story in a live broadcast on CTV Winnipeg New channel found themselves unable to maintain their composure.
When Caruso tried to introduce Thwaites’s story, she ended up bursting into a fit of giggles.
This difficulty the news anchors had to present the full story without collapsing into giggling was luckily taken into stride by everyone involved, including the viewers.