The trying times brought on by COVID-19 has some people searching for ways to lift their spirits, and BX resident Gabriel Newman has found one way to help out.
Newman said the reality of his situation is his friends on Facebook prefer when he shares photographs of his animals rather than say or do anything else. So, he stepped it up a notch and started a YouTube channel: the Daily Goat on March 24.
Starring a kooky cast of baby goats and a “stoic suffering” alpaca named Jack, Newman has managed to spread some joy during these uncertain times.
“There is such a desperate need for some reminders of purities in this world and that life will go on and it’s still gorgeous and beautiful and fun,” Newman said.
Newman said self-isolating has allowed him some extra time to catch some of his animal’s antics on video.
Plus, he said, the day he started to self-isolate lined up with the birth of the kids.
“I do have to say though,” he said. “Videoing goats is a lot harder than you think.”
For every 20-seconds of film posted to YouTube, Newman said he’s typically shot around 15 minutes.
“The response has been great,” he said. “I created it for my friends and I have a small, very loyal fan base that seemed to need their daily goat video.”
“You just can’t be angry at baby goats,” Newman said, getting ahead of the trolls. “Unless you own them. If you own them, they’re into things they shouldn’t be.”
The videos and his cast of baby goats are nothing but joy, he said.
“We live in a ridiculous world and it’s important to remember the beauty and take a breath once and a while,” Newman said.
He’s even posted mindfulness exercises with Jack to remind his viewers and himself to relax here and there.
He said his baby goats have only a few months left before they’ll start to “mellow out.” Then, they will become teenagers.
“And as teenagers, they’d be too cool for YouTube.”
Newman said he hopes to continue posting to his YouTube channel, but he said it may be an annual thing as goats grow quickly.
“It’s the babies everyone wants to see,” he said. “Goats are charming, but it’s also like humans, babies are interesting and charming and other people’s kids, from a distance, are funny and charming.”
“Then they become adults — you don’t want to spend that much time with them.”
His alpaca, a rescue, will likely maintain his starring role.
“Our alpaca was a partner to a horse and the owners sold the horse,” Newman said recalling his alpaca’s origin story. “Alpacas attach themselves to whatever family they can have.”
Newman said he had sheep and worried about coyotes, he needed a guardian, so when a “free alpaca” ad appeared, he jumped at it.
“There’s no such thing as a free alpaca,” he laughed.
Jack, rocking a big underbite, would consistently escape Newman’s yard and wind up in the neighbour’s yard hanging out with the horses. But he soon became a “mother hen” for Newman’s sheep and goats.
“He has his issues,” Newman said. “But he’s incredibly charming to stare at.”
“Alpacas have been on the planet for 40 million years,” Newman said, at least the Camelidae family alpacas originated from.
“Their body design is… It just has to have been an early invention — they haven’t been upgraded into anything noble, faster or really good at anything,” he laughed.