I have never met her. I haven’t read her books. I haven’t heard her talk. Though I will google any you tube videos now and look into getting some books. Her name is not unfamiliar to me, even before the HBO film with Claire Danes.
Who is she?
She is none other than Dr Temple Grandin.
For those who don’t know her, she is an author, speaker, inventor, animal welfare advocate, consultant to livestock industry on animal behavior, professor… and it has to be said that she is a high-functioning autistic person. It’s important to mention because it’s who she is and how she contributes, whether as an autism advocate or how she consults with the livestock industry.
The true meaning of life is if you do something that makes real change for somebody else or something, that’s what matters. – Dr Temple Grandin
I first heard about Dr Grandin from her work in improving cattle slaughter practices. She has actually designed slaughterhouses to be less stressful for the cows, using long sweeping curves to prevent cows at the back from seeing what’s ahead. Apparently more than half of the slaughterhouses in the US were based on her design.
Dr Grandin understands that people probably won’t stop eating meat but believes that every part of their lives, from birth to death, should be happy and stress-free, and their death specifically to be humane. I agree! She’s even influenced giants like McDonald’s, for the better.
Interestingly enough, she’s performed blood cortisol level studies to measure stress in cattle. Her finding? A human slaughter doesn’t raise cortisol levels (indicator of stress) any more than a normal vet visit. What’s stressful? Seeing other cows being slaughtered, like being decapitated, and hence those long sweeping curves.
I don’t personally eat beef anymore, nor pork. It’s just a personal choice but I am glad that slaughterhouses are incorporating more and more humane practices. Animals are living feeling breathing beings, and not property though they are treated as such.