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Animal Rights Activist Temple Grandin Inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame

Animal Rights Activist Temple Grandin Inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame


Temple Grandin, the Colorado State University professor and world-renowned animal scientist and autism advocate, was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame on March 8th, 2012.

She’s worked at CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences for the past 22 years and is well-known for her work on animal behavior. She’s used her insights into the minds and perceptions of animals to develop more humane livestock handling systems. Dr. Grandin has also worked as a consultant, helping the livestock industry develop more rigorous animal care standards.

Vegetarians, vegans and critics of modern agricultural practice may not admire her for this aspect of her work, but I think it’s safe to say that any improvement in conditions for farm animals is better than the alternative, no matter what one thinks of the livestock industry.

Grandin has also written hundreds of industry publications and seven books – five of them on autism and Asperger’s. As both a woman and a person with autism, Grandin faced discrimination early in her career, but she’s turned what others might deem disadvantages into some very powerful stepping stones.

Ruby Mayeda, Chair of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, explained to KUNC, a local NPR affiliate, “She had to overcome a lot of bias. And she literally had to sneak on to feedlots and other locations where females were banned to complete her research when she was going to school. And now today many of students are women so she is a recognized trailblazer in the industry for women.”

Dr. Grandin has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and was the subject of a biographical movie by HBO in 2010. Regardless of what one thinks of her work with animals, she’s done a great deal to raise awareness and understanding about autism, and her ability to persevere in the face of intense gender discrimination should be recognized.

In this 2010 TED Talk, Dr. Grandin discusses her unique way of seeing the world and why “the world needs all kinds of minds.” It’s a wonderful sentiment for anyone interested in education, autism and tolerance:


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Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson

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8:49PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Wendy, you're unrealistic. Human slavery STILL exists. The human race (species) has consumed meat since time began and it always will until no life exists, period. Don't consume meat, dairy, or anything else but sand if that's your desire. It's not mine, nor will I sacrifice my health in order to satisfy the beliefs and opinions of others. It certainly is not being addicted to eating meat, it's a desire to continue living and living healthfully. If you can be healthy on a vegan diet, that's great. I don't believe I can, have no desire to turn myself into a guinea pig to find out, so once again, as many vegans already have and some are persistent in their beliefs, probably based on PETA propaganda, you are refusing to accept that not everyone else can, in fact, be AS healthy as they can possibly be by such an approach. You also refuse to accept that we choose our food carefully and ARE very much in favor of, and work hard FOR animal welfare.

1:38PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Diane said:
"because killing animals for food will always be the reality."
No. One time human slavery was always going to to be the reality. Owning women was always the reality. There used to be a "fact" that women were incapable of understanding an intellectual argument. The majority of meat-eating could stop today if enough people wanted it to. While there are things like additives and people are culturally addicted to animal flesh, unlike things such as minimum wage, eating meat is more personal even than political, and each person COULD stop eating it today.
Meat eating is only going to be a reality for a lot longer when people, who actually on some level DO care about other animals, believe that they can still be treated humanely and slaughtered at the same time. Grandin and a bunch of other people like Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver are partly to blame for this myth, and people are responsible because they want to believe it; but it's not a dictate from on high. It's something that could be stopped if people would wake up to their consciousnesses.

9:19PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Aaaah, so Mark, when you can't make any points logically that are on the topic, you turn your comments into personal attacks, right? Par for the course with you. I don't exploit any animals, nor support anyone else who does. Just because YOU feel that anyone who doesn't share your opinions is wrong, anyone who isn't vegan exploits animals, that doesn't make it so. Where did you interpret anything I said to condone SUFFERING, and where on earth are you getting this "baby animals" crap? If you're going to stoop to the personal insults, Mark, at least try to come close to reality.

7:39AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Ann, this statement proves your point:
"Your comments border on bigotry. Dr. Grandin "cannot and will not change"? Why should she?"

as a supporter of explotation of other beings, Diane does not see anything wrong with causing suffering and the death others to obtain her own wants. indeed, why should someome involved in the killing of billions of helpless baby animals for profit change her ways? it is quite ironic (but not all that surprising) that a speciesist would accuse someone else of prejudice when speciesism is the ultimate form of prejudice.

6:36AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Actually, Mark............using reason to try to discuss anything to some people isn't logical, and that seems to be the case with you. You have your mind closed to any other P.O.V. but your own, so it's unreasonable to you to even contemplate anyone else could be right or their views have any merit. There ya' go with the irrelevant quotes again. What on earth does that one from George Bernard Shaw have to do with this topic? (just one example).

Ann, glad you met Ms. Goodall, but sorry, you are so off base, I hesitate to use the words to describe. Dr. Grandin has the "Dr" in front of her name because she earned it, and not just because she's female, NOR because she's overcome a condition such as autism. She didn't get this honor out of sympathy or because of her gender, get a grip. I suppose Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been honored simply 'cuz he was Black? Your comments border on bigotry. Dr. Grandin "cannot and will not change"? Why should she?

6:10AM PDT on May 16, 2012

Exactly Mark you can't compare Jane Goodall (whom I met twice) to Temple Grandin. And besides that if she is accoladed because she's a woman I don't believe in gender awards.
But really we should target the organisations that are using her methods as an excuse for so called humane killing. I'm afraid that she can't/will not change.

5:50AM PDT on May 16, 2012


trying to use reason and compassion as arguments against exploitation with the people who are exploiting is futile as the only justification that can be used is "might makes right". to compare a non-violent, altruistic, animal advocate like Jane Goodall to person like grandin who helps slaughterhouses kill helpless animals for profit is like comparing Gandhi to Hitler. i am reminded of these words of wisdom when it comes to matters such as these:

"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity."- George Bernard Shaw

“In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.” ― Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Nothing so endangers the fineness of the human heart as the possession of power over others: nothing so corrodes it as the callous or cruel exercise of that power: and the more helpless the creature over whom power is cruelly or callously exercised, the more the human heart is corroded. It is the recognition of this truth which has brought the conscience of our age, and with it the law, to say that we cannot any longer with impunity regard ourselves as licensed torturers of the rest of creation; that we cannot, for our own sake, afford it."- John Galsworthy

1:18AM PDT on May 16, 2012

Ann, I am very familar with Jane Goodall and her work. Followed her for years. I guess if you disagree with my opinions, that's fine. I don't agree with everything Dr. Grandin says by any means, nor do I agree with everything Jane Goodall says, either. I don't know that much about chimps, but some of her theories just don't "compute", period. That's fine, since that's what makes progress...........people disagree and more research is done.

Here's a little example of what I mean to a certain own personal horse vet has decades of schooling and education/experience, yet sometimes I don't take his advice and disagree with his opinions. When that happens, I just don't argue with him and do what I think is best, and he knows that. He knows he isn't always right and respects me as well.

I think the entire topic has digressed here. The topic IS about the fact Dr. Grandin has been given an honor as a WOMAN and it's well deserved. She's overcome a lot of diversity and obstacles in her life.

1:00AM PDT on May 16, 2012

Honestly Diane though Temple Grandin and Dr. Jane Goodall are both animal behaviorists there is no way that you can compare their work. Just read Jane Goodall's book: Harvest for Hope.

12:02AM PDT on May 16, 2012

Mark, you just don't "get it".............."just as it is unjust, unethical, and immoral to exploit a human with a condition such as autism for personal gain, it is also unjust, unethical, and immoral to exploit helpless animals for one's personal gain"........just how is Temple Grandin explointing animals for her personal gain? She's merely pointing out to others what she perceives their emotions and feelings to be, or not to be. She's advocating for better conditions under which they are kept, raised, treated and yes, slaughtered, because killing animals for food will always be the reality. She's not "exploiting" animals for her own gain, except possibly she's making a living thru her words and her works. In that same context, then so is Jane Goodall and other naturalists exploiting animals.

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