Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin + Interview

Posted by John Brown on February 16th, 2009

I have read few books more interesting than Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior.

In it she describes her world of autism and how it helped her a perspective into animals unlike any other expert in the field. She can literally see what we block out. It’s part of what helped her make a huge impact on the meat packing industry.

And it’s had an impact on her. When she was visiting her grandparents once in Arizona, she saw a squeeze chute in operation on a ranch. She saw the cattle calm, for the most part, in the chute. “Watching those cattle calm down,” she says, “I knew I needed a squeeze chute of my own.” So when she got back home she built a human-sized one with the help of her teacher. “I got through my teenage years thanks to my squeeze machine and my horses.”

Grandin is not a vegetarian activitst (she eats meat herself) or a brutal slayer. She has taken the middle ground between the fantatics that want to prevent the consumption of all meat, on one hand, or totally disregard the life of animals on the other. She writes, she says, “because I wish animals could have more than just a low-stress life and a quick, painless death. I wish animals could have a good life, too, with something useful to do. I think we owe them that.”

Temple has dozens and dozens of insights into animals, which she shares here. You’ll learn about rapist roosters and the problem of one-trait breeding, whether prediators find it “fun to kill a groundhog” (yes, she says, they do), whether animals have true cognition, and so many other things it’s impossible to list them here. I was fascinated on every page. If you have anything to do with animals, you’re going to LOVE this book.

Get the book. Read it. In the meantime, watch a 27 minute interview of Temple by Doug Fabrizio on Utah NOW. I caught this on TV flipping through the channels and couldn’t look away. This is a fascinating interview of a fascinating woman.

Source:Temple Grandin on Utah NOW

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