Feb

04

A doctor of animal science and expert on animal behavior, Temple Grandin (born January 29, 1947) has designed groundbreaking systems for humane livestock handling that have radically reduced the amount of pain, anxiety, and fear that cattle and pigs experience in the factory farming system. Autistic herself and one of the most vocal champions of classifying the autistic mind as “different, not less,” Grandin has created a therapeutic device known as a “hug machine,” designed for calming children on the autism spectrum through deep-pressure stimulation.

She describes herself as a visual thinker for whom words come as a second language and whose astounding visual memory and attention to detail have allowed her to design the very innovations for which she is so lauded. At the heart of both her animal welfare and neurodiversity advocacy lies a brave and indiscriminate celebration of the inner lives of creatures, whatever their biological category or neurological default.

The title of Grandin’s most recent book, Animals Make Us Human, which synthesizes more than thirty years of research and hands-on experience, concisely yet poetically captures the essence of her work: A profound respect for all living beings and tireless advocacy of mutual respect.

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