Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ranchers take Dr. Grandin's recommendations to heart

"Nature is cruel, we don't have to be," says Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University. She's an animal welfare expert, recognized around the world by both ranchers and activists! She says, "I feel very strongly that we've got to give those animals a decent life and when it goes to the slaughter plant, a painless death."

Dr. Grandin has autism and was, in her own words, "the quirky, nerdy kid who everybody thought was weird." She has found that having autism allows her to think differently from most people, and she believes that she "thinks like a cow." She can see why cattle react to situations with fear or defensive behavior. Her designs have helped ranchers worldwide care for cattle in a safer, less stressful way. She has revolutionized animal handling in feedyards and slaughter plants. In short, she is awesome! Check out this short clip in which she talks about animal welfare and autism.


Dr. Grandin designed an audit for cattle handling that McDonald's and others use to rank feedyards and slaughter plants. She is doing things every day to help ranchers show the public what we do and how we do it.

She has information all over the web, if you want to google her, but her personal websites are:
Also, you may notice that recently I've been telling you about a number of videos on YouTube that feature different people in the Beef Community. I suggest that you check out the I Am Angus video series on YouTube. They are excellent portraits of real people, doing what we do every day.

2 comments:

  1. I adore Dr. Grandin. My son has autism, and to me she is one of the best examples of a successful, high functioning autistic. As a horsewoman and animal lover, she appeals to me on many other levels as well.

    There was a time when I was young and naive and I thought animal slaughter was just horrible. And I suppose, when the stress level and fear of the animal aren't taken into consideration, it still is. But of course I grew up and realized that if people are to eat, animals are going to be slaughtered. What Dr. Grandin has done to help make that process as stress-free for the animals involved is nothing short of heroic.

    Thanks for sharing this. I love your blog!

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  2. I had no idea who Dr. Grandin was until we watched her movie in our Animal Science lab at my college. After that, I couldn't get enough of her! I have read a couple of her books and her advise works every time when I am working with either my horses or our cattle herd. Not only did she conquer autism, she changed the way women are looked at in the cattle industry. As one of the first women allowed into the slaughterhouses, she paved the way for the rest of us! She is truly an amazing person!

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