A conversation with Temple Grandin

Colorado State University animal scientist Temple Grandin

After writing about a recent media attack against Professor Temple Grandin, the nation’s foremost authority on animal handling and animal welfare, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to get a call from Dr. Grandin herself.

I’ve interviewed a number of notable notables over the years, including each of the last four Secretaries of Agriculture, Ohio State and NBA star Clark Kellogg, a handful of U.S. Senators and dozens of Members of Congress. The opportunity to talk shop with Temple Grandin was another thing entirely.

Grandin, it goes without saying, is the preeminent scholar alive today on the issue of animal care and handling. She has written numerous books about her experiences with animals, and how we can treat them better in a context of humane food production.

And yet I am amazed by the recent vitriol directed toward her by many in agriculture, especially via social media. I’ve heard the epithet “fraud” hurled at her twice in the past 24 hours on Facebook, for example, though with little to no justification. As I wrote last week, much of my recent interest in this issue stemmed from one ranch pundit’s campaign to smear Grandin for her assertion that sound science, while the critical underpinning of animal husbandry practice, must find a balance with consumer perception of food production.

I spent a good deal of time on the phone discussing these issues – and many more – with Dr. Grandin over the weekend. Here is an excerpt from a story that will appear in the April 23rd issue of Feedstuffs, along with a link where you can listen to my interview with Grandin in its entirety.

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About Andy Vance

Grains and Biofuels Editor at Feedstuffs, the weekly newspaper for agribusiness, and resident blogger at BeefProducer.com. If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, I may be the most dangerous man I know...

One Response to “A conversation with Temple Grandin”

  1. Andy,

    I’m glad to see a positive post about Dr. Grandin during the recent social network smearing. Her contribution to animal agriculture is invaluable.

    Thanks!