Doctor Temple Grandin – Hero of Innovation, Animals and Autism

Born on the 29th of August, 1947, Doctor Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism in 1950. Despite this diagnoses, she earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Franklin Pierce College in 1970, a Masters Degree in Animal Sciences from Arizona State University in 1975 and, in 1989, she received a Doctoral Degree from the University of Illinois in Animal Sciences. Recently a film starring Claire Danes tells the remarkable story of her life and accomplishments.

Doctor Temple Grandin

Doctor Temple Grandin implemented various innovative developments in the fields of animal welfare, philosophy and neurology, and both those who stand for animal welfare and autism advocacy has found her work to be of the upmost importance.

Grandin is a firm believer in treating animals in the most humane way possible and is quoted as saying that (she) “think(s) using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we’ve got to do it right. We’ve got to give those animals a decent life and we’ve got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect”.

Doctor Grandin’s studies found that by using environmental enrichment techniques on animals such as cows and pigs, resulted in calmer animals. A connection was also made with the quality of meat and enrichment techniques used.

It was found that environmental enrichment techniques resulted in meat being of higher quality. In pigs for example, the more excited they become before slaughter, the more the meat was likely to be pale, soft and exudative (PSE) or dark, firm and dry (DFD).

When studies were conducted at large slaughter houses, it was also found that pigs raised in confinement were more excited or stressed, affecting the quality of our meat.

While many people see the slaughter of animals for food inhumane, large populations do rely on meat for survival. Those of us who are meat eaters want only the best meat while animals are treated with humanly at the same time.

Doctor Temple Grandin believes that the more humane creatures are cared for and, in the end slaughtered, the better for both the animal and the quality of meat.

This means that animals should be reared in environmentally stable and unconfined ways.

As the environment is more natural, the quality of the meat will be higher. If an environment is natural and calm, we can expect not only healthier animals, but healthier meat as well.

Just by looking at this, you can see how the environment influences the health of our animals. The healthier and calmer the environment, the healthier the animal.

It is the same for humans. The healthier our environment, the healthier our bodies will be. -ANNABEL SCHOEMAN


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