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The Inspiring Life of Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is one of those rare souls that sparks change no matter what she does, where she goes, or how old she gets. 

The list of revolutionary work attributed to her, not only in the beef industry, but for autism awareness is beyond impressive. 

At barely 4 years old, Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism, but thankfully had a mother who fought for her right to a good education, instead of hiding her away in an institution.

Temple was diagnosed with a form of autism that allowed her to “perceive the world through pictures and symbols, much like animals.”

And her gift to humanity, mixed with her commitment to research and study, eventually led her to introduce revolutionary techniques that would allow meat processing plants to produce beef more humanely and efficiently.

Through actively seeing the world through the eyes of the animals, Temple was able to introduce a system that would keep the animals calm while moving forward through the process towards slaughter.

"Her gentler handling designs introduced new methods like curved chutes and solid corral fences (to avoid distractions and cattle trying to return where they cane from. The pens provided water and space for cattle to relax after arriving by truck.

In addition, the walkways into the plants were widened and updated with high, solid walls in a curving, serpentine shape, meant to keep the livestock moving forward and free from distraction. Knowing that cattle naturally move from dark areas to light, she installed fixtures to help coax them to move from one area to the next."

Her research and blueprints resulted in a more tranquil and efficient process, which is better for the animals, and safer for plant workers.

She accepts that humans eat animals, but she contends that we owe them a decent life and a painless death. “Nature is cruel, but we don't have to be,” is one of her well-known sayings.  And I couldn't agree more!

"Her goal was to create a humane system, which she believed was critical to efficiency, because frightened animals do not go calmly to their fate."

Temple Grandin has also never shied away from a fight. 

Her no-nonsense attitude and passion for change comes forth with everything she puts her hand to. And that's what I admire most about her.

According to Temple, “there was a time when people didn't want to talk to me.  They thought I was super weird.  But then I whipped out my drawings.”

Today, Temple Grandin continues the fight.  But her mission has stretched beyond the cattle industry and into the education system, giving voice and recognition to all kids who see things differently.  But she still keeps a close eye on beef industry, constantly introducing improvements to ensure the welfare of the animals.

And about the state of the current meat industry, Temple says, 

“the…plants have gotten up to a pretty good level…some of these plants are getting pretty close to about as good as they’re going to get.”

Yet, as Grandin remarks, "the effort is never over, because you have to maintain it.  It takes constant vigilance to keep things good.” 

This remarkable woman has inspired so many, proving that individuals with disabilities can make a difference in this world. 

From her life, we learn that people with disabilities are not second class citizens and they have a thing or two to teach us. 

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a parent of an autistic child say, ‘Of course we know about Temple Grandin. She’s our hero.’”


"Today, Temple Grandin teaches, mentors students, has authored books on both autism and animal science (Animals in Translation, which merged the two topics, was a 2006 bestseller), has published a dozen research papers in the past year alone, and maintains a prominent profile as a public speaker and consultant to the livestock industry. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017, and has been one of Time magazine's '100 Most Influential People.'"

To learn more about Temple Grandin and what she's up to today, visit:

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