You’re probably familiar with Temple Grandin‘s work via the fantastic HBO Film about her life starring Claire Danes (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend checking it out). To recap, Grandin is a big figure in autism awareness, agribusiness and animal welfare both because she herself is autistic and is also widely recognized as the industry’s leading authority on humane slaughter and animal handling.
Her unique perspective led her to recognize a problem that few others in agribusiness saw or cared about and design a solution that both improves efficiency and standards of care for animals during slaughter – understanding that it would not be possible to gain support for the second objective without the first.
I have the highest respect for Temple Grandin’s work. Knowing that she designs slaughterhouses, you might think that odd given that I am who I am, but here’s the thing: the meat industry exists. It exists and it’s not going anywhere for awhile – if ever. Knowing that, you bet your a$$ that I’m going to support any effort to make that whole terrible process as humane and painless as possible for the animals involved. If Temple Grandin’s work makes those final terrifying minutes just a little more bearable for the animals that can’t be saved – and it does – then I’m down.
The point of all this, by the way, is that Grandin will be speaking tomorrow night at Lindenwood University as part of their 2011-12 Speaker Series. I’m excited about the prospect of hearing her speak in person and as an animal advocate, I’m intensely interested in what she might have to say.
She is scheduled to speak at 7 pm at the Bezemes Family Theatre at 2300 West Clay Street in St. Charles. Admission is free and open to the public and doors open at 6. It is expected to be extremely crowded, so plan to arrive as early as possible if you’re interested in checking things out. Hope to see you there!