Temple Grandin

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Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947, in Boston, Massachusetts) is a professor at Colorado State University and a professional designer of humane slaughterhouses.


  • Most people don't realize that the slaughter plant is much gentler than nature. Animals in the wild die from starvation, predators, or exposure. If I had a choice, I would rather go through a slaughter system than have my guts ripped out by coyotes or lions while I was still conscious. Unfortunately, most people never observe the natural cycle of birth and death. They do not realize that for one living thing to survive, another living thing must die.
    • "Stairway to Heaven," Thinking in Pictures (1995), p. 202.
  • “If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave.”
    • Grandin, Temple. Thinking in Pictures : My Life with Autism (Expanded Edition).Westminster, MD, USA: Knopf Publishing Group, 2006.
  • I had auditory sensory problems and touch sensitivity problems, I had no problems with my vision. Other people absolutely cannot stand fluorescent lighting and they're sometimes helped by a thing called the Irlen colored glasses where you try on all kinds of different pale colored glasses until it's easier to read. It stops the problem of the print jiggling on the page.
  • It's OK to be an eccentric; it's not OK to be a rude and dirty eccentric.
  • Even today, romantic love is just not part of my life. And you know what? That's okay with me.
    • page 26 of The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships By Temple Grandin, Sean Barron, Veronica Zysk
  • Mother prepared me to live in the world, but she didn't try to make me into a social being just so I could hang out with other teenagers at the lake, or have pajama parties with other girls. Her eyes were on a bigger prize - giving me the skills and nurturing the talents that would allow me to graduate from school, attend college, find a satisfying job and live independently.
    • page 48 of The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships By Temple Grandin, Sean Barron, Veronica Zysk
  • Since I think just in pictures it's sort of hard to think about abstract concepts so I have to have visual images like for example when I was a child I didn't really understand some of the stuff in the Lord's Prayer and y'know when it talks about "the power and the glory"...and I thought "electrical high tension lines, circular rainbow." "Thou art in Heaven"; that didn't make any sense to me but another autistic person says "Well I always pictured God up in Heaven with an easel."
  • (About the workplace) Tyrants who get into power make life miserable for everyone.
    • page 31 of Developing Talents by Temple Grandin and Kate Duffy
  • They may ask why nature or God created such horrible conditions as autism, manic depression, and schizophrenia. However, if the genes that caused these conditions were eliminated there might be a terrible price to pay.
    • NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman (ISBN 978-0-399-18561-8), p. 428
  • And another reason to make sure we're not doing atrocious things at the slaughter plant is that if it is too easy to do something really atrocious to an animal; with the poor animal screaming and everything; the person who could do that might not have any problem torturing people. I remember one of the reasons that St. Thomas Aquinas said that we have to treat animals right is so that people themselves don't get corrupted.
  • I was attending the American Society of Animal Science meetings when the flood occurred. I first learned about it when I read about it on the front page of USA Today, a national newspaper. I grieved for the "dead" books, the same way most people grieve for a dead relative. The destruction of books upset me because "thoughts died." Even though most of the books are still in other libraries, there are many people at the (Colorado State) university who will never read them. To me, Shakespeare lives if we keep performing his plays. He dies, when we stop performing them. I am my work. If the livestock industry continues to use equipment I have designed, then my "thoughts live" and my life has meaning. If my efforts to improve the treatment of cattle and pigs make real improvements in the world, then life is meaningful.

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