Dr. Temple Grandin Lectures to Standing-room-only Audience

Published on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Temple Grandin has been described as, “…the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.” Autism has not stopped Grandin from earning a Ph.D., becoming a best-selling author, a livestock handling expert, and a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

She has been featured on major television programs, such as "ABC’s Primetime Live", the "Today Show", "Larry King Live", "48 Hours" and "20/20" and written up in national publications, such as Time magazine, People magazine, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, and New York Times. Among numerous other recognitions by media, Bravo Cable did a half-hour show on her life, and she was one of the "challenged" people featured in the best-selling book, Anthropologist from Mars,” and she will be played by Claire Danes in an upcoming semi-biographical film on her life, on HBO. 

Becker College was fortunate to have Dr. Grandin visit its campus in Leicester, Mass. to share her experiences, particularly with the connection between animals and humans, at a standing-room only lecture on Wednesday, April 15. Taking principles from her latest book, Animals Make Us Human, Dr. Grandin explained how to create a healthy environment for dogs left alone for hours, keeping pigs from being bored, and how to translate the actions of a lion pacing in a zoo. Dr. Grandin’s remarks charged the audience to challenge their assumptions about animal contentment and to honor the bond shared with their fellow creatures.

“All animals have the same core emotion systems in the brain,” said Dr. Grandin. “When people are suffering mentally, they want to feel better—they want to stop having bad emotions and start having good emotions. That’s the right goal with animals, too.” She says that it is on an emotional level that humans have the most success with animals.

Grandin combines her perspectives as a person with autism and as an animal scientist, as well as research data, to unveil the internal lives of animals and to give pet owners, zoo keepers, animal trainers, and even livestock handlers, tools to improve animals’ quality of life.