Saturday, October 17, 2015

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery


Mrs. Edwards has chosen Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery as one of her Battle of the Books books for this year’s competition.  I personally think that any book with a title that long should not be used for Battle of the Books, but she seems to think it’s a pretty amazing story.  So, I read this story, because it seemed inspirational and, you know, about an animal lover and all that, but it had this crazy twist!  I’m not going to begrudge people for their fondness for meat-based protein or anything, shoot I eat my fair share of bugs, but this Dr. Grandin is very concerned with the stress placed upon the animals that you people eat.  Her concern for the treatment of animals is quite admirable, but I’m just happy to be a fish (and a small one at that) that I don’t have to worry about being someone’s sushi meal.  

In the amazing biography Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery we learn the story of Dr. Temple Grandin.  Dr. Grandin was only three years old when her parents realized there was something a little different about their daughter.  We learn of Dr. Grandin’s struggles growing up with Autism, way before doctors and scientists had a name for this condition.  She struggled at a young age with noises, controlling anxiety, and finding clothes that didn’t itch her sensitive skin.  It wasn’t until she visited her family’s ranch, that she realized she could find peace.

Dr. Grandin grew up with farming in her life.  At an early age, she understood where food, including meat, came from.  One day, as she wandered around the animals, she understood why they made certain noises.  Sheep bleats, chicken clucks, and cow moos made sense to her like the cries of a baby may make sense to it’s mother.  As she grew older, she focused research on making livestock more comfortable during their final moments.  Through her studies, she helped develop humane, safe ways for large livestock ranches to slaughter and process their animals.  Having the animals calm and comfortable actually keeps more people safe and lessens open-wound injuries, which could negate use of the meat, to the animals.  Dr. Grandin found many of her tools and techniques not only comforting to the animals, but helpful in her own anxieties as well.  This is an amazing story of a woman who loved animals so much, that she wants them to be comfortable, literally, their entire lives.  

This is an amazing story and I love that I was able to find a trailer about Sy Montgomery the author and Dr. Grandin’s good friend.  Living here in the valley, I think this is an incredible and informative book for our high school FFA students to read.  Much of the livestock and poultry farms we have in our area have been impacted by Dr. Grandin’s inventions and guidance.  She makes very good points that if we are to continue to use animals as a food source, then it is only fair since they are dying to feed us, that we offer them some compassion to how they die.  On a side note, I was also very fortunate to have a Skype session with Dr. Grandin several months ago about being chosen for our Battle of the Books; it was a truly inspirational visit.

Sy Montgomery talks about Temple Grandin. (2012, June 11). Retrieved from <>.

“Temple Grandin: How the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world.”, 2012. JPEG file.

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