Temple Grandin speaks on campus
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 01:04
Chicken is cheaper today than it was in the Great Depression, according to Temple Grandin.
Grandin, a noted author, video producer and animal welfare expert, is popularly known for bringing a positive face to autism, a developmental disorder that is now affecting, to some degree, one in 88 children.
On Friday Grandin spoke to room of students and faculty about her work in the livestock industry.
Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities and developer of a scoring system for assessing the handling of cattle and pigs at meat plants. Nearly half of the cattle in the country are handled through a system she designed.
The major problems in the plants are easily solved for Grandin.
“One of the advantages of being autistic is I’m a bottom-up thinker,” Grandin said. We need more bottom up thinking.”
Cattle need to travel through the plant. Grandin uses her designs to eliminate factors that keep the animals from moving down the line. Factors like light, sound, and line of sight scare the animals and interrupt the travel process.
“You control what they see and it makes a big difference,” Grandin said. She uses cardboard and twisty ties to fix the problems. She is all about inexpensive, quick fixes. “We have to think about a real way to solve things,” she said.
Grandin embraces her autism. She comes to a conclusion differently than the majority of the population, she said. “One thing about autism is I like to go outside the box.”
President Barrack Obama released his World Autism Awareness Day Presidential Proclamation at the beginning of the month. He called the rise in autism diagnosis a “growing public health issue.”
The Center for Disease Control reports one in 150 children had some form of autism in 2007. Today, one in 88 children and expected to show some form of the developmental disorder.
April is Autism Awareness month.
“Nothing in the practical world is perfect,” Grandin said. “We’ve got to go back to doing real stuff.”