What’s wrong with Temple Grandin?

Temple Grandin and Horse. Photographer Unknown.
Temple Grandin and Horse. Photographer Unknown.

I am often asked why I am so opposed to the work of Dr. Temple Grandin. Dr. Grandin means well, certain animal advocates point out to me, and has dedicated her life to making the slaughter of animals more humane. Here is why.

Slaughter is not, and cannot be made, humane.

Definition of slaughter: To kill in a violent or brutal manner.

Definition of humane: Characterized by kindness, mercy, or compassion

Clearly, the terms slaughter and humane are about as contradictory as two words can be.

Can anyone in actuality kill in a violent or brutal manner characterized by kindness, mercy or compassion? I believe that killing characterized by kindness, mercy or compassion is defined as euthanasia. It is certainly not defined as slaughter.

In an article written by Mark Schatzker, “Why you should eat horsemeat: It’s delicious,” Globe and Mail (Canada), Jan. 4, 2011, he speaks with Temple Grandin about horse slaughter:

As to the apparent cruelty of slaughtering a horse, I put the question to Temple Grandin, the famous animal-welfare specialist. Dr. Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University who has studied the horsemeat industry in Canada and the United States, told me horses do not possess a unique or unusual susceptibility to suffering.

“Their brains are similar to pigs and cattle,” she said, “although they’re a bit more flighty. As long as you use the right equipment, it can be as humane as any other kind of slaughter. I don’t see any reason why a horse can’t lead a happy life and be slaughtered and not suffer.” The vast majority of welfare issues Dr. Grandin witnesses aren’t due to slaughter but to owner neglect. If given the choice between being a horse and a commodity pig or chicken, Dr. Grandin says, “I’d rather be the average horse.”

Well, I can see why Grandin would rather be the “average horse.” Horses are not food animals, and the average horse is not slaughtered, although approximately 100,000 U.S. horses are killed each year in slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico for human consumption overseas. A “commodity pig or chicken” on the other hand is definitely headed to the slaughterhouse. Grandin knows what happens to pigs and chickens, before and on arrival at the slaughterhouse, is horrific.

So, in Dr. Grandin’s opinion, horses do not fear or suffer any more than pigs and cattle when slaughtered. Further, when a horse is slaughtered “it can be as humane as any other kind of slaughter” and doesn’t see any reason why a horse can’t “be slaughtered and not suffer.”

Note the date. Here is what Grandin said just days after she was interviewed for the above article about just how “humane” slaughter is.

At the Summit of the Horse in Las Vegas, Grandin stated that only about 20% of animal slaughter facilities operate within acceptable humane guidelines and the rest “slip into bad practices” with a full 10% intentionally treating animals cruelly.

Wow, as good as that? Supposedly Dr. Grandin has worked out modifications and improvements that can bring slaughterhouse practices within a humane range of acceptability. Don’t believe it for a moment.

Right now, however, for argument’s sake say she could.

Whatever they are, they are not going to happen in a fast moving production line with stringent slaughter quotas to meet to be profitable. Additionally, it was the consensus of many of the pro slaughter attendees at the Summit that Grandin’s recommended changes to prevent cruelty would be “costly.” There did not seem to be much interest anyway, and they can save their money. The only surefire way to prevent cruelty in a slaughterhouse is to close it down.

Dr. Grandin’s high sounding ideas to revolutionize the slaughter of horses or any other animal to prevent cruelty are never likely to materialize, and would not achieve it if they did. But it certainly sounds good coming out of the mouths of the killers who use her to continue exploiting animals for food and help soothe the consciences of those who eat them.

That is why I am so opposed to the work of Dr. Temple Grandin.

38 thoughts on “What’s wrong with Temple Grandin?”

  1. At least Temple Grandin is Doing something to try and make slaughterhouses treat animals better Han they are known for. Her life’s work is dedicated to improving welfare of animals in slaughterhouses. No matter how many people turn vegan or protest slaughter it will still happen so why not work to improve conditions instead of protesting making it where slaughterhouses hide more of what they do and keeping animals who will endure slaughter regardless of you wanting them to or not in unsatisfactory conditions you could support someone who is actually trying to improve conditions not bashing her for changing the world one slaughterhouse at a time. She’s honest what are you? You can’t take someone honestly telling you that most slaughterhouses don’t follow her guidelines? She won’t stop until all of them follow her guidelines and doesn’t need people like you bashing her work with facts you think balidate your opinion I challenge you to take a look from the other side and find facts that don’t support your side in this matter you might develop a better perspective from her side.

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    1. Improve conditions in a slaughterhouse? Are you kidding? There is no such thing and to think otherwise is delusional. The only way to avoid the cruelties of slaughter is to stop it completely. Ms Grandin has made herself an apologist and mouthpiece for evil. If you support her and the slaughter of any animal in any form you are taking part in all its evils.

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  2. sigh.

    So sad. Y’all just don’t want to listen. At the very least, Dr. Temple is at least trying to help. What are any of you doing, except to say END ALL ANIMAL PROTEIN, now.
    Totally unrealistic. I stick with the autistic professor. Her honesty might set you free.

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    1. SIGH ! The word Slaughter, should be removed and abolished from the English language, it has no place there, and is of no use, there are more humane methods, we are a civilized people , this word is Balbaric and unnnecessary………… and totally insult to an educated mind…………..

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    2. The article gives a clear explanation to why Grandin is destined to fail. A meatless diet is totally realistic, and more people are becoming enlightened and changing to a humane diet every day. That is freedom and 100% successful.

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  3. There is only one way slaughter will be stopped. The day we all say NO – not maybe, not what if, not someday. Temple Grandin is a person with responsibility for what she does just as I or you. No Horse Slaughter PERIOD. The humane laws have been on the books from the beginning, the horses have suffered unimaginably. Grandin had her chance a few times to name it and instead sidestepped with science as her shield. No, no more, not ever – get over it. It is brutal, it is rife with fraud, it leaves behind grieving loving humans and opens the door for sadism – NO MORE.

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  4. THERE IS NO WAY HORSES CAN BE SLAUGHTER HUMANELY. THEY ARE SUCH INCREDIBLE, INTELLIGENT ANIMALS. WE ONLY NEED TO TRAIN, LISTEN AND WORK WITH THEM TO KNOW HOW MAGNIFICENT THEY ARE. IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WE AS A TEAM OF HORSE LOVERS AND WARRIORS COME TOGETHER AND PRESENT OUR CASE IN THE PROTECTION AND PRESERVING OUR EQUUS SPECIES FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS TO COME.
    IT IS IMPORTANT NEVER TO FORGET THAT OUR HORSES HAVE BEEN FRIENDS, PARTNERS, WILLING TO BE SUBJECTED TO EXTREME TEMPERATURES TO SURVIVE. THEY ARE SO WILLING TO PLEASE OUR EVERY NEEDS. WE NEED TO PROTECT THEM AT ALL COSTS FROM THE BLUNT TRAUMA AND PAINFUL DEATHS OF SLAUGHTER FOREVER. NO HORSE SHOULD EVER BE SUBJECTED TO THIS BRUTAL FORCE OF EVIL EVER. I WILL FIGHT UNTIL MY LAST BREATH, PROTECTING THEIR FREEDOM FROM ANGUISH AND ABUSE. I WILL NOT LET ANYONE HURT, MAME AND DENY ME THE RIGHT TO PROTECT MY BELOVED HORSES FOREVER. I STAND AS A PROUD HORSE OWNER OF THREE BEAUTIFUL BOYS AND I WILL NEVER SUCCUMB TO THE TEMPTATIONS OF HATRED AND MONEY HUNGRY HUMANS TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING OFF OF OUR AMERICAN ICONS. MAY THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION MEET WITH THE SCUM OF EVIL, YOU HAVE NO PLACE BUT IN THE HELLISH DEPTHS OF YOUR EVIL SOULS AND MAY YOU ASK GOD TO HELP YOU SEE THE BRIGHT, HEAVENLY LIGHT THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR EVIL WAYS TO LOVING WAYS SO YOU CHOOSE. I OPPOSE SLAUGHTER, I OPPOSE ROUNDUPS, WE ARE THEIR LOVING VOICE FOREVER JUDITH.

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  5. I will not speak ill of Dr. Grandin. I believe that she does care about animals, that she is a realist- as non-emotional people are prone to be, and that she views the world through the eyes of a scientist. I know for a fact that she endeavored to give balanced, unbiased information at the SOTH event. I will fight horse slaughter to my last breath, but I will not fight Dr. Grandin by publicly berating her. It’s not necessary or appropriate. As a person to whom horses mean so very much, I will not become enemies with the only person in the world who might… just might… help make the last minutes of life less traumatic for tens of thousands of American horses being slaughtered IF the heartless, clueless, greedy, lying, scavenging pro-slaughter creeps somehow manage to slither their way to victory on this issue.

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  6. ACTIONS always speak louder than words…………..This is true in every case, we have here some of the Best writers , full of knowledge, full of enthusiasm, over full with love and the Greatest respect for The Wild Mustangs, are hearts break and shatter daily for them, we have here photographers beyond compare with Photos , videos, of the suffering of protected Horses , we have awesome people out in the field with them giving up their time and expertise and dedicated to make the difference that should without a doubt be enough to save them……… documented proof of the lies , deceit , betrayal s also , now we have media coverage…………. Where is the end of this horrific disgusting mismanagement………. Our Mustangs need help here and now ………….. They are running out of time……………..

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