I got this on my Kindle on March 20, 2013. That’s over five years ago. I think it’s the first Kindle book I ever bought? I don’t know why it took me so long to read it. I guess I heard some stuff about how Temple Grandin was involved in helping to create humane slaughter practices, and I didn’t want to read about animal slaughter, even if it was humane.
It turns out that only small parts of a few chapters talk about human slaughter, and none of it is graphic. Most of what Ms. Grandin talks about is how to interact with animals, and treat them like they should be treated. That’s basically how I want to live my life!
This book is broken down into chapters about particular animals: Dogs, Cats, Horses, Cows, Pigs, Chickens and other poultry, wildlife, and Zoos.
There’s also a section that really resonated with me and made me respect Temple Grandin even more. She discussed how people wonder why she works for slaughterhouses if she cares about animals. She talked about a farm where she had a great experience that changed her life:
These cattle had a wonderful life. This motivated me to work on improving the industry instead of working to convince people to stop eating meat. Knowing good, kind people who raised cattle had a huge influence on me. I knew the industry had its problems and it needed to be reformed, and these people made me believe it could be. At first I thought engineering could make all the improvements happen, but later in my career I learned that good engineering and design must be coupled with good management.
Later on she said this:
I often get asked, “How can you care about animals when you design slaughter plants?” Many people today are totally insulated from death, but every living thing eventually dies; this is the cycle of life. Since people are responsible for breeding and raising farm animals, they must also take the responsibility to give the animals living conditions that provide a decent life and a painless death.
I very much respect the heart and strength required to do what she does. I know I’m not strong enough to do it, and I’m grateful there are people like her in the world.