Monday, May 30, 2011

Temple Grandin on Australian TV tonight

I believe that the Australian investigative journalism TV show Four Corners is scheduled to broadcast a story tonight about cruelty to Australian cattle in halal slaugherhouses in Indonesia. The autistic academic and slaughterhouse industrial designer Temple Grandin has been interviewed about this matter, and she has expressed her dismay that this could be happening to cattle from Australia. I share her dismay and shock. It makes me feel ashamed of being an Aussie.

I find the timing of this story to be most ironic, considering that it isn't too long since a book was released by a putative autism expert on the subject of cruelty and a lack of empathy, in which he categorized autistic people as having "zero degrees of empathy". Well, I ask, if Temple Grandin has no empathy at all, why does she give a damn, and why did she make a very successful career for herself by designing cattle-handling facilities right down to the finest details that are created with the aim of eliminating cruelty from the process of animal slaughter, a matter that most non-autistic people apparently do not think about very much. And why do I give a damn, a loner who appears to be on the spectrum also? And the big question is, why do so many apparently neurologically normal people not care in the least about animal cruelty? I expect no answers from the professor.

A Bloody Business
Reporter: Sarah Ferguson and Producer: Michael Doyle
Four Corners

Broadcast: 30/05/2011


Anonymous said...

So perhaps she should walk away, too.

Would everyone in the world then become vegetarian?

Think about it.

Should animals die in pain or not?

You sort it out, and then decide Temple Grandin's worth.

Let's tell her to walk away, why don't we?

Lili Marlene said...

I'm not telling anyone to walk away from anything, and I've not in any way questioned Grandin's worth.

Laura said...

In Baron-Cohen's book, he says that Temple Grandin has no empathy for cattle. He says she has a system of rigid morality that includes the rule that animals should be treated as humanely as possible. I've read 5 of Grandin's books. He's wrong. Temple Grandin cares about and loves nature with a depth and intensity few NT's have ever considered. I don't understand how anyone could take Simon Baron-Cohen seriously anymore after his latest book.

Lili Marlene said...

Laura, I'd love to know where in the book Baron-Cohen wrote that. I can't find any reference to Temple Grandin in the index of my copy of Zero Degrees of Empathy. Is that the book you refer to?