JOE REGENSTEIN: Good evening, everyone. Like to welcome you to the talk tonight which is a Frank H.T Rhodes Class of '56 talk. Doctor Temple Grandin is our guest under that program. She has been coming here, this is her fifth visit, and, unfortunately, her last under that program.
I'm Joe Regenstein. I'm a food science professor. I've been working with Temple for many, many years on issues of animal welfare, particularly around slaughter and religious slaughter. And so I'm her host. And I was asked tonight to do the introductions, which I'm going to try to keep short because you don't really want to hear me.
Temple got her undergraduate degree from Franklin Pierce College in psychology. And then went on to get both a masters in animal science from Arizona and a PhD in animal science from the University of Illinois. She is now at Colorado State where she is a professor of animal science. She also has works there half time. And has Temple Grandin, a Grandin livestock where she works very closely with many, many facets of the industry around the world.
She's a prolific author of both scientific papers and scientific books. She has all the qualifications a professor needs. She also has, what is sometimes looked askance in the academic world, she has two books who have made the New York Times bestseller list.
She also for many of you is the subject of this month's very, very unique and special HBO program with Claire Danes, who's half her size, but otherwise has done a wonderful job of capturing Temple.
We're looking forward. One of the other big events is tomorrow night where the movie is going to be shown with a discussion afterwards with Temple and Scott Ferguson, who is a Cornellian who was the producer of the movie. And he will be here, hopefully, I don't know his flight arrangements. We have our fingers crossed. And as a ticketed, charged event-- because it's being shown through Cornell Cinema-- we know that there may be a few tickets left.
So without further ado, I'd like to present Temple who's going to be talking on animal behavior and animal welfare issues. Please join me in welcoming Temple.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: It's really good to be here. Hope this mic's going to work because I like to be able to walk around. Ooh, that's awful loud. OK. I hope that's better.
Let's just get in and start talking about animal behavior. You know and animal behavior is really, really important. Because when you take dogs and cats, half of the animals that are given up are given up because they go to the bathroom on things, they chew up things, or bite people, you know behavior problems. One of the things I want to try to do is to help you figure out how to handle animals better.
Any animal, you have to do some veterinary thing on it, a calm animal is easier to handle. And when they get uncalm, they're usually getting scared. They're usually getting fearful.
And some people might say, well, that's anthropomorphic. Well, the circuits in the animal's brain that show they have fear were mapped 25 years ago. One of the big problems we've got in science is neuroscience has their literature over here, veterinarians have their literature here. Animal behavior has their literature over here. Psychology has their literature in another set of journals. And nobody communicates across journals.
So if you get an animal all scared, it's going to take half an hour for it to calm down. So let's not get at all scared. Now to understand animals, it's a sensory based world, a world of vision, a world of sound, a smell, taste, and touch. And I get asked all the time, how does autism help me with animals? See the thing is, I am a visual thinker. Language just narrates the pictures in my imagination.
And the movie did an absolutely fantastic job of showing my visual thinking mind. There's a scene in there where the word horse is said and a whole bunch of pictures of specific horses come up. There's no generalized horse concept in my mind. There's only specific ones.
And when I wrote one of my earlier books Thinking in Pictures, I was shocked to find out that other people didn't think in pictures the same way I did. So I'm very, very fascinated with this whole thing of different kinds of minds.
I'm a photo realistic visual thinker. I had a horrible time with algebra. I never got to try geometry and trig, that was a gigantic mistake. Another kind of mind's kind of a pattern thinker. These are your computer programmers, your engineers. Sometimes readings a problem, chemists, that category. Then you have your word thinkers. But there's different kinds of thinking. And different kinds of thinking are good at doing different things. And sometimes the different kind of thinkers need to be working together.
But you've got to imagine a world where it's detailed, sensory impressions. Now here's a picture that a young autistic boy sent to me to show how he thinks in pictures. It's literally movies in your head. And for you younger people here, that's 16 millimeter movie reels in the head. Kind of outdated technology there. And I've had teachers say to me, when I've done autism talks, how can I get the movies out of the kid's head. Well you can't. That's just how he thinks.
And I had a brain scan done with tensor imaging that measures great big huge fibril bundles. And I have a gigantic big fibril bundle about that big around up here, huge graphics card my head. And there's all the people on the autism spectrum where they don't have this, because they're not a visual thinker. You know there's just different kinds of minds are good at doing different things.
You want to understand an animal? You've got to get away from language. If you're working with children that are nonverbal, you need to get away from language. Another thing in autism that a lot of people ignore are the sensory issues-- sound sensitivity, touch sensitivit-- you'll see in the movie that I couldn't stand to be touched. I can't wear scratchy clothes against my skin.
Now the thing is if you didn't have a little bit of autism genetics, we wouldn't have any electricity because Tesla, who invented the power plant, would probably be diagnosed with autism today. Einstein is a little bit on the spectrum. And then, of course, what about all the people out of Silicon Valley? And I'm sure you've all seen that show Big Bang Theory and Sheldon. Sheldon of Big Bang Theory, well I saw lots of people out there that are the grown up Sheldons and they are very, very successful people.
Now there's some research in people that shows that language covers up visual thinking, math thinking, some of the other kinds of thinking. Because of the type of Alzheimer's disease called funnel temporal lobe dementia where the frontal cortex is wrecked and language is wrecked. And this beautiful picture, which was published in the Journal of Neurology, was done by a patient that got frontal temporal lobe dementia. So this came out for about four years. And then the brain gets completely trashed. In the visual parts of the brain are the most strongest parts.
Now when you're working with animals, I want you to get are very observant. I try to work on teaching people to be observant. Look at the ear on the zebra and the horse. They're looking at each other with the ear. The other ear is on me taking a picture. See in your grazing animals and your prey species animals, the ears can work independently. One ear can point that way, the other ear can point over that way. Dogs and cats the ears are yoked together.
What's the animal looking at? If you see the eyes popping out and you see the whites of the eyes, that animal's getting scared. That's actually been documented in cattle.
Now in my first work with cattle, I got down in the chutes to see what they were seeing. Now you see how that animal coming out is looking right at that blob of sunlight. You see anything that's contrast, something that moves rapidly. And in my work that I did with the slaughterhouses, people were always asking me do they know they're going to get slaughtered? Well I had to answer that very early in my career. So I went to the Swift plant. And in the movie, they had to make it Abbott. You know, the legal department says you can't use Swift because that's still a real brand. So it's Abbott instead of Swift, but we'll call it Swift tonight.
So I would go over to the Swift plant and watch the cattle. Then I'd go out to the big feed yards where they were vaccinating hundreds and hundreds of cattle just as fast as they go through the Swift plant. And they behaved the same way in both places. If they knew they were going to get slaughtered, they would have been a lot wilder at the plant trying to get out. But they weren't trying to get out.
And I found if you get rid of the things that distract them, things like a little piece of chain hanging down. Well I don't know how many facilities I have to get to take out the little pieces of chain. I've been doing these talks for 35 years. And I still have to put a stupid slide in here of chains hanging down because people don't take them out.
And some researched done in Dr. Nancy Minshew's lab in Pittsburgh, show that the normal human mind drops out the details. where the autistic mind gets all of the details. In fact, one of the things I find that's always a hassle, when I have people asking me questions about their child or they ask me questions about what their dog or their horse is doing, is they tend to ask a question that's way too vague. Like my child has a behavior problem. What do you mean by some behavior problem?
Or my dog's crazy. Well I can visualize a dog crazy and excited and happy and wag his tail when you come home. Or maybe some big Rottweiler that going to bite your head off. Maybe either one of those could be crazy.
Because the thing is is when I talk about the dog, or the child, I have to make a picture. And I've got to ask the parents enough questions, or the owner of the dog enough questions, to start to make a picture of what he's actually doing. Otherwise I can't fix the problem. I'm always having to say be specific. Give me a specific example.
And I'd get down in the chutes to see what animals are seeing. Look at how you got all the stripes on there with the shadows. Sunny days are worse, cloudy days you won't have those shadows, or maybe the sun is in a different direction you have no shadows. You've got to be looking at these things.
And when I first started out looking at these things, people looked at me like I was absolutely, totally crazy. You mean you're getting down in there to see what cattle are seeing? That's just completely nuts.
And how do you form a concept when I've got all of these pictures floating around in my head, all these things like Google for images? Well my mind works exactly like Google works. You put a keyword in then it brings up a whole lot of pictures that are on subject, and then it gradually gets off the subject. Well who do you think made Google?
And so, it's set up to put things into categories. And this is a really neat picture that a little boy that has autism drew to show how he's sorting cat and dog pictures into different boxes. You know it's sorting visual images.
So how did I figure out that a cat wasn't a dog? I did it by size originally. But then after our next door neighbors got a dachshund, I had to find a visual feature that every dachshund has that none of the cats have got. They all have the same nose shape. Another way I could sort them is barking or meowing.
Now one of the things that drives me absolutely crazy in both my work with livestock and my work with autism is people don't know how to troubleshoot and put information into categories. OK. Let's say I've got a problem out at this meat plant. And they're using electric prods too much on the cattle. And equipment's not working right.
The first thing I got to do is say do I have an equipment problem or a people problem? And I find that most people have a very difficult time sorting that out. There's a tendency to want to go oh, we'll change all the equipment. Oh, latest technology.
I have found that people are more willing to buy the thing than to do the management. Now the movie is all back in the '70s. And that was back in the days when I felt like I fixed everything with equipment. Now, I've found that I can only fix about half of things with equipment.
And you get the same problem in troubleshooting a problem maybe with a non-verbal person with autism. And we got a very, very severe behavior problems, like maybe self-abuse, something really bad. And I say, look, you've got to figure out do I have a biological problem or do I have a problem that's just behavior? And if it's biological, it could be some hidden, painful medical thing that he can't tell you about. Like he's got acid reflux problem. Or he's got sensory overload. The fire alarm went off in that room last week and now he's afraid to go in there.
And there are some people on the spectrum that are so sensitive that they go in a big supermarket, they feel like the inside speaker at the rock concert. And they just can't tolerate it. I got to rule out sensory and painful medical problem. Then I can start figuring out is it purely behavior? Like frustration not being able to communicate, getting attention, or getting our of doing something. Those are your three main motivations for behavior.
Now a horse makes a separate category for a man on his back and a man on the ground. You see that's a different picture. Cattle do the same thing. You could have cattle that are absolutely tame handled on horse. And then when a man gets on the ground, they scatter and run away because they haven't been trained to that.
Dogs do the same thing. On the leash, off the leash, two different categories. Maybe when I'm on the leash, I protect my owner. When I'm off the leash, I can go and play with other dogs. You see the animal mind makes categories.
And I've talked about this horse before, scared to death of black hats, because when somebody abused him, he was looking at a black hat. A white cowboy hat was fine. And when I put the hat down on the ground, it was less scary. Then the closer the got up here, the more scary it got. And an animal will often make an association with a sound or something he was seeing right when the bad thing happened. OK. All right.
Now there's a possibility that these two objects here, especially if I got them near my head, that they may also trigger the fear memory. Big purse and black neck pillow. Because it's a picture. And the horse actually like matches, do I have a match? And these fears can generalize in a kind of a visual specific way.
I'll give you another example. OK. Dogs often get afraid of the place where they were hit by a car. One type of bit may make a fear and another type of bit is fine, because it feels different. They know the voice of a good and bad people. When we worked on training animals to cooperate at the zoo with their veterinary work, the veterinarian that had shot them with a dart gun, he could never handle them. They knew his voice. They knew his walk. They knew everything about him. OK.
Now that's a really awful kind of bit. I went on the internet to look up these bit pictures. There's really some dreadful, awful bits on the internet that you just you just shouldn't be using. And this is a really nasty bit. And this could really cut up the horse's mouth. And the problem that you have if the horse has been abused with this, then he's likely to be afraid of any jointed bit even one that's a lot nicer. OK.
You've got a jointed bit there that's nicer. OK. Now you've got another type of bit that's one-piece. Now the one-piece bit he may be fine with. Now if you hold these in your hand and shut your eyes, you have different feeling pictures.
Another problem you can sometimes get with horses is bucking when you change gates. You see walk, trot, and canter is a different feeling picture at each gate. And if you introduce something new too quickly, the horse is going to panic.
Here's another horse that got deathly afraid of long, straight things. OK. He'd be afraid of all of these things-- broom handles, canes, microphone stands, shovel handles-- especially when those things were vertical. OK. There's the animal being shown with a show stick, horizontal show stick. Now that's possible maybe that won't set it off. You see it's very specific but it can generalize. I mean when you think of all those straight things there, they're all long, straight things.
What I'm trying to do is to get you to think in another way. And if anybody is in here that works with kids or adults with autism, this is going to apply. Now some people on the autism spectrum are auditory thinkers, because they have problems in their visual system. When they go to read, the print jiggles on the paper. They hate driving at night. They hate fluorescent lights because they can see the flicker. And these people tend to be auditory thinkers, not language based so much but auditory, really tuned into sound.
Another horse was afraid of naked white saddle pants. Now when you put tack on top, you see you have a different picture. You put tack on top, then it was all right. Now these were just some pictures I found on the internet. But what I'm trying to do is to get you to think about these things in a sensory way.
And one of the things that's been learned about fear memories is very difficult to erase. We've got to work on preventing these problems. It's very important that an animal's new experiences, first experiences with new things be good. New horse trailer, the new barn, new shoot, whatever the thing is.
You also want to make sure that you take a young autistic kid into a new place like a new school, we don't just get blasted out with the sensory stuff. You gradually get them used to it. Because bad first experiences, you get a fear memory there, it gets really, really hard to get rid of. And fear memories have been mapped. Now scientists are working on some ways to disrupt them such as giving the animal beta blockers. The blood pressure medicine propranolol that tends to erase some of the aspects of the fear memory.
Now this just shows you. This is a chart I always like to show to show people just how bad rough handling of animals is. You got roughed cattle up there, really rough handling, you got a lot of stress. You got dairy cows down there with a lot less stress.
You see when an animal voluntarily does something, you have a whole lot less stress. When you force it, it gets scared. And the animals with the flighty, flighty, excitable temperament, they get more scared.
Now one of the things I constantly go around and around with wildlife people is they go oh we netted those deer for only five minutes. That can't be very scary. And I said, well what if somebody just like knocked you down, took your wallet. Maybe it took 30 seconds, but you're going to be pretty stressed out over it.
And here are the students training antelopes to cooperate with their blood sampling. Very flighty animal, we had to introduce each new thing very carefully like opening a sliding door. You move a sliding door only this much, and they orient. And that's all you do today. The next day, it's two inches. Very, very hyper specific in their thinking.
You know you train the animals to tolerate the big ice chest. You can't just assume that another big ice chest is going to be fine.
And we had some problems with scaring cattle out on the movie set. There's a scene in the movie where Claire Danes is sitting out on a lake looking at the little pond. And the cattle come down to the edge of a pond. And they wanted to get a publicity picture with me and Claire and that reddish brown heifer that was there. Well she was supposed to be a trained halter broke heifer, trained for show.
Well we go, I go down, I kneel down by this heifer. And I'm going get her to lick my face. And all of a sudden she was almost on top of me. And I turned around and a grip had moved a four by eight white reflector board just
[CHI] And I said don't move IT. And he moved again. And I said-- and then I'm not going to say what I said after that because it wasn't very nice.
But the thing is, they assumed that since the animal was trained to vehicles and everything, all the different trucks and everything, she'd be good with four by eight white panels. No way. We were really lucky she wasn't on top of me. You know that's just an example of the specificity of thinking.
What happened with the white panel, they just had it sitting on the ground. Four by eight panel and he just went
That's all he did. Little short, rapid movement. She just about lost it. So even though that was a tame animal, it hadn't been trained to the specific, big object. That was very, very different than trucks and cars. And they had some big white trucks that would have sort of looked like that panel.
Here are some principles for calm restraint for any animal when you take him to the veterinarian. Non slip flooring, I cannot emphasize that enough. Let's give the dog something to stand on that's non slip. I know lots of times veterinarians don't want to clean that. So I have the owner bring in a bath mat from home with a rubber backing that the puppy's familiar with. And then he's not going to be sliding around.
And animal's panic when they slip. Or you have a horse or something and he's going like this, just makes him panic, absolutely panic.
In my work with the slaughter plants. I'm going in there. And we put rubber mats in the chutes. And we're putting steel rods in them, because if the animals go in like this, it just makes them panic. It's amazing how you can stop a lot of that with a good non-slip floor.
And then there's some of these large kind of gawky kind of dogs that they get on certain types of floor surfaces, they can't walk. And they're saying what's wrong with the dog. I said it can't walk on it. Then you're punishing it for that? This is where you've got to figure out. I mean, I don't think that it can physically walk on it. And the thing is just a little bit of a difference in the finish on the floor is going to be the difference between that foot slipping and not slipping.
No jerky motion. Jerky motion like this scares. There's also an optimal pressure for holding an animal. Even holding a little animal. People tend to squish it too tight. You've got to sort of make it feel held and you've got to support it. Don't let it feel like it's off balance that makes an animal panicked. Fear of falling is a primal, primal fear. He thinks he's going to fall, he's going to get scared.
Animals definitely have emotions. We already talked about fear. And in the first chapter of Animals Make Us Human, Catherine Johnson and I talk about animal emotions. And let's just talk about some of the science here, because I've been accused of being anthropomorphic.
And I can tell you one part of Chapter 1 I really worked on a lot was the footnotes and the reference list. And I went back and I looked up the original papers, so when people say at chapter's a bunch of rubbish, I have got the original papers all the way back to the original experiments to show that yes they really do have emotions.
Let's just look at a few simple things. Prozac works on dogs. And the things that it works for are separation anxiety, fear, and obsessive compulsive disorder where they're chewing up their foot. The neurotransmitters in animal's brains are the same.
And in mammals, all the emotion circuits are located in the subcortex. It's the same in all mammals. The only difference is is that in us, it's filtered through this vast complicated cortex. So we can express it much more complexly than maybe a dog can.
Hear are the core emotional circuits. These are fully mapped. There's fear, that's what enables animals to survive in the wild. There's rage. There's separation anxiety. And separation anxiety and fear are separate, different emotional circuits.
You can actually breed quail. This is the research of [INAUDIBLE] over in France. And you can breed quail to be high fear low separation, or high separation and low fear, or vice versa. The natural wild bird is high fear and high separation. And they did a very clever way to measure separation anxiety. They made little moving sidewalk. And they'd measure how long the quail would walk on the moving sidewalk in the wrong direction to stay next to his buddies.
But now you've got to have the emotion of going out and doing stuff, attraction to novelty, seeking novelty. Because if you just had these negative emotions, well the animal would just stay under a bush and starve to death because it wouldn't go out and do anything. And there's actually a mechanism in the brain that's actually been discovered. It's called the nucleus accumbens. And it can flip back and forth between fear or seeking. It flips either one way or the other. And then, of course, you've got sex. You've got the mother-young nurturing behavior. That's the oxytocin system. And then you have play. This is talking about the nucleus accumbens, already discussed that.
Now if I go and I put a clipboard out in the middle of a pen of cattle, they'll come up to it. And Claire Danes did a really nice thing where she laid down in a pen of cattle. They came up to her. And whenever I get interviewed about that, I say you can try that. It must be done in a very large pen, so if something scares them, they can move away. And never do it with bulls. That might do that. No bulls.
But then, when they come up with to the clipboard, the wind blows the paper and then they run away. And I used to call it curiously afraid. And I'd go it's like a switch. Turns out that the switch now has been discovered.
Now when an animal orients like this, see how that deer orient? It's looking at the camera, but look at that other ear. The other ear's watching something else. It orients when it hears something. And then it makes a decision, do I seek or do I flee? Or do I keep watching? Which way do I go?
I had a very interesting experience, scary experience. I was minding my own business, coming home from the airport driving in the right hand lane on the freeway. And this idiot passes me with a little low trailer. And a big two by six, about this long, slides off that trailer and starts to come across the road like this. I locked onto it like radar. And it slowed down, like in slow motion. And I moved my car over. And I managed to straddle this board and avoid a really bad accident. I was totally calm.
And then the instant I had successfully avoided the accident, the nucleus accumbens flipped. And I now had a giant fear. My heart was pounding out. And every swear word which I will not repeat was coming out of my mouth, just screaming and heart pounding.
When you're troubleshooting a behavior, you've got to figure out what's motivating the animal. Is it fear? Is it separation anxiety? Is it anger? I get asked all the time, what would you think about Cesar Milan? And other there's certain dogs he's very good with-- the real aggressive dogs, pit bulls, rottweilers. But he's done some stuff with fear dogs I thought was terrible.
I was just reading in his magazine that I picked up in the supermarket. I didn't buy it. But I read this one article in the supermarket. And there's a dog afraid of thunderstorms. He says well you put it on a treadmill and make it run and run on a treadmill and blast it out with a sound effects record. I'm going uh-uh. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I don't think that's the way to handle that.
Should the vet be present when you're working on your animal? It's going to depend-- I mean not the vet be present, should the owner be present. Excuse me. Should the owner be present? It's going to depend upon how the dog perceives it. If he's scared, then the owner probably should be there.
If the dog thinks he's got to protect the owner against the vet, then maybe the owner should not be there. And ought to be 10 miles down the road. So if it's a pit bull belongs to the drug dealer, you want that owner 10 miles down the road. You don't want him in the waiting room, because the dog will know the car hasn't left.
What can we do to prevent abnormal behavior? We've got to work on preventing abnormal behavior, like a dog chewing up its paw or the leopard pacing. And a dog's chewing up its paw due to separation anxiety. Now there's genetic differences in how well animals tolerate separation anxiety. Some are a lot worse than others. Some can handle being home alone, and others can't.
I just talked to one lady. She's got three little pugs in her apartment and they seem to do just fine. And those are small dog so they can get plenty of exercise. OK. A single golden retriever or labrador alone in an apartment all day, very likely to have a chewed up foot. And he's going to eat everything in the apartment.
And then you might wonder why did he eat my favorite CD? The reason why he eats up the remote or your favorite shoe or your favorite CD is because that's the thing you touched the most. It's got your smell on it. You know he's not going to eat the CD you never play. He's going to eat the one that that's really got a whole lot of your scent on it.
And we got concerned about a lot of animal welfare things, with farm animals. I get concerned about some of these poor dogs that are home alone all day. And maybe they need to go over to their next door neighbor's house. And when I was a kid, all the dogs ran loose. No behavior problems. But we did have a lot of dogs killed by cars. That was the down side. OK.
What can we do about the leopard? We've got to give him something to do. The dog wants companionship. The leopard wants something to do. OK.
You might have a little gerbil and he's digging, digging, digging, digging, digging, digging. So you go, OK. Let's give him some more dirt to dig in. He doesn't want dirt. He wants cover. He wants something he can get underneath. Because he has an instinctual fear of aerial predators. Well you're not going to have any aerial predators in some kid's bedroom.
The chicken wants a private place to lay her nest. She wants to get behind a barrier and hide. Now you can measure how motivated is the chicken to get this thing that she wants. She'll stay off of feed for a day and a half, two days, just to get a private nest box. That's something she wants.
Dogs need lots of human companionship. We have bred the dog to be this hyper social animal. And they need lots of activities to turn on seeking. Things to do like chasing a frisbee.
Horses we need to be really careful when we're training them and teaching them new things not to get them scared. When you have a really high strung horse like an Arab, you can wreck that horse by introducing new things too quickly and doing it abusively. Also this is an animal that spends hours a day grazing.
So what do we do? We give it a concentrated feed it eats up in five minutes. So what does it do with its mouth? It chews your barn down. So maybe the thing to do is to feed it hay. The problem is we've got to work on preventing these abnormal behaviors because they're very, very difficult to stop once they get started.
And the polar bear, what does a polar bear do in nature? He walks. And he walks for miles and miles and miles and miles seeking. So we've got to give him something to do. And at the Central Park Zoo in New York, this is a Gus. And he was wearing a hole through the concrete where he was walking around.
And what they gave to Gus was a whole lot of barrels with different bouyancies. Some floated high in the water, some were almost sinking. They put all these barrels in this pool. It looks like a big kiddie playpen. It doesn't look very attractive, but boy, Gus loves it.
Animals reared alone can sometimes be really bad. Dogs reared alone, never been socialized with other dogs will, they'll fight other dogs in a really bad way.
It's very important that puppies be socialized toddlers. You know German shepherds and rottweilers, those big dogs, they've got to learn that this little kid that's a different picture is a person too. Because if you don't teach him what a toddler is that can be potentially dangerous when they grow up.
Dairy bulls have a really bad reputation for attacking people. And one of the reasons this happens is because they're reared-- lots of times they're reared alone away from their own kind. So they don't learn that they're cattle. And then when they grow up and the sex hormones kick in, they go I've got to prove I'm the man. And instead of going out and doing it with the other bulls, he attacks the dairy man. And then you've got a dead dairy man.
I'm very, very concerned that a lot of animals just simply are not getting enough socialization with their own kind. You've got to get dogs out there. Get them socialized with other dogs.
You know the problem is in some places, I don't know what it's like around here, but boy in Fort Collins, we have Draconian leash laws. You're not allowed to have your dog off your property of the leash, even if you're right there with it. I think that's crazy. I went over to London and you could have your dog out in the regular park off its leash.
Now in my work, Farm Animals, one of my biggest, biggest frustrations was I put in a really nice piece of equipment and about 20% of my clients would run it right. But, boy, I had about 25% of my clients where they'd regressed back in just the worst bad behavior. And it was just so frustrating. Build a nice system, have them tear it up and wreck it.
And the thing is they'd slip back into this bad behavior and they didn't even realize they were doing it. Screaming would come back gradually. Prodding of the animals would come back gradually. They'd slide into what I call bad becoming normal. You manage the things that you measure. And you've got to keep measuring it.
And so right now the biggest thing I've been working on is animal welfare audits done by large customers like McDonald's, Safeway, big food service companies like Cisco Systems, things like that. And training their food safety teams on doing animal welfare audits. But they do it using a numerical scoring system. It isn't just somebody coming in there and saying well I think you do it properly. What's do it properly mean?
We count. How many animals get poked with the electric prodder? How many animals are mooing and bellowing their heads off? How many animals are falling down during handling? I can measure that kind of stuff.
Now when you're making up auditing measurements, there's three kinds of ways you can make variables. I can have things like how many cattle are mooing and bellowing during a handling? I can count.
And to pass the McDonald's audit on the AMI, American Meat Institute auditing system, you're only allowed to have 3% of the cattle out of 100 mooing and bellowing. If more than that's mooing and bellowing during handling, you going to fail the audit.
It's an animal based outcome thing. Instead of telling them how to build the system, I'm going to tell them it's got to make certain scores. And these work just like traffic rules. They've worked extremely well. You can look at the entire system on my website, on grandin.com. Or you can look on the American Meat Institute website animalhandling.org.
Now you can also have bad practices you just ban. I worked with OIE, with the World Animal Organization for Animal Health on slaughter guidelines. I said there's some bad stuff, we've got to just ban. People poke out the eyes of cattle. You just got to ban that. Absolutely just got to ban that.
And then, the old way of doing guidelines is what's called an engineering variable. You're telling them exactly how to build stuff. I'm getting away from that. But you still need to have a few engineering variables maybe on some space requirements. OK.
Here is some really simple measurements for animal handling. How many fall? How many are squealing or mooing? How many are running? I want livestock handled in a walk and a trot. I don't want them running.
How many did you use the electric prodder on? How many run into stuff like fences and gates? I can measure that.
Here are just some other measures of horses and cattle getting scared. And if you have horses, and the eyes are bugging out and you see the whites of the eyes showing, your animal's getting scared. See the tail switching? Horses and cattle, their getting more and more upset. Quivering, heads held up high, looking around, nostrils a flaring out, he's getting excited.
And the thing as I can measure it. Lets say I change something, like I add a light on the entrance of a chute. A lot of animals don't like to go into dark places. So I found with the slaughter plants, I'd go in and tape a light on the entrance of a chute. It was amazing how it improved the handling.
Now I had the people trained, only use the electric prod on the pigs that balked. So I went 38% of the animals getting zapped down to 4%. All I did was put a light on a chute entrance. See what I want to try to get people to do is I want you to use behavior, not force. There's an example of a light.
Also I did things to eliminate reflections. And sometimes I moved lights. I put up solid barriers so they didn't see things moving.
And you could also have animals that are difficult to handle. One of my big concerns in animal welfare, both in dogs and in livestock, is what I call biological system overload. We push that cow to make milk. We push that pig to make more and more muscle, until we get a lame, weak animal. You know, that's a real problem. And I can measure this at the plant. Some of these animals that are difficult to move.
But you dog people don't get Off let's look at the bulldog-- smashed in face. He's all like this, he can barely walk. Well that's just gotten more and more extreme over the years. They didn't look that way 40 years ago.
Good guidelines. Now if you're writing guidelines, I don't care what you're writing guidelines for before, it could be for food safety. I could be for animal welfare. It could be a whole lot of different things. Student conduct, it could be a whole bunch of things.
What does proper mean? What does adequate mean? What does sufficient mean? I hate these vague guidelines. I've worked on training a lot of auditors. I don't know what they mean.
I want to pick out the really important things to measure, directly observable things. OK. Let's look at what a mess our educational system is in today. Well, people thought if we put the internet in all the schools, it would make it wonderful. Well it didn't. A lot of students have got lousy library skills. They don't even know how to use a search engine.
And you know what? Let's look at things they may be ought to be measuring. OK. Kids graduate from high school. How many stay out of trouble with the law? And how many of them get and keep good jobs where there's some advancement? OK. The either go to college or they get and keep jobs where there's advancement. That's your ultimate measure. That they come a productive citizen.
When I talk about measuring a critical control point, that's what I'm talking about. You figure out the relatively few import-- you figure out a few critical control points that measure a multitude of sins. And not just get off on endless paperwork. OK.
If I'm looking at farm animals, well I'll want to measure things like how many skinny dairy cows have I got? How many lame cows have I got? How many filthy, dirty animals? How many have got sores all of their legs? OK.
And go organically, got to make sure they don't have external parasites. And bald spots on cattle, no, that's not OK. So we're going to look at coat condition. If they're indoors, what's the ammonia levels in the building? And then if how much abnormal behavior's going on, especially destructive abnormal behavior, like tail biting. I can measure that.
Now the reason why lameness is a good outcome measure is, these is all the different things that can make a cow lame. All of these bad things here can make a cow lame. So if I go out in a dairy, and they've got 30% lame cows, I know I got a problem. You see that's why lameness is a critical control point.
What I want you to do is when you're trying to evaluate different things is you want to try to figure out what are the relatively few important things to measure? What I can tell you in animals, animal welfare lameness-- I don't care what species you have, lameness is important.
Well there's an example of some extreme right there. Notice that the fold on the nose is coming over the nose. I look at that, yeah, he's cute. But he's also deformed freakazoid. And if you go back and you look at old the sports pictures where bulldogs are the mascot-- and whenever I go to a school where bulldogs are the mascot, I like to find their old sports pictures. And he doesn't look like this bulldog.
I've just got some examples over there of some of the things that can push the biology too much on the farm animals. But you over select for single traits, you wreck your animal. And I don't care whether it's a dog or whether it's a pig or a cat.
This is just some of the problems you can get it like in dairy animals and pigs, breeding for just extreme meat production. We've got a lot of lameness. We've got to get that cleaned up. Dairy cows are getting really skinny.
Animals where they're over selected for single traits, they don't live very long. You can take two pretty blue eyed dogs and put them together and you've got deaf puppies. I don't think that's very pretty.
And what happened to those pig's ears? Well another pig ate them. See the problem is is when we breed pigs to be lean and grow rapidly, unfortunately, there was another trait linked to that fighting and excitability. Traits are linked in ways we don't expect.
Really pretty. You go over selecting for that, you're going to have a pile of neurological problems. Don't put two of those together.
We got a lot of-- now that's some really nice dairy cows there. I should get Cheryl to put a different picture in there. Those are all pretty dairy cows. But there are some dairy cows today that are only lasting for two years of milking. You spend two years raising a heifer. And then she's only good for two years milking.
Well this is because we just got in single mindedness on milk production. I don't know how they do their accounting. I don't understand how they can work from a financial standpoint.
Now they are just a few books. I always like to show a few books. Hey, I'm not supposed to be showing that this talk. And there's my website grandin.com. I've got lots and lots and lots of free information on grandin.com especially on how to measure things. And the thing is, some of the things I've talked to you tonight about measurement, I want you try to take some of these ideas and use them for other things. It might not even have anything to do with animals.
What I'd like to do right now is I think I want to open it up and I want to have a really, really good discussion. I'm going to use this mic. And Joe's going to take this mic around in the audience. Now, hopefully, this one's going to work.
SPEAKER 1: Hi. Is there an optimal method to give a cat a pill that won't upset the cat?
I currently just tuck him under my arm and I use a--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: What you want to try to do is to not-- if you've had a big disaster doing this, now he has a little fear memory here which isn't good. But if you haven't had a big disaster, you can kind of tuck him under your arm and chuck it down before he knows what's happened. With dogs, you can like put it with a piece of cheese. It works really well. A little cube of cheddar. Shove the pill in that. Works great with dogs, they snarf it right down.
But the thing is if you've a big fight with the animal, now he's fearful, sometimes if you take him to a different place and do it in a different way, see they can get out of that fear awhile and I'd make it kind of a different experience. Is it a medicine and maybe you could just mix it with his food?
SPEAKER 1: No.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: OK. Well some medicines are really, really bitter and they wouldn't eat the food if you did that.
SPEAKER 2: I take a dropper. And I mix it with tuna juice.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Oh. That's a good idea.
SPEAKER 2: I hold him until he's ready for it. And then [INAUDIBLE]
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Because you've mixed the medicine with tuna juice. That's a great idea. OK. Sounds like a wonderful idea.
I'm going to pick somebody if somebody doesn't have a question.
JOE REGENSTEIN: She really does pick people so be warned.
SPEAKER 3: Hi. I have a relatively young, saddlebred gelding who is on 20 acres of pasture but still finds the time to eat things he shouldn't.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Like the crib on the fences?
SPEAKER 3: He doesn't like do the wind sucking, he just chews-- fence posts, bike handlebars, bike seats.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Oh no.
SPEAKER 3: He got a hold of the tractor seat.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Oh no.
SPEAKER 3: We have a floating water heater in a bath tub. And he chewed through the electrical cord to the water heater.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well, is he still alive?
SPEAKER 3: He is still alive miraculously. But we're going to figure out how to break that habit of chewing things he shouldn't. And it's probably linked to seeking, but--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well I don't know. A thing on the water trough, chewing that. Now that you need just get it covered up so he can't get into that. And he's chewing some rather odd things. I mean most horses that are cribbers, they'll just go for the boards and put their mouth down on the boards. What do you-- he's got plenty of pasture. And he's got good pasture.
SPEAKER 3: Yeah.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: You see some of these things get to be bad habits. Because I've seen a horse where he had access to a beautiful 10 acre pasture with nice grass on it. And he'd just stay inside the barn. The crib and the door to the barn was open and he could go outside.
And the saddlebred was probably locked up in a stall in his previous life. And these things turn into kind of bad habits and addictions. And I hate to say it, we have tried to work on preventing some of these behaviors. You know it is kind of odd some of the stuff he's chewing-- bike seats.
SPEAKER 3: He's also chewed through lead ropes. If I'm riding him and we stop for too long, he'll nibble my feet.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: The other problem with some of these horses, I found with those Dutch Warmbloods is they're very large. And very large horse has to eat a lot. So they seem to be a lot more mouthy. Like the Holstein cow, in order to give out a lot of milk, she's got to eat a lot. And Holstein cattle actually have more chews per minute than beef cattle do. You know and I don't think anybody deliberately selected the Holstein cow for more chews, but in order to get that milk production, she's got to take in a lot of feed.
And you know, your horse is one of the larger horses. And you breed for big horses, I guess you're breeding for a big appetite. And some of these things can really be a problem. I mean bike seats? I want that-- I don't know, maybe you'd want to put some pepper sauce or something on the bike seat. And then he'd leave it alone.
I don't want to put something aversive on the water trough because I don't want to do anything to interfere with drinking. That needs to just be mechanically covered up in a way where he can't get into the wiring on the water trough. But something like bike seats, or the tractor seat, as far as I'm concerned, I never want him touching those ever again. I'd like him to stay away from those.
SPEAKER 3: We moved everything away, but he keeps seeming to find new things all the time.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well, does he have particular things he likes to chew? What about the grass?
SPEAKER 3: He was very skinny for a couple years. I got him and he was about 16 hands and 800 pounds.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Whoa that is skinny.
SPEAKER 3: And was feeding him about half of a five gallon bucket a day of sweet feed mixed with beet pulp mixed with like a supplement.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Now does he have plenty of just some dry grass hay?
SPEAKER 3: And lots of hay and all of that.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Lots hay. OK. That's good.
SPEAKER 3: By the time he was seven, which was two years later, he finally was a normal weight. And I was able to stop feeding him as much. But he was just--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: And now, is he now still chewing stuff now as much?
SPEAKER 3: Yep.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: He's still just as bad?
SPEAKER 3: Yep.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well what about if you just put some sacrifice boards up like a fake fence up, sacrifice boards that he can just chew. I know some people have done that. Something that could be real attractive for him to chew. And you just replace it periodically. You want to make sure he's not going to eat the splinters and get sick but--
SPEAKER 3: OK.
SPEAKER 4: Ms. Grandin, I had a question about small scale slaughter. There was a recent system that I saw in a movie, a documentary called Food, Inc. Where basically it showed a particular farmer from Polyface farm who had a very small slaughter area, where he basically had the cones about three--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: For chickens?
SPEAKER 4: For chickens, yes.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well that small scale thing with chickens that will work on a small scale. But it will not work when you scale it up.
SPEAKER 4: I was curious about the psychology behind having, for instance animals seeing or being able to see or smell or hear, I guess the slaughter of other animals. And whether it's different between different species.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well there's been some work done. Actually, there's a paper done. It was published in a journal called Animal Welfare on slaughtering pigs in front of other pigs. And they don't seem to get what's going on as long as things stay calm and low stress.
Now one thing I've found, anecdotally, is if the head is removed in front of other animals then, at least pigs and cattle, realize something is drastically wrong. I know of one scientist went and put a calf head out the middle of the pasture and that really weirded out the cattle. And at another place, a stuffed deer head made some cattle go berserk.
Then they realize something is totally, dreadfully wrong. You know now some people think we ought to just do all of slaughtering like those chickens. On a small scale, something like that can work.
But the problem is if you scale it up on any large size, you'd have the filthiest mess you can imagine. You'd have no way of cleaning that. You would just have a mess. And if you look at Michael Pollan's book Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan went and visited Joel Salatin, that's where that was being taking place. And he asked Joel, what do you think about the people in the cities? How are we're going to get enough chicken for them? And he kind of says, well, I don't like cities. Well that's not being very realistic. You see it's something that you can do on a small scale like that won't work on a large scale. You'd have a filthy, dirty public health disaster.
SPEAKER 4: So is there any proof that-- or any proof against the fact that animals I guess don't simply don't know what's going on? If like a larger animal, a smarter animal, like a cow or a pig were to see one of its own species--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: They don't seem to understand. Like you shoot an animal in front of another animal, they don't seem to really understand that. Now there is a stress, fear smell stuff that can come out. But that takes about 15 minutes to come out. You have to have something really bad happen like it flipped over backwards in the chute. He's stuck in there for 15 or 20 minutes, and then the other cattle aren't going to go near that where he has urinated and he's slobbered. I've seen that happen.
But I've seen a lot of animal shots from other animals. And they kind of don't understand what's happened as long as it's not dismembered in front of the other animal. Now I did see some video on a mobile slaughterhouse going out and the bison. And the first few animals they did were really good. But then they got to chasing them with a truck. And that was not so good.
You know the important thing is to keep things very, very calm. Because if animals get-- like if you poke cattle with a electric prod a whole bunch of times 5 minutes before they're slaughtered, they get very get tougher meat.
And pigs, if you go after them with electric prods and get them jammed in chutes, and get them squealing. Their lactate levels will go up and that gives you pale, soft meat. That last five minutes is very, very, very critical. You can wreck pork in that last five minutes.
Now what you did on the handling out on the farm, that doesn't-- you get bruises from that. But the lactate levels from the farm, that actually goes down and goes away. But the that last five minutes you want to be doing things very, very calmly.
SPEAKER 4: I have one more question. I saw your YouTube video about I think it was pneumatic stunners.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Yes.
SPEAKER 4: For cattle. And I was wondering if you could comment on the practice of ritual slaughterer where they don't use stunners at all, whether there is a way of knowing if pain levels are the same or whether they're enhanced. Because I know that in those circles there's a lot of claims. And I don't think they're based on any science where they say a quick reduction in blood to the brain reduces pain. And really, I haven't heard anyone scientifically come out and say anything for sure.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well, first of all, you've got to look at pain versus how long it stays conscious. OK. If you shoot an animal with the captive bolt stunner. It drives a pin this far into the head. That gun is well maintained. That will kill the animal instantly by shattering the brain.
Or you can use electric stunning where you pass a high amperage electric current through the brain. That will instantaneously cause an epileptic seizure, which makes the-- usually a pig or the lamb, that's what it's usually used on-- instantly insensible. And I have some videos up on YouTube that actually show that stuff. You can type in Temple Grandin cattle, Temple Grandin pigs.
Now you take on ritual slaughter, you've got two issues here. How you hold and restrain your animal and slaughter without stunning where unconsciousness is not instantaneous. And cattle take longer to lose consciousness than sheep and goats. Sheep and goats will lose consciousness probably three to four seconds after you cut them. Cattle, it's going to be 15 or 20 seconds because cattle have more arteries going up in the back of the neck.
Now is there pain during the cut? A lot of that's going to depend upon the kind of knife that's used. In kosher slaughter, well there's a special long knife that's used. Very sharp. Short knives dig in like this and that definitely causes pain. It will make, I've seen sheep struggle when they were cut with something like that.
But do they feel pain during the cut? When they use the special kosher knife correctly and you have the animal held in a restraining chute that holds it in a standing, comfortable position, they don't appear to react to the cut. Now there's some plants, because there's a Humane Slaughter Act exemption that hang live animals up by the ankle, and that's definitely stressful. You have to separate how you hold it from the cut.
Now there's been some new research done in New Zealand, where they used a nine inch long knife on a 400 pound calf and cut the throat. And using a new EEG method, say the calf feels pain. Now the problem is the way the cut was done was not well described. Because if you let the wound close back up, that's going to hurt. And if properly done kosher slaughter, that doesn't happen.
Also they used the machine sharpened knife, that might possibly have an effect. Now there are some-- see in Jewish slaughter, you've got a special long knife that's required. In a Muslim slaughter, they don't have as strict of requirements for the knives. And I've seen some very bad hallel slaughter. I was in some plants up in Canada. And they were trying to cut field calves with a knife that was like a butter knife. And that was just completely hideous.
You know the thing about ritual slaughter is to do it with an acceptable level of welfare requires a lot more attention to detail than stunning them. Stunning them, the most important thing is you've got to maintain your equipment.
When I did get a survey on that for the USDA back in 1997, the number one problem was they didn't maintain the stun gun. They just didn't take care of it. Now with all the auditing going on, plants are now measuring it on test stands. And they're doing it on documented maintenance. And that's gotten a lot better.
OK? Right here.
SPEAKER 5: [INAUDIBLE]
TEMPLE GRANDIN: With deaf animals.
SPEAKER 5: My aunt said she had a cat a couple of years ago. She had to teach him sign language.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well, yeah, a deaf animal, you're going to have to try to-- you could teach it visual commands. You know if it's totally stone deaf, then it's not to respond to sound. You're going to have to give it some other way to communicate.
SPEAKER 5: I've taught him five signs.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: You've taught him five signs? Well the thing is you lose one sense, other senses tend to get heightened. Like in a blind person, for example, I had a blind roommate when I was in college. And she's shown really nicely in the movie. And I live in a visual world. She will lives in a world of sound detail, and touch detail, and what she touches on the ground with a her cane. And it was just amazing.
Like when she would go to class, someone would have to just lead her around once to her classes. And then she knew the way by the sound and by the feeling of a her cane rubbing on the sidewalk. And she'd cross a busy intersection. I said, well, how do you know about the cars making the left turns? You know making the turns? And she says I just listen. And I'm going whoa. And she'd go out there, cross the big intersection just really confident.
SPEAKER 6: The question is just so I'm clear on this issue of animals and emotions. You're saying there's a scientific or a physiological basis for what you call these core emotions in all mammals?
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Yes
SPEAKER 6: Any other emotions that humans would say or ascribe to animals would you say they--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well let's not be vague and give me specific examples.
SPEAKER 6: Jealousy. Feelings hurt. Guilty. Shame. Embarrassment. I mean these are all human emotions.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: A thing about some of these things, you know sometimes guilty could also be fearful. You come back home after the dog's pooed in the house. And the dog's slinking around the front door when you get back home because he knows dog poo on the rug equals trouble.
I think some of these things are-- animals definitely have kind of a, I don't know if we call it jealousy, but you know if you handle the subordinate you're not giving the dominant one his due, he might attack the subordinate one.
The thing you have to look at is animal emotions are simpler. We have much, much more complicated cortex. So play is the simple form of joy.
SPEAKER 6: But in regards to you made the statement, all mammals, is there an equal intensity level of these emotions like a core or basic level of these core emotions in all mammals?
TEMPLE GRANDIN: You can take any mammal and you can breed it for low fear or high fear. And there's a standard test for that called a startle test where you put him out in a little arena. And you might have something like an umbrella suddenly open. How much does the heart rate go up? How much do the stress hormones go up? And how much does he run around in the open field arena?
So you can have a low fear animal that's very non-reactive. And you can have a high fear animal. You can breed them high fear or low fear. You can breed an animal to be high separation anxiety or low separation anxiety. There's a lot of range in there. Even like let's take dogs, for example. There's a lot of range between high fear and low fear. It's variable.
It's very variable in people. OK. Let's take post-traumatic stress syndrome in people. If you have 20 Iraqi veterans that all went through the same awful thing only two get PTSD, get post-traumatic stress. The others don't because some people react more, they get more scared when all the bad stuff happened than other people. And even in human beings, the intensity of emotions varies.
SPEAKER 6: And one other thing. Physiologically, as you go lower in the animal kingdom, say with birds, fish, reptiles, are there correll--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Fish and reptiles you're getting into Twilight Zone there. Birds, one thing, when it comes to intelligence, there's a lot of very, very interesting research done by Nicola Clayton, out at UC Davis, where the corvids, the crows, and the jays are very intelligent about knowing when another bird is watching them hide their stuff. And they wait until that other bird's not looking and then they hide the stuff. The bird emotions are less well studied.
But mammals, OK. The way the old experiments were done, you'd shove an electrode down into the rage center and the cat goes Whecck. That was in the '60s.
I studied that in the general psychology book in the '60s, except they called it sham rage or fake rage. It's not fake rage, you shoved an electrode in the fear center. And the cat went into a rage. You can also go into the amygdala of an animal. And if you destroy the amygdala, you can get rid of all the fear responses in an animal.
And when you stimulate, when epilepsy patients are being operated on, and you stimulate the amygdala, you get fear responses in people. That's very, very well studied in people. I mean, that's how the original experiments were done was you stuck an electrode down different parts of the brain and you could stimulate these core emotional systems.
And the research is all in the neuroscience literature. You know this is one of the big problems we have in science is that this literature hasn't gotten over into veterinarian literature much. When I've written papers, I've been forced to call fear behavior excitement and agitation. I was forced to do that by reviewers. And I've got some papers on temperament in cattle. And that's what I had to call it.
But if you look at the neuroscience, fear circuits, oh, there's hundreds of papers on fear circuits. Hundreds of them. Look up Joseph Ledoux, Joseph Ledoux, L-E-D-O-U-X. And I got a lot of-- you can look at the reference lists in Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation if you want to look up the literature.
SPEAKER 6: Thank you.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: But I'm not going to say that animal emotions are exactly like human emotions. And as you go down, a dog is more complex socially than a mouse. You get a bigger brain. But I'm not going to say a dog's a person. I mean, we've got a cortex that's 10 times bigger than a dog.
SPEAKER 7: Back on the farm, most animals raised for meat are raised in confinement now. Could you comment on the animal welfare issues surrounding the amount of space these animals need and the need for mobility?
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well beef cattle, regardless of whether they go to Tyson or go to Whole Foods, mama cows and the calves start-- the mama cows live out on pasture the whole time regardless of where the cattle end up. And the calves spend at least half their life on pasture and then go to feed yards.
Most of the pigs are indoors. There are lot more dairy cows are getting kept indoors full time. And you take something like a free stall dairy, you got to make sure it's really well managed, so you don't get leg lesions.
Then you get into controversial things like sow gestation stalls where the sow is spending most of her life where she can't turn around. And I did a little survey and I found that 2/3 of the public doesn't like that. And I did that survey on United Airlines.
And then I let United Airlines computer pick out a focus group participant to sit next to me. And then there were two other scientific studies done, very proper scientific surveys done, 2/3 don't like them. And Prop 2 in California passed by 2/3.
You know there was kind of an ethical barrier there where an animal isn't able to turn around. He wouldn't like that. I mean I talked to one guy he yells, well, I wouldn't put my hunting dogs in that thing.
SPEAKER 7: Well, intuitively, that seems obvious to a lot of people. Have you done-- are there physiological studies of stress in those types of animals--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well if you look at on the-- let's look at sow stall--
SPEAKER 7: Or cattle and feed lot in confinement.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well cattle and feed yards if done right and they're not a mud pit, cattle and feed yards can be done fine. Now I mean there's the concern about well, if they live their whole life on grain, they'd die. That's right. But you know what? Cattle love to eat grain. It's like feeding them cake, cookies, and ice cream. And they come running for it. No it's not a healthy diet, but they like eating it.
I don't think welfare would be the main reason for not feeding grain. There'd be other reasons for it. The only reason why grain is fed to cattle is it's dirt cheap. There's no other reason. And as long as grain is dirt cheap, it will get fed to livestock.
SPEAKER 8: The first of your arguments seem to be that animals are more like humans than we suspect. But when humans are doing nasty things to other humans, we often don't want those humans on the receiving end to be calm. Are there circumstances you can envisage where you wouldn't want animals to be calm when they're having nasty things done to them?
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Wait a minute. I don't understand. You're a little too abstract here for me.
SPEAKER 7: Think of the Nazi Holocaust. One of the horrible things about it was that the Nazis calmed down the humans they were about to kill. Your argument seems to be it's good to have calm animals when they're about to die. So you could make an argument, I was just wondering is that that always the case?
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Maybe you'll call me a specieist, but I think the Holocaust is the worst thing that people ever did. I got to thinking why is that the absolute worst thing that people ever did? And I thought about this as I walked through the Holocaust Museum. And when I saw the model of the gas chamber, 25 years of concrete and steel construction and knowledge went into my head of if I was forced to work on this, how could I sabotage this project? Big form blow outs. I'd mix up the concrete too much and weaken it.
And one of the reasons why it's the worst of the worst is because business people were involved, railroads, concrete companies, contractors, no other genocidal thing, were commercial business people involved in just killing human beings.
And I do make a difference. I will not use my knowledge to kill people. I got asked flat out by Don Broom well in England, he's an animal welfare specialist, why don't you fix the electric chair? This was about 10 years ago. And there had been a big screw up with the electric chair with smoke coming out of the guy's head and every thing.
I go, yeah, I know how to fix the electric chair. I know exactly what's wrong with it. I know how to fix it, but I don't cross that line. I don't have anything to do with that killing people.
I've been called a Nazi for designing slaughterhouses. People that are animal rights abolitionists have called me a Nazi. I thought well maybe I'm going to have to respond to this accusation that I'm a Nazi because I build slaughterhouses. And I did a lot of thinking about these things.
And there is a biological thing about animals, all animals, ourselves included, is that lions in certain situations, the male lion may eat the cubs so it will make the female come back into estrus. Well you may eat a few cubs, but lions don't eat lion for the majority of the calories. They're going to eat antelopes and impalas and things like that for the majority of their calories. Each species kinds of protects its own. Now you might call it racist. That's not racism, because racism is within a species.
But you can call me speciesist. I don't cross the line. And I feel very, very strongly that animals have to have a decent life. And after I design one of my big slaughter systems, I watched all these cattle-- this was back in 1990-- going through this chute. And I got to thinking the cows would have never have lived otherwise. But we've got to get a decent life. That I feel very strongly about. And there are some problems in certain intensive systems that need to be improved. It's just that simple. But I do make a line, I don't kill my own kind. Period.
SPEAKER 8: [INAUDIBLE] had conversations with people who become very upset and even sort of obsessed with the suffering of animals. And I'm thinking of the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer and also [INAUDIBLE] as another writer. So people who just become obsessed and make a life of thinking about the suffering of animals.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Yeah. I'm familiar with Bashevis Singer's writings. The author I'm not familiar with. And you know what I try to do is fix things out in the world in the practical way. I'm a very, very practical person. Some people just get very emotional, they just can't stand to look at it. And one of the things that we'll be working on slaughterhouses.
And I'm not going to call them some of the prettified term. I'll call them slaughterhouses. I'm getting more and more where I'm going to use that S word. I'm not going to call them murder factories. I'm not going to call them that. I'll call them slaughterhouses, slaughter plants. Oh my god, now I just lost my train of thought there.
SPEAKER 8: [INAUDIBLE] abolitionists or--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well the abolitionists, so most of them are going to have to agree to disagree because they're going to just call me a Nazi. Basically I am a reformer. I want to fix the industry not get rid of it.
And you know I notice that there's-- the other thing is being totally a vegan-- I'm not talking about vegetarian-- a vegan it's not very natural. You've got to take official vitamin supplements and stuff like that. One of the things that working on slaughter plants has done for me is make me think about my own mortality. I mean every day I think, well tomorrow I may get in a car accident or the plane could crash or I could get some meningitis and croak from that.
Then when I get old and die, or maybe get young and die, that have I done something that actually improved things? I do a lot of work with people with autism. You know the movie is going to show Dr. Carlock, he got his honorary doctorate in the movie. And he was a NASA space scientist.
And one of the things I get very choked up with because I found out that the movie actually had a real mercury space helmet on movie set. And Dr Carlock, David Strathairn got to hold that? Oh, Mr Carlock would have loved to have had that. So I get really choked up about that sort of stuff.
But doing something to make improvement. I don't think making the world vegan's going to work. Going to have to do some pretty artificial stuff. And the soybean isn't all-- you've got tons of hormones in it. And to take the hormones out of the soybean-- and since I've been here and been eating some vegan stuff, I'm getting a little soreness right here from the hormones. I'm very, very sensitive to it. To take those hormones out of the soybeans will require biotechnology. Probably won't be doable with plant breeding.
You know the thing is the way I look at things and working in the practical world, how could I make things better? OK. How did I end up in slaughterhouses? I failed the grad record exam in math. I couldn't get into vet school. I had to go into a field that had no barrier of entry where you can just start at the bottom and work up.
And that is the lady over there with the black. Maybe the battery died. And then I'll talk to people individually if they want to talk.
SPEAKER 9: This is a lighter tone. We have these two very nice dogs, but they like to eat their own poop.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Oh lovely, lovely, lovely. These dachshunds that our next door neighbors had used to eat her own poop and then she'd come and lick you. Yuck. Sometimes there is, I think there are some nutritional things with that. And I'm not an expert in nutrition. But I have heard there are some nutritional things on dogs eating their own poop.
SPEAKER 9: I them. They don't work.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: You tried them and they don't work. I'm not a big fan of a whole lot of aversives, but this might be something where they take a bite out of a turd, you just slap them because there's some things you just don't want them to do. And I want to do things positive, but sometimes there's things that I want this to absolutely stop and it's--
If you want to read a really, really, really gross description about dog's eating poop, you can get the book Merle's Door. And it's about a dog, a really wonderful dog that some hunters adopt. And when they're out hunting and canoeing. They had an old ammo box that they put their poop in so they wouldn't leave it at the camp ground. The dog ate the whole box. And then he jumped in their boat and started licking them. OK. Now I'm visualizing that right now.
SPEAKER 9: It sucks to be a visual thinker.
TEMPLE GRANDIN: I'm also smelling it now. Oh. Yuck. You know it's one of those animal boxes where you could really lock the lid down. They thought maybe that he couldn't get into it, but--
SPEAKER 10: [INAUDIBLE] and he followed the family as a licensed dietitian. And they are not on any supplements--
TEMPLE GRANDIN: Well you know a thing on the vegan thing. I think there's genetic difference. I've tried going on a vegan diet. I cannot do it. And I think there are genetic differences in the ability to tolerate a vegan diet.
Like, for example, in Asians, I think there's some extra genetic things so they can tolerate the high carb diet. I get all hypoglycemic and light headed. And I can't function unless I eat animal protein. In fact, I had an attack today because lunch came late. And I couldn't wait to get into two hard boiled eggs to--
SPEAKER 10: [INAUDIBLE]
TEMPLE GRANDIN: For some people, yes. For some people, I think can do it just fine, but I can tell you I'm not one of them.
SPEAKER 10: Thank you.
We've received your request
You will be notified by email when the transcript and captions are available. The process may take up to 5 business days. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this request.
Temple Grandin, an animal welfare expert and designer of livestock facilities, lectured at Kennedy Hall Feb. 24 during her last visit to campus as a Rhodes Class of '56 Professor.
Grandin, who has autism, has spent her career figuring out what frightens pigs and cattle.