Ten years ago, Oliver Sacks wrote a profile for The New Yorker about an extraordinary woman whose triumph over her developmental disorder was profound but who still felt completely alienated from human emotion and interaction. With people, she said, she is a self proclaimed "anthropologist on Mars," a phrase Sacks adopted for the title of his bestselling collection. Among animals, however, she is completely at home.
Besides being autistic, Temple Grandin earned her Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois; went on to become an associate professor at Colorado State University; and wrote two books on autism, including the seminal Thinking in Pictures. When Dustin Hoffman went to research his role in Rain Man, Temple was the person he contacted.
One of the most celebrated and effective animal advocates on the planet, Grandin revolutionized animal movement systems and spearheaded reform of the quality of life and humaneness of death for the cows, pigs, and chickens that Americans eat. Through Grandin Livestock Systems, she works with the country's fast food purveyors-McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendys, and Burger Kingm to monitor the conditions of animal facilities worldwide.
Temple Grandin is a towering figure for our times. She has devoted the last 30 years to studying animals and making their lives better, has been profiled everywhere everywhere from 48 Hours to The New York Times, is a sought-after speaker on autism and animal rights, and is considered one of the world's leading academic theoreticians in her field.
Temple Grandin has redefined society's perception of what is possible for autistics.
Unlike other well-known writers in the field of animal behavior -- When Elephants Weep by psychoanalyst Jeffrey Moussaleff Masson, How Dogs Think by psychologist and dog trainer Stanley Coren, and The Hidden Life of Dogs by anthropologist Elizabeth Marsha Thomas -- Temple Grandin is an animal scientist who has devoted the last 30 years of her life to the study of animals. Animals in Translation is the culmination of that life's work -- a book whose sweep is huge, including just about anything that gallops, trots, slithers, walks, or flies.
Temple Grandin is like no other author on the subject of animals because of her training and because of her autism; understanding animals is in her blood and her bones.
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