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February 18, 2005 12:10 AM   Subscribe

Temple Gradin is someone who has affected the way you eat meat.Temple Gradin is credited for building half of all slaughterhouses in the United States alone. She also has Auspergers Syndrome. Her work has been always for the humane treatment of food animals, and some vegans have been claimed as saying if all food animals were treated as well as Dr. Grandin wants them to be, they would eat meat and milk again. Resume, PETA commendation here.
posted by Dean Keaton (30 comments total)

 
I was waiting for a long time for someone to bring out the serious discussions & description of slaughterhouse methods. Bring it on. Thank you, Keaton
posted by growabrain at 12:31 AM on February 18, 2005


Most if not all of this is covered in at least one previous thread. Though a quick Google search reveals she comes up on MeFi a lot.

Oh: her name is "Grandin" not "Gradin", and she most certainly did not build half the slaughterhouses in the US.
Especially alone :)
posted by freebird at 12:41 AM on February 18, 2005


And why the hell do you have "bush" as a tag for this post?

OK, sorry.
I go to bed now and shut up the Inner Curmudgeon.
posted by freebird at 12:44 AM on February 18, 2005


As long as this thread's gonna be deleted, freebird: double quotes for word grouping in Google, not single.
posted by abcde at 1:29 AM on February 18, 2005


A friend of mine ordered a piece of Wagyu beef from Allen Brothers. According to the catalog they are fed something called a "liquor mash". I am jealous of these cows.

It reminds me of how I felt about the lobster battle on Iron Chef. At least Iron Chef Japan had the common decency to dunk the lobsters in a barrel of sake to get 'em loaded prior to cooking them.

Oh, and for those curious, my friend tells me they are, by far, the best steaks he's ever had. He cooked them according to the method put forth by Alton Brown on the Good Eats "Raising the Steaks" episode.

I'm sure this, in some way, relates to the parent post. I'm of the thought that Wagyu cows are treated better than your standard USDA Choice cows. That's the best I've got at relating an anecdote to this article.
posted by Swervo at 1:57 AM on February 18, 2005 [1 favorite]


Spellcheck Asperger's! Got a friend with it who would be most distraught.
posted by Paragon at 2:35 AM on February 18, 2005


Temple Grandin was also featured in Dr. Oliver Sacks' book An Anthropologist on Mars.
posted by matildaben at 8:17 AM on February 18, 2005


A PETA commendation? Not exactly a badge of honor.
posted by darukaru at 8:36 AM on February 18, 2005


Wow, is my face red! I'll look into that newfangled spellchecker next time, ladies and gentlemen.
posted by Dean Keaton at 8:47 AM on February 18, 2005


some vegans have been claimed as saying if all food animals were treated as well as Dr. Grandin wants them to be, they would eat meat and milk again.

That's funny, 'cause I know a lot of vegans, and they would never say something as idiotic as this. What's your source on this statement about "some vegans" that you've placed on the front page of MeFi? Hope it's not this, 'cause there ain't no source given there, either.
posted by soyjoy at 8:51 AM on February 18, 2005


Indeed.

The basic definition of vegan is based on not exploiting animals. Torturing them is pretty bad. So is depriving them of their lives.

Therefore, I'd submit that anyone saying if food animals were treated as well as Dr. Grandin wanted them to be, they'd eat and drink milk again is not actually a vegan.
posted by Vulpyne at 9:17 AM on February 18, 2005


i removed that line from wikipedia, as it was uncited, irrelevant, and opinion, all of which are discouraged on wikipedia. so soyjoy's wikipedia link doesn't make any sense now, unless you look at the history. of course, you take that risk whenever linking to wikipedia.
posted by scottreynen at 9:31 AM on February 18, 2005


Here are some audio interviews with Temple Grandin:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4278538

http://wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/01252005

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1142532
posted by gleenyc at 9:45 AM on February 18, 2005


Therefore, I'd submit that anyone saying if food animals were treated as well as Dr. Grandin wanted them to be, they'd eat and drink milk again is not actually a vegan.

Funny, my understanding was that a vegan was "a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products". People become vegans for different reasons -- religous, medical, moral, social. To say that "the basic definition of vegan is based on not exploiting animals" is to add a political motivation to the reasons someone might follow a vegan diet that may or may not actually be true. Assumptions like these are also, for what its worth, the reason many of us cringe when engaged in a conversation about veganism.

Dr. Temple Grandin believes that if we're going to eat meat (and we are) that the animals should be slaughtered in as humane and stress free a way as possible. I have personally known several people who followed either a vegan or vegetarian diet who went back to eating meat and dairy when a local alternative to warehouse farming became available.

Dean, this is an interesting post. I'm sorry you had to be subjected to the slings and nitpicks that make up the bulk of the comments in this conversation. Thanks for putting this together. Dr. Grandin is a facinating person, and I'm glad to be able to learn a bit about her that I didn't know before.
posted by anastasiav at 9:57 AM on February 18, 2005


I've always found Temple Grandin's hug machine particularly clever.
posted by killdevil at 11:02 AM on February 18, 2005


Uh, we've already established that it's a double post, distinguished from the previous one mainly by the addition of inaccurate, unsourced information (and, ahem, the misspelling of the subject's name), so the "slings and nitpicks" are certainly well-earned.

On the other issue, saying that "the basic definition of vegan is based on not exploiting animals" does not "add a political motivation" to veganism - rather, it underscores the ethical or philosophical motivation which is what makes veganism veganism. Someone may be following a vegan diet for other reasons, but being a vegan is an ethical/philosophical stance that is mutually exclusive with raising animals for food (note that this is different from the way "vegetarian" is defined, which rightfully describes only the eating pattern). I wouldn't go so far as to say no one could possibly say such a thing and be a vegan - but I would say, show me that person or people and let's hear if they really meant to say that.
posted by soyjoy at 11:07 AM on February 18, 2005


As noted in a previous discussion, Grandin is the author of several books on autism and Asperger's syndrome including this new one specifically about her work with animals. (Both links lead to Amazon, with apologies.)
posted by CMichaelCook at 11:40 AM on February 18, 2005


...rather, it underscores the ethical or philosophical motivation which is what makes veganism veganism...

soyjoy, you're confusing possible reasons for being a vegan with the necessary and sufficient conditions for being a vegan. Someone who consumes no animal products is a vegan, regardless of her motivation.
posted by bricoleur at 2:16 PM on February 18, 2005




Honey, silk, milk... I'm friendly to vegan beliefs, but how come yeast never seem to make the list?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:21 PM on February 18, 2005


...By Definition...

No disrespect, Vulpyne, but have you looked "vegan" up in the dictionary? Or tried a little quick research?

If you're a vegan for philosophical reasons, I can understand why you would want to re-define the term—or re-re-define it, as the case may be—but the commonly accepted meaning is "one who consumes no animal products." If you are going to use it differently, I won't object, as long as you (a) tell me up front that your use differs from common use, and (b) don't try to tell me that your own idiosyncratic definition is the definition.
posted by bricoleur at 3:53 PM on February 18, 2005


Wow, that one goes into the record books for ill-considered comments.

Look everybody, bricoleur knows more about the actual definition of "vegan" than the man who invented the word. That takes some chutzpah. Or something.
posted by soyjoy at 9:15 PM on February 18, 2005


Get off your high horse. Being a vegan is to choose not to consume meat or animal by-products and anything more is a personal philosophy.
posted by Dean Keaton at 10:27 PM on February 18, 2005


soyjoy, that's just silly. Inventing a word gives you no control over its meaning. I, for instance, was in my (long past) Magic: The Gathering days the first to suggest (and you can confirm this by searching usenet) a particular term for a certain category of cards. If that term has been extended since I coined it, and no doubt it has, I am in no position to try to reassert my original definition on the community.

Usage does have greater authority than the historical and artificial circumstances of the origination of a term. And with respect to common usage, your definition is simply wrong.
posted by rustcellar at 12:16 AM on February 19, 2005


It's not a high horse. I'm just roughly going by the definition of the man who coined the term, and incidently pretty much every other vegan I know.

I've known some vegans with a somewhat different take, but they've always been for taking it further. For example, a few people I know believe that you must be an activist to be considered vegan.

On preview:
rustcellar, the majority of people don't even know what a vegan is, so I can't have a lot of confidence in the accuracy of their redefining a word.
posted by Vulpyne at 12:20 AM on February 19, 2005


Interesting post, interesting lady.

This etymological derail reminds me of a rant I read recently about the misuse of the word "irony", which boiled down to "just because most people use the word incorrectly doesn't make them right".

(Cue the Princess Bride "I-do-not-think-that-word-means-what-you-think-it means" quotes.)
posted by Enron Hubbard at 3:53 AM on February 19, 2005


Mr Wiggin: Good morning, gentlemen. This is a twelwe-storey block combining classical neo-Georgian features with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants arrive in the entrance hall here, and are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort and past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps into these...

First City Gent: Excuse me....

Mr Wiggin: Hm?

First City Gent: Did you say knives?

Mr Wiggin: Rotating knives, yes.

Second City Gent: Are you proposing to slaughter our tenants?

Mr Wiggin: Does that not fit in with your plans?

etc etc...
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:29 AM on February 19, 2005


One thing that troubles me: is Temple Grandin autistic sensu stricto or a sufferer from Asperger's Syndrome? Obviously, it's a spectrum, but if it's the latter, I have a slight feeling that TG has been massively hyped. The description "autistic" gives a general impression of someone being like Rain Man but miraculously overcoming it to have a high-profile career. "Asperger's": we might just be in the area of brilliant but deeply geeky with autistic characteristics.
posted by raygirvan at 5:30 PM on February 19, 2005


Hearsay: TG herself opines that she is autistic. She was a very late talker, and typically AS kids talk on schedule.
posted by bricoleur at 4:47 AM on February 20, 2005


Get off your high horse. Being a vegan is to choose not to consume meat or animal by-products and anything more is a personal philosophy.

Oh really? What's your source on that - the same one you used to declare that "vegans" said they'd renounce veganism if "Gradin" had her way with all slaughterhouses? It's pretty sad that you didn't apologize for - or even acknowledge - that bit of inflammatory fiction, but it's become hilarious now, with people who aren't vegans telling people such as myself and Donald Watson that we don't understand what a vegan is - and especially using unimpeachable sources like Google "define:" and usenet game-playing groups to seal the deal.

So all in all, this inaccurate, offensive, slapdash retread of oft-discussed material has at least, this time, resulted in some good comedy.
posted by soyjoy at 9:09 AM on February 20, 2005


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