Food for Thought: She Speaks for Animals


Source: Chelsea Good, 303-829-4718,

Monday, Oct. 18, 2010

MANHATTAN — Temple Grandin, a world-renowned animal behaviorist and high-functioning autistic, will speak at Kansas State University at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union.

The lecture, which will cover Grandin’s personal and professional life, is free and open to the public. It also will be streamed live on the Web at

An HBO movie about Grandin recently won seven Emmy awards. Grandin didn’t talk until she was 3 1/2 years old. She was diagnosed with autism in 1950, and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. Instead, Grandin developed her ability to think in pictures and see situations through the perspective of animals into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer. She has now designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the United States.

Her first book, “Emergence: Labeled Autistic,” stunned the world. Until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence for achievement or productivity in life.

Grandin’s lecture is sponsored by Food for Thought, a grassroots group of K-State students who seek to bridge the gap between agriculture and consumers. The group includes undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students, as well as young alumni, and works under the guidance of faculty adviser Dan Thomson, the director of K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute. More information about Food For Thought is available at the group’s blog,, on Facebook or on Twitter at

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