Ep 38: Dr Temple Grandin
My guest today is a genuine global superstar in the world of animal health, Dr Temple Grandin. The word ‘legend’ is often overused, but when you’re talking about one of the most respected animal behaviourists in the world – and the most famous person with autism – the word feels pretty accurate. Labelled unfairly as mentally 'retarded' because she didn’t talk until she was three and a half years old, Dr Grandin rose to become a prominent author, speaker and consultant on autism, animal behaviour and livestock handling equipment. She is also a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. But her journey to the top was not easy as she was teased and bullied in high school and workplace for being the “weird, nerd girl”. It was thanks to her science teacher Mr Carlock, who recognised her potential, that she became a scientist and went on to design the revolutionary livestock facilities that are now used by half the cattle production units in the United States. Dr Grandin’s unique talent is her ability to think and see like an animal, because she sees in pictures, rather than words. The late Oliver Sacks, physician, best-selling author, and professor of neurology, described her first book, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, as “unprecedented, because there had never before been an inside narrative of autism”. Dr Grandin went on to write in excess of 15 other books, has a TED talk with over five million views and is the subject of an Emmy-winning movie made about her life. Now, just before we jump into the episode, I just wanted to drop a quick word from today's show sponsor which is the VetX:Thrive community. If you are a young vet looking to find your feet in vet med, grow your confidence, avoid burnout and beat you inner imposter, then VetX:Thrive is for you. As a community member you’ll have access to RACE accredited training modules, monthly meetings with experienced mentors, incredible toolkits and a supportive online community to help you thrive in your career. Membership of VetX:Thrive is available for just $25/month and if you use the promocode ‘podcast' then you will receive a further 10% discount. Head to www.vetxthrive.com to redeem this offer and take control of your career. Now, back to the show. It was both an honour to sit with Dr Grandin, and find out more about the way her incredible brain works. What seems so obvious to her has revolutionised the way we handle livestock. It’s arguable that her insight has improved the lives of more animals than just about anyone else on the planet. Though this is a shorter episode than others, it is packed with insight that I know you will enjoy and find valuable. So, sit back and enjoy this, my conversation with the esteemed Dr Temple Grandin.