Here's what we love about Temple Grandin:
1) Tells it like it is
2) Meticulous researcher, in the field and in the lab
3) Totally into animals, especially livestock
4) Force for good
An expert on animal welfare, Grandin has worked for decades to improve the lot of livestock animals, consulting with farms and slaughterhouses to (vastly) improve conditions. One of her aims: decrease the anxiety of cows heading to slaughter.
Even more amazing? She has autism. And through her own autistic behavior she gleans unusual insight into animal behavior. Ever since she published her first book awhile ago, she's been coming more and more into the public eye, sharing her thoughts through scientific papers, lectures, TV appearances and books.
And she has a new one. It's called Animals Make Us Human, and it piggybacks on Animals in Translation, her excellent previous book, to give us ever more insight into the ways animals work—and how to create the best lives for the ones in our care.
Sample topics: Are pigs the smartest animals ever? (Answer: probably.) Which is better, one dog or two? Why does positive reinforcement work—and negative reinforcement fail? What she has to say is new and in some cases entirely revelatory, such as the news that wolves don't live in packs but families, and that dogs likely don't need an alpha so much as a parent.
We can't get enough of Grandin's quirky voice, endless curiosity, and gigantic smarts. Here's the book, and here's a fascinating interview with Grandin on Fresh Air.