Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Todays section H, when going over Grandin's articles, it seems like people get over-optimistic, especially when criticizing Grandin and her work.  While everyone will have differing opinions on the slaughter house industry, Grandin is working with what she is given.  It is frequently true that not one person can change an entire industry, as we have seen repeatedly throughout history, but we can't discount efforts to improve current conditions.
I heard criticisms of Grandin's work, which is trying to improve the last moments of a cows life before slaughter.  I don't think it's realistic to criticize Grandin because she contributes to the slaughter of animals or the like, because without her work the entire industry would be worse for cows.  While we can continue to strive for the reduction of the slaughter industry, or any other industry with major moral problems, we can't be so idealistic to only care about the abolition of the entire industry.  It takes gradual steps to improve overall conditions, many steps of which Grandin has taken.  We probably won't see the abolition of the slaughter industry in our lifetime.  Or maybe even our children's lifetime.  But we can take steps to improve it, and that should be our goal.



  1. I agree with you. I think Grandin has a good understanding of the fact that the meat industry will never be abolished and thus she has formed the ideology that we can reach a compromise with the meat industry. Thus she works with it to better the conditions of the animals, rather than working against the industry and attempting the impossible task of eradicating it. She accepts reality and works with its conditions.

  2. I agree that it's unrealistic to expect the abolition of the industry altogether right away, and that Grandin is helping by making the deaths of animals less painful as far as we can tell. However, what I have a problem with is her claim that dying in the slaughterhouse is better for the animals than how they would die if they were in the real world. Maybe it's true that they would die quicker if they lived in the wild on their own, but who's to decide whether or not living a stagnant life squished in a crowd of other cows and poop and dying later is better than eating grass rather than grain, being able to walk around and be outdoors but die sooner is better? I don't want to be a hypocrite and claim that the second option is more beneficial to cows without actually knowing how or what they think, but I know if it were me that's what I would prefer. Yes, Grandin is making the deaths of cows easier, but she has done nothing to improve their lives, even if they will still be living in a slaughterhouse.

  3. I agree that expecting one person to change a whole way of living (because the meat industry is a part of our culture now) is terribly unrealistic. The one thing that bothered me about Grandin's passages, were the fact that she claimed to be able to think more like an animal.
    Personally, I'd never claim to be able to think like a non-human animals, because I know I can never truly understand. While I do pride myself in my ability to empathize, that is something that I can't ever fully know what it must be like.
    Grandin claims that her autism gives the the gift of relating to animals more. But, how does she know that what she feels and thinks is like what an animal feels and thinks? Can she ever truly understand what the life of an animal must be like?
    I don't know, and I won't pretend to know what her mental process must be like. That's something else that I will not claim to have the knowledge of.