While I was terrified of dogs as a child, basically never had pets, didn’t grow up on a farm, and thus haven’t spent a lot of time directly interacting with animals, I’ve always enjoyed learning about them. That is part of why I loved a book that I read recently, Animals in Translation. If you aren’t familiar with Temple Grandin, the author of the book, this is a great way to start learning about her important work. Her accomplishments are staggering – it is safe to say that by restructuring the physical environments in which livestock animals live and die, she has done more to improve the safety and well-being of domesticated animals in America than any other individual.
Temple Grandin’s success is possible because of her autism, not in spite of it. As a person whose sensory experience of the world differs from most humans, she is able to see things from a perspective that she says is like that of non-human animals in many ways. By translating that perspective into action, she has earned her fame. And by translating her first-person experiences and expert knowledge into a highly engaging book, Temple Grandin gives all of us incredibly valuable insight into the inner lives of both people on the autism spectrum and non-human animals of various kinds.