University of Vermont

Temple Grandin to Speak at UVM Nov. 13

Dr. Temple Grandin. (Photo: Rosalie Winard)

Acclaimed animal welfare expert and advocate Dr. Temple Grandin will speak at UVM Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 11:30 a.m. in Ira Allen Chapel. Her lecture, free and open to the public, will focus on understanding animal behavior and humane livestock farming.

In 2010, Time magazine named Temple Grandin “one of the 100 most influential people in the world.”

Born with autism, Grandin realized at a young age that her autism helped her connect with and understand animals on a sensory perception level. She later developed her talents into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer, and worked to transform the $70 billion cattle industry. Now, half of the United States cattle population occupies facilities of her design. Grandin also consults on humane agriculture for firms such as Burger King, McDonald's, Swift and others. She has also applied her knowledge to helping people create the best life for companion animals.

She has been featured on National Public Radio; major television programs, such as ABC's Primetime Live, The Today Show, Larry King Live, 48 Hours and 20/20; and has been written about in many national publications, such as Time magazine, People magazine, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, and the New York Times. Among numerous other recognitions by media, Bravo Cable created a half-hour show on her life, and she was featured in the best-selling book, Anthropologist from Mars. Perhaps most notably, HBO Films produced the award-winning movie Temple Grandin in 2010, starring Claire Danes (who won a Golden Globe for her performance) as Temple Grandin. 

Grandin famously wrote Animals in Translation, Thinking in Pictures, and most recently, Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals, among other books. She presently works as a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

Her visit to Vermont, hosted by the Humane Society of Chittenden County, includes two other Nov. 13 events. A second free lecture, “Autsim and My Sensory Based World,” will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Essex Cinemas, in the T-Rex Theater. Doors open at 1:30. From 6 to 10 p.m., the Humane Society will host a fundraising dinner at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms. Attendees will have the opportunity to dine and mingle with Grandin, and will be treated to a presentation on how to create the best life for companion animals. Humanely-raised food served by Let’s Pretend Catering. Tickets, available now, are $100 each. Contact Megan at (802) 862-0135 x 15 or to purchase.

Grandin’s major titles will be available for sale at each of the events through Phoenix Books, and she will sign books immediately following her presentations.

The Ira Allen lecture is presented in collaboration with the UVM Department of Animal Science and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.