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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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April 19, 2010

An Afternoon Spent with Temple Grandin

Yesterday, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting and spending part of the afternoon with Temple Grandin. This was definitely the highlight of 2010 for me, so far. If you haven’t heard of Temple Grandin, she is, in my eyes one of the most remarkable people I have met in my life.

Yesterday she was scheduled to give a speech in Pt. Reyes Station, CA to a group of 500 people. I was one of the lucky ones to get a ticket (thanks Hope). Prior to the speech, we were invited by our friends, John and Karen Taylor of Bivalve Organic Dairy in Pt. Reyes Station to come over for lunch to meet Temple Grandin! You see, the Taylors had invited Temple to come over to their home to relax, eat and have some ‘down time’ before her presentation and she graciously accepted the invitation.

Her flight landed in Sacramento at 10:30 a.m. and was picked up and driven over to the Taylor’s home right after, where she was greeted by our small group of 12.  Temple's diet normally consists of beef, dairy and vegetables.  The Taylors barbecued tri-tip, their Grandma's recipe of baked chicken, their other Grandma's recipe of delicious beans, salad, fruit and venison sausage.  Everything was SO good.

Thank you John & Karen!!

A little background on Temple:

Temple has a PhD in animal science and teaches at Colorado State University. Temple, 62, is also autistic and is one of the biggest advocates for the humane treatment of animals. She lectures at conferences across the country telling her life story and advocating early therapies for the disorder.  Her design of curved chute and race system livestock handling facilities are used all over the world and she is responsible for designing half of livestock handling facilities in the North America.

In an interview with Jill Owens – , Temple says:

“The biggest problem is that more and more students are coming out of urban environments, and they haven't done hands-on work. Right now, a lot of people who are interested in improving life for animals are becoming lawyers. So you can sue for everything, but it's easy that way to end up making a bigger mess. You have to have people who can apply policy. We're having a big problem in this country, not just on animal issues but on every issue, with policy makers getting further and further removed from what's happening on the ground.”

Temple definitely tells it like she sees it. Being a visual person in how she thinks, it’s amazing to me how clearly she perceives a situation or environment and elaborates on it with complete details, details that a person without the disorder does not see. I believe she sees her autism as a gift.

During our lunch, Temple spoke about many things. She told us all in all, the HBO movie about her life was very accurate. Though she did refer to one line in the movie where Claire Danes (who plays Temple) says “Nature is cruel” saying it should have been changed to “Nature is harsh” instead because "cruelty requires intent", but she hadn’t caught it soon enough to have it changed.

Temple also talked about the very real possibility of schools having to remove hands on classes such as art, music, p.e. and agriculture classes in the near future and how this would be such a travesty since art class is what “saved” her while she was in school.

The presentation was scheduled for 3p.m. so at about 2:50 p.m., off we drove to West Marin School, where the event took place.....

If you haven’t seen the HBO movie ‘Temple Grandin’, it’s a MUST SEE for your list. The many books she has authored are difficult to put down. Right now I am reading my first one titled ‘Animals in Translation’ and it is a must have if you have any pets or raise animals at all.

I had such a fabulous afternoon spending time with great company, great food, and a beautiful sunny day. If you are ever in Pt. Reyes Station, Karen's mother, Sharon and her husband have a winery on the ranch with wine tasting, open to the public...stop by and have a taste or three :)

Happy Monday!

P.S.  For our 'Eat Meat Monday' we are having Sirloin steaks tonight Pin It


Unknown said...

Hi Nancy,
Soooo very jealous that you got to dine with Temple Grandin! She is such a remarkable woman and seeing her speak was also a major highlight in my year!

Love your whole posting about Temple and lunch and everything in between!

Dana Gustafson said...

Wow! What an amazing opportunity! I recently watched the movie about Temple Grandin and I was so overwhelmed with her abiities and perception as they were portrayed in the movie. I have no doubt that Temple in person was something you will never forget. Thank you for sharing this.

TnTConnect said...

I had not hear of her, but I will defineately be looking for her information as she sounds truly incredible. Thank you for sharing.

Kelsey Stewart said...

Great!! I watched the movie a couple of months ago and I want to meet her also! I'm glad you got to though.... her story is a really great one! Thank you for sharing!

Elise said...

This is SUCH an awesome share, Nancy! I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE! I'm all teary and full of excitement - this is MY kind of story! {I have to confess I had not even heard of it!} THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the hot tip!