Temple Grandin on Heritage Breed Conservation

Temple Grandin stands out as one of the most prominent figures in the fight for animal rights and welfare. Her work centers around the wellbeing of livestock from their birth to their death. She has consulted on the design of many slaughterhouses across the nation, including our partner Paradise Locker Meats.

“I believe that the best way to create good living conditions for any animal,” she wrote in Animals Make Us Human, “whether it’s a captive animal living in a zoo, a farm animal or a pet, is to base animal welfare programs on the core emotion systems in the brain. My theory is that the environment animals live in should activate their positive emotions as much as possible, and not activate their negative emotions any more than necessary. If we get the animal’s emotions right, we will have fewer problem behaviors.... All animals and people have the same core emotion systems in the brain.”

She is also a proponent of the heritage breed conservation movement, recognizing the importance of biodiversity in our food system. Her words echo those of another activist we greatly admire, David Attenborough. He says, "To restore stability to our planet, therefore, we must restore its biodiversity, the very thing we have removed. It is the only way out of this crisis that we ourselves have created." Like Grandin, he emphasizes a return to pre-industrial practices, embracing the diversity of the natural world.

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