Puts herself in their place

Source: groenkennisnet.nl
A prominent animal scientist makes use of her own 'handicap' in order to improve animal welfare. Temple Grandin has autism, and this helps her put herself in the place of animals - especially cows.
As a teenager, Grandin had observed cows and concluded that, because of her autism, she and these animals had much in common. She maintains that her hypersensitivity to stimuli makes her experience the world like a prey animal. Since her youth, she has made use of her experiences to examine animal behaviour. She tries to persuade owners to improve the welfare of their animals by making a few simple changes.

Grandin explains that a prey animal’s most important emotion is fear. She herself is curious, just like a cow, but if she’s not careful, any unexpected noise or sudden movement can cause her to panic. She sees how many cattle owners misinterpret the behaviour of their animals because they can’t imagine that each new situation, threatening or not, involves a rush of adrenaline. Simple examples include the snapping of a flag near a stable door, sounds from the road, and people in the stable behaving in ways that can lead to a panic response and problem behaviour in the animals.

Training programmes developed for owners of cattle, poultry and pigs may also be of interest to those who keep animals as a hobby. More information is available via the link.
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