Most people think in words. Animals think in pictures. I think in pictures, so it was obvious to me to look at what an animal sees [on its way to slaughter]. In the 1970s, that was radical stuff.
Claire Danes did a great, great job portraying me. The movie [2010’s Temple Grandin] showed my visual thinking very accurately. It was like going back in a time machine.
I was mistaken to believe I could fix everything in the livestock industry. I’ve taught corporations how to do animal- welfare audits that target bad equipment. Unfortunately, fixing bad equipment doesn’t fix bad management.
We should not be wasting food. Pink slime, or finely textured beef, is not a high-end product. But throwing it out is like tossing a whole truckload of cattle into the garbage every day. The product just needs to be labeled properly.
Big companies are going to eliminate antibiotics use, because consumers are demanding it. I have a saying: “Heat softens steel, and then I can bend it into pretty grillwork. Cold steel, you cannot bend.”
I consider being well-known a responsibility. Kids look up to me. I want to see the geeky, different ones – labeled autistic or dyslexic or ADHD – become successful. Agriculture can be an ideal field for these kids.