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Grandin big at HBO and OSU

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One of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential Heroes of 2010” and the subject of an Emmy Award-winning HBO special, Temple Grandin, will lecture at the Fawcett Center tonight.

Grandin is an animal scientist and animal ethics activist as well as a professor of animal science at Colorado State, but her compassion isn’t aimed solely toward animals.

She was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and now advocates for awareness of the disease.

HBO produced a biographical film titled “Temple Grandin,” which was nominated for 15 awards and won five at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards.  

Grandin won’t be discussing the awards or raising awareness about autism during her visit to OSU, but she will be raising awareness about proper animal care and how animals feel and react to emotion.

Her ideas are based on her research, which she recorded in her books “Animals Make Us Human” and “Animals in Translation.”

Zaron Van Meter, founder of the Columbus organization SK9 Scottish Terrier Liberators, recruited Grandin to speak at OSU.

“We think if we’re going to get change, it’s going to have to go through education, and through education. Temple Grandin advocates for proper animal care,” Van Meter said.

The organization’s founder hopes Grandin’s visit will educate the audience but also motivate them to support “proper” living conditions in puppy mills and take a stand against unethical commercial breeding settings.

Commercial breeders raise dogs for individuals who are hearing-impaired, handicapped or have special needs. They also breed dogs for law enforcement agencies. Puppy mill breeders raise dogs to be house pets.

As both types of bred dogs interact closely with their owners, it’s important for the dogs to be raised in a non-aggressive atmosphere, Van Meter said.

“We put dogs in bed with our children, and it concerns me because we are risking our children’s health because most of these dogs are not healthy,” Van Meter said.

“The breeders bring them to dog auctions and sell them while they are unhealthy.”

Van Meter said Grandin’s main argument for animal advocacy is that while animals are here on earth, it’s important for them to be treated with respect and have humane living conditions. The attitdue interested Van Meter.

Grandin’s ideas have also attracted a campus service group, Buckeyes for Canines, which assists dog shelters and raises awareness about issues pertaining to canines.

“She’s talking about her idea of how animals perceive the world,” said Morgan Schunn, a third-year in strategic communication and treasurer of Buckeyes for Canines, “It will be interesting to hear her take on how animals think and feel.”

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