Lost in translation
DOI link for Lost in translation
Lost in translation book
Temple Grandin claims that her autism allows her to think like animals and, therefore, understand them in a way that neurotypical people cannot. Based on this belief, she advises multiple animal farms on what she believes the “best practices” for these farms would entail in terms of helping the animals. Furthermore, she claims that once these farms have implemented these practices, purchasing their meat represents a humane and ethical choice. In contrast, we argue that Grandin’s arguments enact a double-violence against both animals and autistic people. In the first place, Grandin obscures the violence against farmed animals since she informs the reader that the animals are, now, happy on even so-called “factory farms.” And, in the second place, in our current anthropocentric world, Grandin perpetuates devaluing stereotypes concerning non-neurotypical people who are rendered as “exotic” and “magical” in their ability to “understand” animals since they (and, supposedly, they alone) think as nonhuman animals do. However, we argue, neither other autistic people nor farmed animals need Grandin to “translate” for them at all.