A View On Animal Welfare Based On Neurological Complexity

893 words - 4 pages

My younger brother is autistic. He is a brilliant individual and knows exactly what he is talking about when he is arguing something. The problem, however, comes when someone asks him to explain his reasoning. His autism prevents him from making abstract thoughts, so his explanations are often times very vague and subjective. My favorite thing about him, though, is that he is the very first person to acknowledge and admit that he is autistic and has (to a certain extent) a cognitive disability. He is not the only autistic individual. However, that is not afraid to admit to their complex disorder.

Many people, including Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University and author of "Animals Are Not Things: A View on Animal Welfare Based on Neurological Complexity", do the same. In her essaywhich is directly related to its titleGrandin starts right off the bat by saying, "Since I am autistic, I do not understand purely abstract concepts that are based only in language." This is a very enticing introduction as it prepares the reader for any possible ambiguities within the work as a whole or its individual parts. Throughout her essay, Grandin introduces new points in her paragraphs but does not elaborate on them and actually admits that they are subjective. She makes arguments with words that are purely opinion-based as well, and she makes several valid points when it comes to morals/ethicsthey make sense, and they cause the reader to thinkbut they don't have enough qualitative evidence to support them. How can we reconcile Grandin's plain and subjective arguments throughout the text? Some may suggest that it has a lot to do with her autism, and some may say that her claims are simply poor. Taking a close look at bits and parts of Grandin's essay may help come to a reasonable conclusion, although it is impossible to know for sure.

As an "acclaimed author, speaker, and activist of animal welfare and autism," Grandin compares mentally retarded children to cows and states that both have the same cognitive abilities but that one can sell or kill a cow whereas they can't do the same with the mentally retarded child. "The child is our own species and we protect our own species. Even lions don't usually dine on lion for dinner," she says. This is a true statement which is followed by her saying, "A further discussion of arguments for or against specism is beyond the scope of this article. However, biologically I think there is an instinct to protect one's own kind." In this paragraph, Grandin introduces her viewpoint on certain species of animals protecting their own but doesn't explain herself, elabora...

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