Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sentient Beings: The HBO film "Temple Grandin" about Prof. Grandin's autistic life was truly amazing. One who is different in other ways can relate. I thought it profound, emotionally moving and it reminded me of the Russell Crowe film "A Beautiful Mind." It makes one, I think, appreciate how difficult it is for one who does not conform to the "normal" world to be taken seriously and treated humanely. It is a tribute to Prof. Grandin that she rose above her limitations and, actually took advantage of the gifts her difference bestowed. It led her to design humane ways to treat cattle destined for slaughter.

I, personally, am uncomfortable eating animal flesh to live and try to be as vegetarian as possible. I eat no red meat although a few times I will allow myself chicken and fish. I have become increasingly, in my adult years, cognizant of the sentient beings we send to slaughter. As a matter of fact it was the slaughter scenes in the film that I could not watch.

It is true, as Prof. Grandlin says, nature is, indeed, cruel but humans with our singular intellect can choose a different course. I believe our health would SIGNIFICANTLY improve if human beings rejected animal protein and chose other nutritional methods to obtain it. This country in particular, unfortunately, has an extreme affinity for meat. I believe one is what one eats and the incidence of the epidemic of diabetes, unhealthful eating and lack of exercise, in general, accounts for, in part, our national health care crisis.

I salute Prof. Grandin's attempt at making the slaughter process as humane as possible. The ultimate humanity for me would be if our nation swore off meat altogether. I am not unmindful of the fact that will probably never happen.

It was an excellent and emotional film as I thought it welded two concepts of treating humanity -- all humanity -- and the animals with which we share this planet as humanely as possible while accentuating the things one CAN do as opposed to the things one cannot. I highly recommend this movie.

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