An expert on animal behavior, Temple Grandin has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the US, and consults with the meat industry to develop animal welfare guidelines. As PETA wrote when awarding her a 2004 Proggy: “Dr. Grandin's improvements to animal-handling systems found in slaughterhouses have decreased the amount of fear and pain that animals experience in their final hours, and she is widely considered the world's leading expert on the welfare of cattle and pigs.” In 2010, Time Magazine listed her as one of its most Important People of the Year. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Grandin’s books about her interior life as an autistic person have increased the world's understanding of the condition with personal immediacy -- and with import, as rates of autism diagnosis rise. She is revered by animal rights groups and members of autistic community, perhaps because in both regards she is a voice for those who are sometimes challenged to make themselves heard.