Tuesday, June 26, 2012

haters gonna hate

"What truly horrifies me is that so many find this book wonderful, and insightful, and think by reading it that they are closer to understanding the animals in their lives and in the world around them. I can't help but wonder if they are blinded by the author's name....writing about a field that she so obviously knows very little about, she has ventured far outside her sphere of knowledge and experience; and threatens to take gullible and unsuspecting readers with her as well."

"She says she loves animals...but fully upholds the human right to own, control, manipulate, mutilate, buy, sell, inseminate, incarcerate, and slaughter animals..."

"I cannot recommend this book to anyone -- although it contains some interesting facts about handling livestock, in other areas it has too many un-scientific personal assumptions, which could in my opinion, cause more harm to innocent beings, the animals."

"Her outlook is sadly insulting to anyone who truly loves animals, and who shows that love daily by doing the least harm possible, including not forcing them to die for us."

"...disingenuous and unfair."

-Amazon reviews of Temple Grandin

Haters gonna hate. There's nothing for it. You'll find just as angry reviews on Joel Salatin, Jon Katz, and my own reviews pages and across the internet. Anyone who deals with people passionate about animals will be accused of such offenses. I have learned to trust myself, and my farm, and walk around with people here who share in the workshops and events and let my life and words speak for themselves. I use the delete button, too. It feels great. I hope Temple does the same.

25 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

It's a shame people have to treat each other this way. I admire your ability to take those comments with a grain of salt, Jenna, and know all those inspirational and intelligent writers like Joel and Temple do the same. Great minds are always subject to the harshest criticisms.

June 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Lissa B. said...

Wow! It is amazing how people can look at things so differently! Temple has done wonderful things for improving the way factory farm animals are treated. She is the very essence of a marriage between mass market meat production and humane practices and has always worked so well, I thought, at being an advocate for more humane conditions in those situations while still realizing that people are going to mass farm animals for consumption no matter what. She has done wonders for changing an industry resistant to change because it costs money and have the whole "we are just going to kill them, who cares how they're treated" mentality. But like you said, haters gonna hate. It is hard for many to see past their own views of right and wrong. If they feel that they are "animal lovers" because they don't eat meat, they feel that anyone who claims to love animals should also abstain from meat eating. But can't you love animals and also realize that people are going to eat them if you want them to or not. And if you love these animals and try to make their lives better before slaughter or make slaughter easier on them, isn't that a positive thing? At least she is trying to make a difference. I have always applauded Temple and will continue to do so. You too Jenna, and Joel, and everyone! You can love your animals and still have them be "livestock".

June 26, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Anderson said...

I just have to laugh at the first review, when they say that she is “writing about a field that she so obviously knows very little about, she has ventured far outside her sphere of knowledge and experience “.
This next bit was taken from wikipedia.
Grandin earn her bachelor's degree in psychology from Franklin Pierce College ,her master's degree in animal science from Arizona State University , and her doctoral degree in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I think the writer of the review was writing about something she so obviously knows very little about.

June 26, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger bookkm said...

Temple Grandin is a realist and an animal rights hero. Syd Montgomery's excellent biography - written for children - of Temple's life bears that out. Life is never as simple as extremists want to believe.

June 26, 2012 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Mary Schroeder said...

I LOVE Temple Granden and her insight into animals. But you know what they say about opinions and everyone having one.
You have a great attitude about it and I am glad you keep up with your writing for those of us who do like it and support you.

Thank you!

June 26, 2012 at 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right - haters gonna hate. Nary a one of us has said or done something in haste that we wished we could undo - I know I have, even once to you not so long ago. But there's a difference between flying off the handle and being really, really being hateful and not regretting it. Hopefully some of the hateful things said about Temple Grandin were spoken in a moment of unbridled emotion without thinking and the folks who said them will be sorry and think twice the next time they're tempted to lash out. You can't take back words, but you can learn not to speak so quickly the next time. I feel passionate about a lot of things, but I'm trying to hesitate before I say hateful things that I'll probably regret later. Like the sign at my bank says, "Kindness matters".

I just saw a message on a church sign billboard that said, "Hating someone is like allowing that person to live in your mind rent free". No future in it...I say hit the delete button and let it go, just like you suggested. That takes a lot more maturity. You can be proud that you don't let the few-very few-negative comments live rent free in your mind. I'm proud to know you, girlfriend.

Diane in North Carolina

June 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

I was at an autism conference in San Diego some years ago - maybe 19 - and Temple Grandin was the keynote speaker. I can't speak to whether she talked of loving cows, but she certainly did want them calm at their slaughter house - she did not want them to be in fear. Her ability to think in pictures was well explained in her talk and she helped us as professionals understand our students, too. Animals certainly bring out strong emotions in people and I understand this. I think, though, if the "haters" really listened to what Temple is saying they might not hate.

June 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm glad you use the delete button. Eating is such a basic function. It kills me that we all must spend so much energy defending the way we choose to do it, and that's true whether we're defending our home-raised meat or our McNugget meal. I certainly don't condone McNuggets, but I'll never beat someone up for eating them. Everyone has to make a choice, and since I'm not standing in your shoes, I have no idea what circumstances might be influencing your choice.

June 26, 2012 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Looks like this reviewer is vegan, and wilfully in denial about the massive destruction of animal habitat necessary to support the industrial farming required to support their diet. It is not actually possible for every human to be vegetarian, let alone vegan, without sending most of the wild species on this planet into extinction. It's sad that people can put so much passion and so little thought into the way they live, and then pour hate on those who choose another path.

June 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Temple Grandin is an amazing person - I've seen her and talked with her many times over the years about autism. I am always amazed at how well, being autistic, she handles herself when she gives a talk and people show up just to harass her. She's very gracious; she basically says, this is my opinion and, while you are welcome to yours, this is my stage today. Love her!

June 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger luckybunny said...

Yes Temple is an amazing person. I find this review just plain stupid, but I do get where they are coming from - some people just don't get it. Alright, more than some, a lot of them. These are the kind of people I avoid like the plague. I cannot tolerate people who are completely one sided. And in my view, the things Temple did were to help animals live better and to enjoy a kinder way of life. Some peoples view of that is to be a complete vegan - but you cannot get through life without some harm, it's impossible. I wish people like that could spend a while in nature, nature is a glorious place, but it's cruel, not kind, not in the least. We are all part of it. But we are trying in our world to be kinder and gentler and less cruel all the time. We do what we can. I think some people need to get real and look at things through logic and not idealism and fantasy. I think we'd me a lot more progress if they did! But yes, haters will hate, and who cares. Let them live in their narrow minded worlds.

June 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Odd Ducks Farm said...

We all have our story to tell. We all have our experiences and our ideas and our own faith. Temple has hers and, Jenna, you have yours. That's good. People should be different or this world would be one damn boring place. That being said, I think a reviewer should do more to review the subject and genre at hand and less to forward their own opinion - ANY reviewer (including me).
Temple gets things wrong from the get go. Her statement that you aren't some expert flies in the face of the fact that you AREN'T the experts we've all read. Truly, I read your books because I like to hear your voice tell your story and give your views. You aren't professing to be anything but someone who has lived this life. Decrying your "un-scientific personal assumptions" is laughable - if only because this book is told from your point of view. Goodness, if you wrote a technical manual on livestock maintenance I probably wouldn't have read it. I have oodles of those lying around. What I don’t have is the stories and personal observations of someone who is trying to do what I am trying to do with my life.
All that aside, I sigh in bemused disappointment when I see anyone reducing their argument to human terms for a truly non-human entity. Does the lamb headed to slaughter know it’s headed to slaughter? I highly doubt it. Science has thus far only found a few species that show evidence of understanding the concept of death (elephants for example) and cows, chickens, and sheep are not among them. That isn’t to say they don’t feel loss or lonely or any number of base emotions, but to understand death and to dread its coming – hell, HUMANS can barely do that.
All I ask, and I so rarely get, is that people have a little perspective in their lives. Extreme views lack this trait and the people who spend their lives shouting their views from the mountaintops while ignoring all else and belittling all dissenting opinions have spent their life poorly, and I am truly sad for them.
Keep writing, Jenna. We will keep listening.

Temple gets things wrong from the get go. Her statement that you aren't some expert flys in the face of the fact that you AREN'T the experts we've all read. Truly, I read your books because I like to hear your voice tell your story and give your views. You aren't professing to be anything but someone who has lived this life. Decrying your "un-scientific personal asumptions" is laughable - if only because this book is told from your point of view. Goodness, if you wrote a technical manual on livestock maintenance I probably wouldn't have read it. I have oodles of those lying around.

June 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

People with opinions which differ radically from our own are not "haters"....they're just people with radically different opinions. Hating is saying, "I hope this person goes to hell and rots there!" A differing opinion is saying, "this person really doesn't know what they're talking about, in my opinion."

Sheesh, are we so sensitive that we can't tolerate someone who feels 180 degrees differently than we do about something (and who maybe feels strongly about it) without labeling them as "haters?"

I think Temple Grandin is awesome, but someone else may think she's nuts. Ditto for Pres. Obama, Howard Stern, and Rush Limbaugh. My cup of tea may not be yours, and vice versa. But unless you start spewing venom instead of opinions, I'm NOT going to call you a hater.

June 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I really dislike the phrase "haters gonna hate."

Because here's the thing. Every single person on this earth is entitled to their own opinion.

Should I be labeled a hater because I think the Twilight series are some of the worst books ever published? I think not.

Negative reviews are just that--opinions. Just like positive reviews, they serve their purpose. You can't go through life trying to please everyone, after all.

June 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jenna,

Oops...I just reread my original message and I should have said "Nary a one of us HASN'T...not HAS...

That's what I get for hurrying to write. Hope you got my meaning anyway.

Diane in North Carolina

June 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Haters isn't a term used, at least not colloquially, as literal hate. It means someone who chooses to point out or share negative opinions. I have no problem with people having different opinions. But here's an example of what I am talking about:

I can't stand peanut butter as a dessert food. I feel peanut butter is a meal food, in sauces and in sandwiches. I will not touch any peanut dessert or icecream or chocolate combination. I understand this is my opinion, not wrong or right. Me being quirky.

If I were to be a "hater" I would go out of my way to find some peanut-dessert-specific blog, read a recipe for peanutbutter wafer cakes, and then go out of my way to tell a bunch of strangers how crappy peanut butter wafers are and they should go back to some Thai cookbooks to really appreciate peanuts.

I would choose to seek out an argument, speak my mind for no reason but to speak it, and then keep yapping until someone might pay attention to me. Maybe other peanut-butter haters will come back to my blog and leave fellowship comments of peanut hate.

Point is, opinions and advice are valid. Different ideas are welcome. But consciously seeking an argument and negativeity for the sake of being negative or to belittle others is "hating"

I was being colloquial.

Also, Kat Williams.

June 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

Your timing is SO weird because we just watched Temple Grandin the movie last week. Hubby poo pooed it before we watched it and at the end he was calling a friend to tell them they HAD to watch it, it was that good. Very inspiring.

June 26, 2012 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

The hunter comes for us all, soon or late. There is no avoiding death. The only thing for it is to enjoy the hell out of life. My chickens are enjoying the hell out of their lives. And they will probably end in the stockpot. Would that we could all be so useful.

June 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

I actually wonder if that Amazon review of Temple Grandin's book wasn't written by someone from an animal rights group, such as PETA. It seems that lobbyists of all kinds now prowl social media and other websites disguised as normal folk, but actually implementing a sort of covert propaganda. :-/

June 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

In the classroom I have to teach my students how to build an argument and defend an opinion about a topic for our weekly discussion sessions. Us teachers frequently use the saying “don’t be a hater” and remind students to explain their opinions and justify them with facts in a way that does not personally attack others for theirs, since after all we’re all entitled. A “hater” is quickly dismissed if they start up (and scores low on my grading rubric in that area). The only review I’d give credit to is the 2nd one, and then only if the writer went back and cited examples from the book of un-scientific personal assumptions.

Must say I love Temple. Frequently think about her life experiences and the potential she has lived up to—myself and other colleagues keep her in mind when we work with our most autistic students for sure.

June 27, 2012 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

Equating a "hater" to a person with a differing opinion is not at all what Jenna's post was about. There is a difference between a "hater" and a person expressing a different opinion. This blog has both kinds of people reading and commenting. The haters don't add to the conversation. And I've seen them frequently use the guise of "I'm just expressing my opinion" to justify typing in their hateful statements. If you don't see the difference between these two types of approaches, then you are missing the point of this post. And please consider: there's a chance, that by not understanding the difference, you are on people's blogs filling the role of "hater".

June 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Hmmm, if these "haters" and their comments raise such ire, why even give them this much attention? Lots of judgey mcjudgersons. So, people disagree. Ignore what you don't like and move on. ;)

June 27, 2012 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I read a bunch of Temple's stuff when i was still in elementary school. Makes a lot of sense to me. Have you seen those "puppy hug" wraps in stores for dogs with anxiety? basically wrap your dog tightly in polar fleece and velcro into place. That's straight out of her bit about the squeeze shoot calming cows, and autistic people too. I love her work, and her insights.

June 27, 2012 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I agree with you Jenna. The delete button is there for a reason. I am an animal lover to the core of my being, and hold no such animosity toward Ms. Grandin and those like her who spend their lives working with and loving animals. I'll never understand some humans' judgmental attitudes..

June 27, 2012 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger ec.kane said...

I am passionate about animals and also passionate about Temple Grandin. She is a hero of mine and I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago. It was a complete thrill. She asked me if I was "into animals, or autism?" "Uh... both, I guess," I said.

This was at a reading she was doing and someone in the audience had the audacity to raise their hand and make a remark about how she must not care about animals to do the work that she does. She was visibly upset... someone else in the audience piped up and told the incredibly rude and misinformed person that if they'd ever read any of Temple's books they'd realize how wrong they were.

June 29, 2012 at 12:16 AM  

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