"Great Book on Animal Behavior"
Cows have a blind spot in back, otherwise they can practically see everything behind them. They also have a blind spot in the front, because their eyes are so widely separated.
Slaughterhouses all used to use cattle prods to get cattle to do things like walk down a shiny ramp into a pool to remove bugs. Grandin, thinking like a cow, discovered all sorts of things that frighten cows and prevent them from walking voluntarily, such as shiny metal, shadows, or bright yellow objects (such as someone's rain coat left lying around). When prods are used, it results in bruised meat that must be cut out. So Grandin isn't just helping animals lead more humane lives, she's helping the meat industry save money.
Compared to the 50's and 60's, today's regulators tend to be college graduates who have never set foot in a slaughterhouse, and who demand 100 percent compliance. Yet slaughterhouses can't be perfect any more than humans can be. As a result, slaughterhouses get shut down for infractions and the inspectors get paid off to go away. When regulators demand less than perfect results -say 95 percent of perfection- they get better results.
When breeders breed for a single trait, they develop weird creatures, like roosters who are rapists/killers. One day, Grandin saw a chicken all cut up on the barnyard floor. The fowl had been overbred for strength, which, strangely-enough, resulted in roosters who no longer did their ritual mating dance. And when chickens didn't see the dance, they wouldn't do the customary pre-mating crouch, and were killed. Half the roosters at this particular farm were killers. And yet the breeder thought everything was normal.
Another observation: Pigs are very sociable. At a pig auction, some pigs were mysteriously disappearing. It turned out that a worker was taking one or two and putting them in a vacant pen. Finally, someone noticed the pigs acting oddly. Normally pigs keep very close to one another. (When piglets get stressed, farmers call it "squealin' super glue.") But pigs don't cozy up with pigs they don't know. So the anti-social pigs were obviously the stolen ones.
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