The Animals For Life Foundation Summit was held yesterday to generate healthy discussion about the many facets of the human-animal bond both inside and outside of agriculture. Summit discussions highlighted aspects of human-animal relationships that include the associations between human health and pet ownership and the special relationships that form between service dogs and owners.
The keynote speaker at the event was world renowned animal handling pioneer Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University. Grandin is a specialist in livestock handling and animal facility design. Half the cattle in the United States and Canada are handled in facilities designed by Grandin, and she has offered animal welfare consultation to
companies such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King. She has also overcome autism to become an industry leader and public speaker. She talked to the crowd about bridging the communication gap with regard to animal welfare, the general public and agriculture.
“When it comes to science, we tend to cherry-pick the science. But, we can’t completely get away from emotion either,” she said. “We’ve got to show them everything we do. Period. We’ve got to open up the door electronically.”
In addition, veterinarian Tod Beckett talked to attendees of the Animals For Life Foundation Summit about the real costs of pet ownership. He talked about the importance of breed selection, planning for medical expenses, and budgeting appropriately for pets in both rural and urban areas.