ANIMAL JUSTICE ACADEMY LUNCHTIME LIVE:
From Cattle Rancher to Animal Activist
with Renee King-Sonnen
Rowdy Girl Sanctuary
In 2015, after feeling like she could no longer be a part of the cruelty of the animal agriculture industry, Renee King-Sonnen and her husband converted their Texas beef cattle ranch into an animal sanctuary.
At the end of the month a documentary about Renee and Rowdy Girl Sanctuary will premiere at North America's premiere documentary festival, Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto.
In this AJA Lunchtime Live, we'll find out what the turning point was for Renee deciding to make herself and the ranch vegan, the viral sensation that resulted, and her hopes for the "Rowdy Girl" documentary.
We'll also dig into the mindsets of animal ag farmers, the possibilities for the AR movement to collaborate with farmers, and the top things about animal farmers and the industry that Renee thinks animal advocates should be informed around.
*We invite folks to have their video on during this event to enhance the sense of community, but it’s not mandatory
About Renee King-Sonnen:
Renee, a native Houstonian, is the Executive Director and Founder of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary and their initiative, the Rancher Advocacy Program in Waelder, Texas just outside of Austin. She remarried her husband Tommy Sonnen, a multi-generational cattle rancher in 2009 and moved to their former ranch in Angleton, Texas. She started bottle feeding a baby calf named Rowdy Girl and fell in love with all the cows as a result, having no idea her life was about to transform. After witnessing time and again the baby calves going to the sale barn she became extremely depressed. In October 2014, she went vegan as a result and began researching factory farming and the compassionate alternative, farm sanctuaries. She desperately consulted with leaders in the vegan movement, determined to do whatever she could to create sanctuary out of what was once a cow/calf, beef cattle operation in the heart of Texas cattle country. As a result, the Rancher Advocacy Program was launched to inspire farms and ranches to consider transitioning into compassionate, farm enterprises without animal cruelty. Renee is also on the board of directors of the Agriculture Fairness Alliance, which lobbies for justice and fairness in Farm Policy & Legislation. FARMS (Farmer and Rancher Mobility Solutions Act, AFA’s current legislation is modelled after the Rancher Advocacy Program.