Renee was born and raised in Houston, Texas and is the founder of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary. Renee was a dyed-in-the-wool city girl before moving with her husband, Tommy, to their Angleton, TX Ranch in 2009. She fell in love with all the farm animals on the ranch. She had no idea that her life was about to be forever changed as a result of her husband’s ranching business.
Kip Andersen’s environmental awakening came as a result of An Inconvenient Truth. After seeing the film, he began to recycle religiously, turn off lights constantly, shower infrequently, and ride a bike instead of driving. Andersen believed he was doing everything he could to help the planet by following the guidelines of national and international environmental organizations, but his life took a different direction when he found out animal agriculture is the leading cause of environmental destruction. He is the founder of Animals United Movement, a pending 501(c)3 focused on creating films and media promoting sustainability, compassion, and peace for all of Earth’s inhabitants. Also a serial entrepreneur, he has built more than a dozen businesses. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo school of business and has called San Francisco home for more than a decade.
Learn about his movie, Cowspiracy.
Natalia Iswara is an multimedia artist, activist, and healer, studying art at Bemis Art School, Colorado, and graduating from California Healing Arts College, with broad, multidisciplinary experience currently focusing on design, practicing preventative healing through nutrition, bodywork, plants, and cleansing. A renaissance woman with experience in acting and modeling, she also has years of training and experience working in special needs caregiving, and a talent for music, speech, and writing. A longtime student of Eastern mysticism and the occult, she has interests in furthering her study of Yoga, philosophy, plant medicine, and the esoteric.
Born in a small town in the Andes mountains of South America, and later immigrating to the United States as a young child, her keen love and appreciation of Nature, animals, and the outdoors was fueled greatly by avid camping in the scenic splendor of her native Colombia, the Shenandoah’s of Virginia, the Colorado Rockies, and later the West Coast with its countless forests, coasts, and deserts. She states, “I’ve spent most of my life outdoors, running, jumping and climbing, and gone out of my way to connect deeply with the most pristine of natural beauty, of which the rewards are limitless.”
Natalia was born with an innate love of animals and wildlife, having been a PETA and Greenpeace member as a child. Her awakening occurred at age 7, bearing witness to brutal dolphin massacre in the cove on television. It left a deep impression that changed her forever. She first got involved in activism with Food Not Bombs prepping and serving food to the homeless, while residing in a well known intentional anti establishment community vegan punk house. Since then she has worked as a fitness motivator, freelance nutritionist, meal planner, weight loss and cleansing coach and advisor.
A vegetarian for most of her life, Natalia started practicing Vegan Ethics in February of 2015, after learning the truth about the egg and dairy industry. Learning about Renee and Rowdy Girl Sanctuary after a long absence from public and social media and conquering personal health and family crisis, she has found her voice again in the Animal Liberation Movement, realizing and embodying the underlying unity of the nutrition sciences, our relationship to ourselves, animals and our planet, and how we choose to nourish our bodies minds and Souls.
Jane Velez-Mitchell is the founder and content editor of JaneUnChained, a multi-platform social media news outlet that produces original video content on animal welfare and the compassionate lifestyle.
She has won four Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States for her reporting on animal issues. VegNews named Velez-Mitchell Media Maven of the Year in 2010. In 2013 Mercy for Animals awarded her their Compassionate Leadership Award. In 2014, she was honored for fighting animal abuse by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. In 2015, she received the Nanci Alexander Award at PETA’s 35th anniversary celebration where Paul McCartney performed.
For six years she hosted her own show on HLN/CNN Headline News, where she ran a weekly segment on animal issues that consistently broke news. Previously, Velez-Mitchell reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show Celebrity Justice, where she did numerous stories on animal issues championed by celebrities. Previously, Velez-Mitchell was a news anchor/reporter at KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and WCBS-TV in New York. She is the winner of both a Los Angeles Emmy and a New York Emmy for her reporting. Velez-Mitchell is a graduate of New York University and began her career with reporting stints in Ft Myers, Florida, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.
Velez-Mitchell is the author of four books. Her 2014 non-fiction New York Times bestseller, Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias offers a detailed psychological analysis of a salacious trial that gripped the American public. Her other New York Times bestseller is her memoir, iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life. Secrets Can Be Murder delves into the secrecy and deceit embedded in tragic scenarios. Addict Nation: An Intervention for America with co-author Sandra Mohr focuses on our culture’s addictive nature and our obsession with overconsumption.
Velez-Mitchell directed and produced the documentary Anita Velez: Dancing Through Life which won a Gracie award in 2001.
Velez-Mitchell hosts #LunchBreakLIVE, a daily FacebookLIVE cooking show that features animal lovers, chefs and a variety of celebrities. #LunchBreakLIVE has been featured on TMZ Live and A&E’s FYI Network.
Drew met Renee and Tommy in January 2015 at their home while on a trip to Texas. At the time, Drew was the General Counsel and Chief People Officer of Farm Sanctuary, Inc. Immediately seeing that Renee and Tommy were the “real deal” and were working on an important project to bring a compassionate vegan presence to meat-centric Texas, Drew happily volunteered his time to get Rowdy Girl Sanctuary set up as a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. In April 2016, Drew was invited to join the Board of Directors of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, Inc. and happily accepted the invitation. With a sharp legal mind and a wealth of experience in non-profit law, corporate law, employment law and animal law, Drew brings a valuable skill set to Rowdy Girl. Drew has also taught Animal Law at UC Irvine School of Law and Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California.
When not helping Rowdy Girl on all things legal, Drew operates his own law firm in Long Beach, California representing employers and employees in employment disputes and providing general advice and counsel to non-profit organizations, and enjoys spending time with his husband and cats and playing the mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer.