Happy New Year to our Rowdy Girl Sanctuary supporters and subscribers! 2022 was a monumental year of growth and triumph after years prior of weather disasters, relocation and Covid. With you by our side we are thriving.
Speaking of thriving, the Time To Thrive Campaign was a resounding success with more than $100,000 raised for Phase I of the long-awaited Medical Treatment Facility in honor of our beloved Maine Anjou heifer Stormy.
Our beautiful bovines will have a proper “Cow House” for necessary medical treatments and to shelter in extreme weather.
Huge thanks to each and every one of you who participated in the campaign. We even had neighboring cattle ranchers contribute as they believe in Rowdy Girl’s mission and respect our work enough to support it financially.
If you missed any of the stories we told during the campaign about our bovine residents, we’ve included them here: Animal Stories
Here are some of the comments we received along with donations:
“Love that the cows can have a barn. I wish all cows and farm animals did. Makes me sad there is no shelter requirement for farmed animals. Hope one day laws can change to be more compassionate towards living beings.”
“Changing the world for animals with your activism and love! Rock on Rowdy Girl!”
“A medical treatment facility will greatly help the cows that have been rescued by this amazing sanctuary. Let’s make it happen!”
Meet Pedro the rooster. A young lady found Pedro tied to a fence with a shoelace on the side of the road in Austin. Fortunately, she also found RGS. We welcomed him to the sanctuary where he is safe and living his best life. Pedro is an incredibly sweet and friendly young rooster. He always runs out to meet you in the mornings or when passing by his yard, he is extremely talkative and is flirty with the chickens. On most days he can be found roosting in the warm sunlight. Pedro is a gentleman contrary to how roosters are often stereotyped.
We welcomed 14 animals to the sanctuary in 2022, each with their own unique personality and life story. Rowdy Girl animals are treated as individuals and shine as ambassadors for the vast number of those less fortunate caught in our food system.
We received 13 calls and 6 applications to surrender animals during Q4 in 2022. Renee personally responds to every single one by listening to their story, offering education on veganism (most are not vegan), encouraging them to keep the animal and finally, if their situation is untenable, work with them on either bringing the animal to RGS or to another sanctuary.
Education & Legislation
Our Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP) is pioneering a global resource that will encourage farm transitions by bringing investors, resources, academics, filmmakers, authors, attorneys, lobbyists, and other plant-based and manufacturing experts to the table. Here is the latest update on the Barrett Farm that is transitioning from poultry to mushrooms:
Arkansas Fungi, which is now in production at the Barrett Farm, continues its buildout efforts to repurpose poultry barns into mushroom grow houses containing many grow rooms. They are testing new strains while continuing to optimize Blue Oyster production for several current customers.
The new strain tests are at the request of other potential customers who are very interested in sourcing mushrooms at high volumes from Arkansas Fungi. AF will continue to build, have critical sales conversations, and make strategic choices in the next two months. At that point, AF expects to have a clear understanding of what the entire growing mix and volume at the Barrett location will look like.
Supporter Sailesh Rao has this to say about RAP:
“I’m a proud member of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary because it is a perfect symbol of the Greatest Transformation in Human History. When I think about a cattle rancher, Tommy Sonnen and his wife, Renee King-Sonnen, going vegan and turning their former cattle ranch into a beautiful animal sanctuary, I can clearly visualize our global transformation from a narcissistic, predatory, “taker” species, Homo Sapiens, to a compassionate, climate harmonizing, caretaker species, Homo Ahimsa. I urge everyone to come and stand beside them and support them in every way. Here’s to … a Vegan World by 2026!”
Agriculture Fairness Alliance
On the legislative front, Renee remains active on the 501(c)4 Agriculture Fairness Alliance board where she is advocating for Farm Bill 2023recommendations that will help farmers diversify into growing fiber-rich food crops. She will be in D.C. each quarter participating in meetings with some of the most influential food system politicians and government agency officials in the world. The Farm Bill is one of the most significant food policy bills in the U.S. where major food system funding gets negotiated and signed every five years. Renee will be a key advisor for conversations with politicians who represent farming districts and give real-life testimonials on farm transitions and other vegan-backed policy. AFA Founder Connie Spence is in D.C. now meeting with the USDA and other congressional offices.
Recent Media Attention
Rowdy Girl Sanctuary was featured in the December issue of Virgin Atlantic’s Magazine VERA.
Plan Your Trip to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary Today!
We love to show off the sanctuary and allow our guests to experience the beautiful energy created by our animal residents living their lives peacefully.
In 2022 we welcomed 223 guests who had the opportunity to meet the animals, hear about their stories and learn about our food system. Tours are an important part of raising awareness and creating a ripple of compassion that will keep spreading.
Book your tour here. We would love y’all to visit!
Doogie’s personality was all about play and affection. He loved to greet our guests and always came running when called. We will miss our sweet goat dearly and take heart in knowing that he enjoyed his golden years at the sanctuary thanks to all of you.
Renee will be the keynote speaker at the Whole Planet Spirituality Retreat in October hosted by The Spiritual Forum. The theme this year is Peace Begins with Me.
The Rowdy Girl Documentary
The long-awaited documentary to tell the story of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary is becoming a reality.
Jason Goldman is a director/producer from New York City. His earliest filmmaking experience came under acclaimed documentarian Albert Maysles where he learned the foundation of direct cinema. He’s produced award winning short films, feature length documentaries, and countless ad campaigns around the world. In 2018 he produced the award winning documentary “Sidelined” with A&E IndieFilm. “Rowdy Girl” is his directorial debut and is slated for a festival premiere in 2023.
Executive Producer: Moby
RGS email subscribers will be invited to an online screening on Saturday, February 25th.
Living the Rowdy Girl Life
PRODUCTS WE LOVE
We (and our dogs) are big fans of Linda Middlesworth, owner of V-Dog vegan dog food. Linda has been a Vegan Mentor for 23 years and helps people transition to a plant-based lifestyle. Energized and nearly 79; Linda is living her legacy to be the vegan setting the world on fire.
RECIPES WE LOVE
Tommy makes this all the time. It’s super easy and absolutely delicious.
FASHION WE LOVE
Thank you Pesky Vegan for donating 10% of all sales to RGS during the month of January.
SNACKS WE LOVE
Enormous thanks to All Y’Alls Foods for donating loads of tasty vegan jerky.
Save the Date!
Saturday, February 11th is our Heart Working Day where all are invited to roll up your sleeves and help us mend fences, clean barns and maintain the sanctuary. Register here.