Shoutout HTX Article

Meet Renee King Sonnen | Founder & Executive Director

We had the good fortune of connecting with Renee King Sonnen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Renee, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the success of our brand is the real and raw personal story of a cattle ranch turned vegan in the heart of Texas and the love story that accompanied it.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Rowdy Girl Sanctuary is the first sanctuary in the history of ever that transitioned their entire cattle ranch business to a 501c3 non profit. Our story of two Texans that fell in love not once, but twice and how we overcame the odds of a wife going vegan on a Texas ranch sets us distinctly apart. We never thought that me going vegan could potentially end our marriage, but instead me going vegan and standing true to my convictions is what cemented our relationship even stronger. We got to where we are by persevering and never giving up in spite of 3 major flood events, the Texas freeze and the current drought. When you are extremely mission driven there is nothing that can rock your world. No, its not been easy but its extremely rewarding when you know you have followers all over the world that have your back. Our story has been translated in 10-12 different languages. It is so unique our story has been told on CBS Evening news, Animal Planet, Texas Country Reporter, Southwest Airlines, The Dodo, One Green Planet, Live Kindly and more. Our brand and story eventually led us to start the Rancher Advocacy Program, (our main program) which is primarily focused on educating ranchers and farmers on how they can transition out of animal agriculture to pursue a plant based farm initiative instead.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some of the most exciting places to check out close to Waelder is in Lockhart. They have a really quaint town square and ever Saturday the entire square becomes a local farmers market. There is also a really cool local grocery store in the square called “Good Things” and you can feel good about shopping there because everything is homegrown. If you want to stay in a Bed & Breakfast nearby and up the road there is the Davis Ranch Retreat which also features vegan friendly food options for breakfast. Just an hour away is Austin where you can dive into any vegan restaurant you can find.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shout out to All Y’all’s Foods a Texas Vegan Jerky that has been our corporate sponsor for about 4 years. They have really been proactive in telling our story and sharing our brand. Also, I want to shout out to all the Rowdy Girl Members – all 490 of them! Our members is what makes Rowdy Girl Sanctuary sleep well at night knowing that we can count on their loyal monthly donations. And lastly, I want to thank a very generous philanthropist who always chooses to remain anonymous but nevertheless has been so instrumental in the success of our organization.

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