Vegan Heart Blog Story

Rowdy Girl Sanctuary


Rowdy Girl Sanctuary is the dream of Renee-King Sonnen.

Renee is a singer and songwriter from the Houston/Brazoria County area who met her future husband, Tommy Sonnen, while singing at a nightclub.

Renee and Tommy

She went from suburban living to ranch living 6 years ago when they got married. She lives on a 96 acre cattle ranch right on hwy 35, 50 miles southwest of Houston and 30 miles from Bay City/Matagord.

Her husband has been a cattle rancher for 15 years.  It’s beyond my ability to describe! My husband’s great-grandfather supplied almost all of Houston with meat in the early 1900’s – his great-grandfather had a slaughter-house.

When she married him 6 years ago, she had no idea that she would become vegan as a result of the horrors of the sale barn episodes with the calves.

Like Howard Lyman, the cattle rancher turned vegan she had an epiphany that opened her heart and soul to the gentle souls of the cows under her care.

She would sing to them and dance around them. She fell in love with the critters, “….kinda like Elly Mae Clampett – I named them all” much to her husband’s dismay as these cattle were marked for sale and slaughter. “Then they started being trailered up to go to the sale barn, and the experience of watching them leave, the mamas wailing for a week and the absence of their souls in the pasture haunted me.”


The Red Trailer is still out in the pasture. It’s the symbol of “families being torn apart”, never again to see their babies. It represents wailing and torment into the night. “I’ve cried so many times over this that he has tried to hide the fact he is doing it but I always knew because of the wailing that the momma cows do when they lose their babies and can’t find them.”

red trailer

“I’d been vegetarian in the past and even tried a raw diet for several months, but never had the compassion connection until I LIVED IT! I love these animals – I see their souls, and they see mine.”

“Animal rights is a cause, whose time has come! Our barbaric treatment of animals is a direct reflection of humanity’s own inner torment and violent nature in the world! I believe that when we draw closer to loving animals and seeing their soul (which they do have), that is then and only then that we will ever be FREE.”

“I dream of the day when a sign goes up that has the word ‘sanctuary’ in it. Going Vegan is the best decision I ever made – I love these animals – and now they know I am their ambassador for freedom!”

Rowdy girl (momma) and Houdini baby calf

And we can be a part of that dream. Renee needs to buy the cow herd from her husband. “My husband can’t just give me the cows. But he is willing to sell them to me at a reduced price and offer the land back for a dollar the first year while helping care for them.”

Renee has been conferring with leaders in the sanctuary industry along with experts that have written major documentaries. She has a copy of the business plan that Derek & Steve, Esther the wonder pig’s dads used for Happily Ever Esther Sanctuary as model.   Once the cows are in her possession she can get her non-profit sanctuary status. Her husband Tommy plans on growing organic produce and having a farmers market.

Renee needs to raise $35,000.00 to obtain the cattle. Please donate to this wonderful dream, which all of us vegans share. If a cattle rancher can get it and have a change of heart and conscious than I have to believe that there is hope for the rest of the planet.

You can donate here:

You can follow Renee here:

To hear her music:


Posted on

February 19, 2015


  1. Adam

    SO wonderful! I am vegan, I love cows and all animals and have a blog about protecting and loving animals. I will add your story to my blog! So sweet of you both. Many blessings to you and all your dear cow children!

  2. Shilpa

    Amazing story! Very inspiring.
    If you don’t love violence in the world, do your own bit too, don’t bring it to your dinning table!


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