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Vegan Wife Turns Cattle Range into Animal Sanctuary



For 4 Generations Tommy Sonnen’s family has run the Sonnen Ranch where they raise cattle for dairy and slaughter in Angleton, Texas. A few months ago all that changed when Tommy’s vegan wife Renee of 6 years couldn’t take it anymore.

This is an unusual story, especially for Texas, but on an inspirational journey of transformation, one couple decided it was time to shift into a more aware lifestyle. 6 years ago when Tommy and Renee were married Tommy warned Renee to not bond with the cattle or to name them, but she didn’t listen.

She starting spending time with the cattle, named them, and even sang to them. This became a cattle farmers worst nightmare because as the cattle were lead to slaughter Tommy’s vegan wife Renee decided she couldn’t live with cattle rancher anymore.


“I would give the cattle names, get used to their personalities, play with them, and then came the day when he’d take them to the slaughterhouse on the red truck,” Renee told ABC13. After being fed up on a core level she decided to give her husband an ultimatum. “He was just going to get out of the business or our marriage was going to be over.”

Tommy realized that things had to change if he were to save his marriage so he decided to sell his herd. That is when Renee realized that sending the cattle to another farm wouldn’t solve the problem. So she asked her husband if he would sell the cattle to her.

“And he looks at me like ‘You have lost it! You are crazy!’” Renee told CBS Evening News.


Tommy wasn’t aware that Renee had been running a blog named “Vegan Journal of a Rancher’s Wife” which had pulled in thousands of followers and with the help of her supporters she was able to raise $30,000 in order to purchase the Sonnen Ranch from her husband.

She then hired Tommy to help her run her non-profit ranch known as “Rowdy Girl Sanctuary” where around 30 cattle live in peace. They have also used the ranch to rescue other animals from slaughter. This is perfect for animals that are considered unfit for breeding and would otherwise be sent straight to slaughter.


You may be wondering at this point how Tommy felt about all this and to be honest he wasn’t thrilled at first. After generations of raising cattle and eating steaks, he did something that is nearly unbelievable for a rancher. He started bonding with the cattle and even faced some of his own core beliefs about meat eventually following in Renee’s footsteps and becoming a vegan himself.

Check out the video below of this incredible transformational story.

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