Cattle ranch

Published on March 15th, 2016 | by Home and Family

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Rancher’s Wife Surprises Him By Going Vegan — and More

Colorado horse property

Every ranch experiences its ups and downs; Tommy Sonnen experienced a fairly unique problem with his ranch — and his wife.

What Happens When a Rancher’s Wife Likes the Animals Too Much?

Six years ago, Renee Sonnen began hanging out with the livestock on the ranch (the Sonnens had recently gotten married). Tommy correctly identified that getting “up close and personal” with the animals might lead to some issues, and warned Renee against naming the animals.

Before long, Renee wasn’t just naming the animals — she was singing to them. And then something happened that would make ranch life exceedingly difficult — Renee’s experience with the animals led her to become a vegan (someone who does not consume any animal products, including milk and eggs).

“He was just going to get out of the business or our marriage was going to be over,” Renee said, and Tommy agreed. He had planned to put the cattle ranch for sale — when Renee suggested she buy them instead.

Wife Planned Hostile Takeover via Blog

Crazy idea? Not so much. Renee had been so passionate about the cattle that she had started a blog — in secret — called “Vegan Journal of a Rancher’s Wife.” Through the blog — and its subsequent hundreds of followers — she was able to raise $30,000 and buy out the ranch from Tommy.

Many ranchers would not have gone along with such a scheme, but the love between Tommy and Renee is strong. Instead of getting rid of the ranch, they now work together running the Rowdy Girl Vegan Farm Animal Sanctuary. Tommy has even stopped eating meat — and likes the way his body now feels.

Are Luxury Cattle Ranches Your Calling?

There are a number of luxury cattle ranches for sale across the country, and most of them don’t have this type of backstory. However, one thing often remains constant no matter whether it’s a cattle ranch in Texas or in Montana — ranchers care about their property, and they care about their cattle. When you invest in a ranch, you’re not only getting a title deed — you’re getting a lifestyle and a legacy as well.

Tommy, for his part, sums up the situation eloquently. “You know, every marriage has its issues. It’s not always easy,” he says; adding that when it comes to his wife… he still wouldn’t change a thing.


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