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Change of Heart

Story ID:11455
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:- - usa
Year:2017
Person:Renee King-Sonnen
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I love reading the stories of people who come to realize that killing animals
for food is usually wrong –at least for them. I make allowances for times when
it means killing an animal or starving- though I hope that even then -people like
me would not kill an animal. Of course, who knows. I remember a while back
seeing on TV the account of a downed plane on a mountain top where hunger
drove some of the living passengers to cannibalism.

Today on the All-Creatures website I read an inspirational account of a woman
whose family owned a cow factory farm. But one day she abandoned this lifestyle
to become a vegan. In her own words: “I slipped past the veil of my cultural and
familial conditioning and into the world of veganism and I’ve never looked back.”

Renee King-Sonnen who is now Executive Director and Founder of Rowdy Girl
Sanctuary tells us why she had a change of heart and became -not only a vegan
but a passionate animal rights activist.

It really began during the time she bottle-fed a wonderful cow she named Rowdy
Girl. That started her becoming uncomfortable and conflicted about being in the
ranching business.

She even experienced an emotional breakdown when she witnessed for the first
time baby calves being loaded up onto a trailer headed for auction. That moment
made her realize that what they were doing was wrong. But as a rancher’s wife
who loved her husband -how could she tell him that she was becoming more and
more depressed.

Renee also confronted her husband with the argument that even though they had
cows, they did not butcher them but instead bought their meat from the butchers.
She asked him why and was surprised by his answer. ”I can’t eat our animals because
I know them!”

Still Renee could not shake her bad feelings re their livelihood which resulted in the
slaughtering of their cows for meat. She began watching slaughter house videos
and was horrified by the gore and suffering of the cows. She would soon come to
the realization that she would have to choose between her own soul and her husband.

In October of 2014 she watched a video by Melanie Joy called “Carnism” –Why We
Eat Pigs, Love Dogs, and Wear Cows. A family dinner was being filmed where the
family’s dinner was a supposed traditional beef stew which all were enjoying until
the chef announced that they were really eating a golden retriever puppy.

That same night Renne’s mother-in-law was serving beef stew and IT happened.
Renee slipped past the veil of her cultural and familial conditioning and into the
world of veganism and never looked back.

When I think of Renee’s conversion to veganism and mine in 1983, I have to admit
hers was much more difficult. And, of course, all of us who have become vegan
have our own stories to tell. In the end all- I believe and hope that none of us has
again reverted to a meat diet. Knowing that no animal has to die for my food needs
is a huge blessing to me and one I know that I personally will never regret. I even
consider very lucky and blest those people who have been born into a vegan
family.