Rancher Advocacy Program
Updated: Feb 16
Renee King-Sonnen is the founder and Executive Director of RAP.
Texas is Alberta's American cousin in a few ways. Both are traditionally known for their large populations of farmed cattle. Both regions exhibit wide, open spaces. Houston and Calgary are closely tied through mutual oil & gas interests. Alberta is basically the Texas of Canada, and vice versa. This interrelatedness is why I envision such a natural connection between the Rancher Advocacy Program in Texas and what's possible here in Alberta.
Transitioning away from animal agriculture is not simple. There are nearly ten times more farmed land animals than humans on earth. According to the Centre for Disease Control, farm animals produce 3 to 20 times more manure than humans in the USA. Beef cattle are generally slaughtered between 1.5 and 2 years of age, but can live into their mid 20's given the chance. That will require a lot of hay to feed them. This issue is compounded because sanctuaries are not motivated by profit; they no longer view the animal as an economic unit to be utilized. How will we feed all these animals when they are not generating profit? Undoubtedly, the first step is stop breeding them.
That said, the desire is simple. Ranchers' children are not only shying away from taking over the ranch, they are actually going vegan. Veganism is not a trend, but an empathy that inevitably grows with our ability to communicate over greater distances and time. Recognizing veganism as more than just a trend helps frame our discussions around the future of agriculture. Renee's Rancher Advocacy Program is playing a tremendously valuable role in our transition towards a vegan future.