Cattle Ranchers in Southwest Arkansas Are Transitioning to Veganic Agriculture

I feel thrilled to know that only 4 hours away from the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage site that there is a couple who are in the process of making history–in SW Arkansas, of all places! Jennifer and Rodney Barrett, who have raised cattle and chickens for the past 18 years, went vegan in 2016. Now they are taking the beautiful and astonishing risk of giving up their livelihood in order to live in alignment with their values.

The decision to grow mushrooms and hemp instead of animals was not easy. Jennifer says, “I thought for a while that I could live with the hypocrisy of it. I thought I could be a vegan that just so happened to raise chickens for a living. But it got dark for me. Last December, I was at the bottom. It was so horrible to know that all of this suffering and death and decay, this holocaust situation, was so unnecessary.”

“The Barretts are a third generation farmer in Wickes, Arkansas. At one time they farmed 100,000 chickens every 52 days, and had a cow/calf operation. Today, they are vegan—have ceased chicken production, and are determined to care for the cows and their babies that they previously sent to the sale barn. They will be out of hay on or near December 15th.” An excerpt from an article in the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary website.

Feeling very excited that this amazing, history-in-the-making, first of its kind operation is happening in my own state of Arkansas, I reached out to Jennifer to see if I could help in some way. We had a wonderful correspondence.

I deeply appreciate and believe in her vision. “I really believe that this farm is and will continue to be a place of healing and restoration not just for the animals but for people. I would love for every human to feel the way it feels to live in a body that isn’t crippled with western disease. So many people suffering needlessly and at the cost of suffering animals. I know now that we are all connected and that when one of us suffers, we all do. To be a light to shine on the truth is my main goal in life,” wrote Jennifer.

I am so happy that Renee King-Sonnen, wife of a former rancher who started the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, is in a position to help people like the Barretts.

“Renee seemed to be the perfect person to reach out to since she has been a cattle rancher’s wife. And, she gets it. I’m absolutely certain that, with her help, we will be able to find the right solutions for not only the cattle but for the future of our farm and community. ” says Jennifer. 

I highly recommend that you read the whole story in this very inspiring article where you can also donate so that the Barretts can feed their cows.  The video below is also informative and helpful.

I envision that this wonderful couple with the help of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary’s Rancher Advocacy Program and the many people who are already supporting this project, will be showing farmers all over the world that they can make the switch from animal agriculture to veganic agriculture. This training program in the making is a huge milestone in our quest to help create a vegan world ASAP! A huge thank you to all who are helping to make this happen!




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