It’s pretty much the understatement of the century to say that Jon Stewart, departing host of The Daily Show, has a lot of fans. However, Stewart will gain some new fans as he prepares for his post-TV days, and a lot of them will be furry. Stewart and his wife, Tracey, have purchased a New Jersey farm and plan to turn it into an animal sanctuary, where rescued farm animals can live out their natural lives in peace. Can you hear the collective “awwww” from animal-loving fans of The Daily Show?
This isn’t a whim for the Stewarts. The pair have been compassionate friends of animals for many years, and Tracey was quoted in a press release saying that “promises of animal shelter visits in exchange for completed homework are the norm in the Stewart household.” Raising their two children to have respect and compassion for animals is a key part of the Stewarts’ efforts to ensure that future generations of animals will have the protections they deserve. They’ve also adopted a menagerie of animals as a family over the years, including four dogs, two horses, two pigs, three rabbits, two guinea pigs, two hamsters, one parrot and two fish who, as Tracey told USA Today, were “all rescues.”
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On The Daily Show, Stewart has used his position on more than a few occasions to help educate people about the deplorable conditions farm animals endure and to call for a greener planet. Among the most memorable is this eight-minute segment from February of this year in which Stewart skewered New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over vetoing a popular gestation crate ban. More recently, Stewart’s thoughtful interview with Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Bauer illustrates the comedian’s personal interest in animal welfare.
To recognize all of the Stewarts’ efforts for the animals over the years, Farm Sanctuary named a pair of newly-adopted sheep after the couple. Tracey the sheep recently gave birth, and the sanctuary adorably dubbed her offspring Hazleton. Their human counterparts will also be honored at a Farm Sanctuary event to be held in October.
Stewart will leave The Daily Show in August of this year, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts where witty criticism of the American political system once was. With the news of the farm-cum-sanctuary on the horizon, it’s a little unclear what other projects Stewart might undertake after ending his 16-year-reign of the funniest news show in history. We can’t help but wonder (hope) about the possibility of seeing Jon Stewart involved in the next presidential election from a different point of view. Vote Stewart in 2016? We’d consider it!
Images via David Shankbone and Moomah