Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Retirement Plans Include Opening an Animal Sanctuary

by Patrick Mahaney on June 30, 2015

jon-stewart-animal-rescue.lgThis article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News  column on as Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Retirement Plans Include Opening an Animal Sanctuary.

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show host Jon Stewart is leaving his entertaining and informative post for a well-deserved respite from the rigors of reporting all things relevant in world events, politics and entertainment (he and Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the 2012 presidential election made my viewership of the entire process bearable).

Now that Stewart is retiring from The Daily Show, what’s he going to do with his free time? I suspect he’s got numerous options among family responsibilities, public speaking obligations and book deals, but the word on the street is that he’s going to open an animal sanctuary. The Daily Mail recently broke the exciting news online earlier this month.

Stewart’s plans leaked when Farm Sanctuary, a New York-based animal rights organization, announced that Stewart and his wife Tracey had, “recently bought a farm in New Jersey with the intention of providing a home for farm animals rescued from cruelty.”

What is Farm Sanctuary?

Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to, “protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals.” The organization was founded in 1986 and is currently “the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization,” according to its website. Farm Sanctuary also runs three shelters in New York and California that provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals, works to change laws to decrease abuse of farm animals, and promotes compassionate vegan living. 

Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary’s president and co-founder, takes a grassroots-approach to helping animals, and has visited hundreds of farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses to document the “deplorable conditions that exist,” according to the site. His pictures and videos exposing factory-farming cruelties have aired nationally and internationally. Baur’s merits include winning the first-ever cruelty conviction at a U.S. stockyard and introducing the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming confinement methods in Florida, Arizona, and California.

He’s also author of Living the Farm Sanctuary Life and recently appeared on The Daily Show to discuss his views on animal welfare.

What’s Motivating the Stewarts to Open an Animal Sanctuary?

Apparently, it’s a family passion for the Stewarts. Tracey is the motivating force behind the Stewart’s current efforts in animal rescue. According to the description of Tracey’s upcoming book, Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better, she’s, “a passionate animal advocate and expert (and former veterinary technician), she lives on a farm in New Jersey with her husband, Jon Stewart; two kids; four dogs; two pigs; one hamster; three rabbits; two guinea pigs; one parrot; and two fish—all rescues except for the kids.”

Tracey has also purchased sponsorships from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Farm Animal Program for all of the Stewart family’s Thanksgiving guests. She says that, “the joy of interacting with animals as friends instead of using them for human consumption is life-changing. A trip to Farm Sanctuary should be on everyone’s to-do list, but you can also bring a little bit of sanctuary home when you sponsor an animal through the Adopt a Farm Animal Program.”

What’s Next for the Stewart Family and Their Animal Rescue?

First, we must wait for his retirement. In February, 2015 Stewart shared his plans to step aside (see Moment of Zen- Jon’s Announcement), but it’s not yet known when his last show will be, neither is the New Jersey location for the new Stewart family farm. Having grown up in the suburbs of the Garden State, I know there is plenty of green space to house Stewart’s rescue, provided it’s situated well away from the seemingly innumerable interstates for which New Jersey is so well known.

I look forward to learning more of Farm Sanctuary and the Stewarts’ efforts to help improved the lives of farm animals and other creatures in need.

Photo of Jon Stewart, Amanda Seyfried and her dog via Instagram

Thank you for reading this article.  Your questions and comments are completely welcome.

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Copyright of this article (2015) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

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