When Jon Stewart retired from his amazing show in August, fans waited and wondered how the comedian who redefined political satire for a digital generation would follow up his 16-year stint as the host of The Daily Show. And late last month they heard what’s next on the horizon for Stewart when he and his wife, Tracey, stepped into the spotlight to explain the details their latest project.
The Stewarts plan to use Bufflehead Farm, their 12-acre homestead in Middletown, N.J., as a sanctuary for abused and neglected farm animals. Although the couple had initially envisioned a small, independent safe haven for animals, they have decided instead to become part of Farm Sanctuary, the oldest rescue organization for farm animals in the United States. Stewart who candidly admitted he felt broken after years of showcasing the insanity of politics, culture and the media during his nightly fake-news broadcasts, will now devote time to nursing abused goats, pigs, chickens, sheep and other animals back to health. And the Stewarts plan to create an educational center where students and visitors can learn about Farm Sanctuary’s mission and the organization’s pro-animal, pro-vegan philosophy.
Launched back in 1986 by Gene Baur, who studied agricultural economics at Cornell University, Farm Sanctuary advocates for animal welfare and is committed to ending the abuses of factory farming through education and legislation. Farm Sanctuary operates two rescue farms in California, and a 175-acre sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y. that is now home to more than 500 rescued farm animals. With Bufflehead Farm now on board, the organization can expand its rescue efforts. But Farm Sanctuary does more than just care for neglected animals.
The organization hopes to change the way people view their relationship to animals. Farm sanctuary promotes veganism as a solution to a variety of economic, environmental and public health problems. Baur appeared as a guest on The Daily Show in the spring of 2015 and, back then, Stewart seemed a little hesitant about embracing the Farm Sanctuary lifestyle. During his interview with Baur, Stewart conceded that, on one hand, a vegan lifestyle had a slew of benefits. “But, on the other hand, you have corned beef…” said Stewart . Baur assured him that today it’s possible to make a substitute corned beef from plants that’s as good as a real deal.
Although Stewart seemed doubtful at first, he has since become a vegetarian who still maintains an affection for eggs and cheese. Stewart has described his role at Bufflehead Farm as “wingman” for his wife, a former veterinary technician, animal advocate and author of “Do Unto Animals” a 2014 guide to understanding and redefining the connection between people and animals. For now, Stewart now seems content to support his wife in her dream of creating an animal sanctuary.
As for fans who are still feeling the loss of Stewart’s nightly take on the news, they should probably be patient and stay tuned. Whether he’s focused on animal welfare or presidential politics, it seems unlikely that a talented voice like Stewart’s will be quiet for long.