What do you do when you retire as lead news anchor from one of the top rated political news entertainment shows on television? If you are Jon Stewart, you go in the opposite direction of what mainstream society believes you will do and open an animal sanctuary. In the humble opinion of this writer, Jon and Tracey Stewart are what real super heroes are made of.
Animals of the Sanctuary
After Jon Stewart retired from The Daily Show, he and wife Tracey Stewart converted their 12 acre farm in Middletown, NJ into a branch of Farm Sanctuary, the leading farm animal protection organization in America. This opens the organization’s fourth and only New Jersey location. In hopes of cultivating support for their cause, the couple have created a Facebook page called “The Daily Squeal.” The page started off sharing the lives of two rescued piglets, Anna and Maybelle Stewart, and has now expanded to a few new members of the family.
Bob and Nate, two adorable brother lambs who were born to be used as “humane meat,” were lucky enough to have escaped. As fate would have it, a woman who was there to purchase goats saw the pair of lambs and decided to rescue them from the farm that had written them off as dead. Due to the state of deterioration the lambs were in, the farm sanctuary brought the boys to Cornell University Hospital for Animals for medical treatment. It took nearly a month of battling viruses, lesions, respiratory issues, high fevers and more before the boys were able to recuperate enough to go to their new forever home at the Stewart’s sanctuary.
Jon Stewart’s Plan
The comedic giant’s desire is to convert the historic Hockhockson Farm on Route 537 in Colts Neck, New Jersey into another animal rehabilitation and agricultural hub, which would be open to the public. The 45-acre property would be another haven for animals who have been rescued from slaughter houses, roadsides and live markets. Stewart’s vision for the new sanctuary includes residents being able to purchase locally sourced farm fresh produce and to have educational programs about animal care and advocacy, plant-based diets and sustainable agriculture.
At this time, plans have been submitted to the Monmouth County Agricultural Development Board which will make a decision by April 5, as to whether they will allow JTS Land Trust the commercial farm certification needed to proceed. Once approved, JTS will need further approval from the Colts Neck Planning Board.
The public is encouraged to follow “The Daily Squeal” on Facebook to follow the new lives of the sanctuary animals and to learn more about volunteering opportunities, the facility and future projects. I intend to support this heartfelt endeavor and I encourage you all to do the same.