For Jon Stewart, Life After The Daily Show Will Mean Running An Animal Rescue Sanctuary

Jon Stewart to swap late night comedy for farm animal advocacy.

image via (cc) flickr user Shankbone

When Jon Stewart announced plans to retire from hosting Comedy Central’s The Daily Show—a job he’d held since 1999people immediately wanted to know two things:

-- Who would replace Stewart behind the iconic late night desk?
-- What would Jon do now that he was no longer bound to the break-neck schedule of nightly political comedy?

We got our answer to the first question in late March, when Comedy Central announced occasional Daily Show correspondent Trevor Noah would be taking over hosting duties. Stewart, meanwhile, has been much more taciturn in talking about his future; it was only this past month that he explained his decision to leave The Daily Show in the first place. But for all the speculation on where the (arguably) most recognizable comic in the country would go next (Back to stand up? More feature films?), who would have guessed Stewart’s next incarnation would be “Kind-Hearted Farmer”?

In as far a cry from nightly political comedy as one can get, the (soon-to-be former) professional wise-ass recently became, along with his wife Tracey, the proud owner of a farm located somewhere in New Jersey. Why? A release from animal advocacy org. Farm Sanctuary explains:

The couple recently bought a farm in New Jersey with the intention of providing a home for farm animals rescued from cruelty, and in November, Tracey purchased Adopt a Farm Animal sponsorships for all of their Thanksgiving guests. Even their children are living the Farm Sanctuary life, with Tracey noting that “promises of animal shelter visits in exchange for completed homework are the norm in the Stewart household.

That the Stewarts are animal lovers is no surprise. As Inhabitat points out, Jon has dedicated a number of Daily Show segments to issues of animal advocacy, including this interview with Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur:

Tracey, meanwhile, is the author of Do Unto Animals, a forthcoming book described as: “Part practical guide, part memoir of her life with animals, and part testament to the power of giving back.” The former veterinary technician is also the founder and editor of lifestyle magazine Moomah, which hosts the critter-centric “Animal Kingdom” section. There, her site bio explains that she (along with the rest of the Stewarts) “resides with [...] 4 dogs, 2 horses, 2 pigs, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, 2 hamsters, one parrot and two fish.”

Jon and Tracey are also the namesakes for a pair of rescued sheep.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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