Published On: Wed, Nov 4th, 2015

For Tracey Stewart, Life After The ‘Daily Show’ Is All About The Animals

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The home that Tracey Stewart shares with her husband, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, is a crowded one. In addition to the couple and their two children, the Stewart household includes four dogs, four pigs, three rabbits, two guinea pigs, one parrot, one hamster and two fish (as well as three horses, though they live off-site).

“I’m crazy, ” Tracey Stewart, a former veterinary technician, tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “It means I have hoarding tendencies.”

When Stewart recently ran out of room for rescue animals, she says, “I thought, ‘Why not get a barn and be able to continue … putting animals outside of my home instead of inside?’ ”

So the couple did just that: They bought a farm in New Jersey and announced plans to open a sanctuary for rescued farm animals that will be affiliated with the national animal rescue group, Farm Sanctuary.

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Jon Stewart’s wife, Tracey, recently wrote a book titled Do Unto Animals about helping pets, wildlife and farm animals, and talked to The Humane Society’s All Animals magazine about her love of animals.

What inspired you to write a book?

I was learning so much about animals and started to think about how I could make something really beautiful and fun that people would enjoy sitting down to read. When I met with the book publisher and rambled off my ideas, she said, “Your life in and of itself is remarkable, what you have been doing for kids.” So we formed the book around that idea, of interspersing my own story and the beautiful and impactful experiences we’ve had as a family.

The book has so many unique projects. Do you have any favorites?

My kids love to massage our pets. We really do it up. We put on the spa music and my daughter does aromatherapy. It’s really relaxing for the animals and makes you feel like you’re connecting in a more intimate way. And gardening — it’s so meditative. Our hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs get a lot of the vegetables that we grow in our home garden. If there’s a hole where wildlife is getting in, we pick some stuff and leave it outside for them and then patch the hole with fencing.

Why did you decide to talk about farm animals in your book?

They’re part of our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not. Because we don’t get to see them all that often, we forget how much they are giving to us. I feel if we can understand that and spend time with them, we’ll start to think differently. And not in a way that would be limiting to our lives but would add abundance.

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