On his program, The
Daily Show, on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart put up with little or no “bull”. He gleefully punched holes in the comments of
the pompous and hypocritical. He maintained an enthusiastic following for
On April 1, 2016
(it was no April Fool’s
joke) Jon changed his stance and went out of his way to save a bull named Frank.
Frank (the bull)
was scheduled to be destroyed at a slaughterhouse in Queens, New York. He managed to escape while being loaded on to
a truck at Archer Hall Live Poultry. He headed straight for for the green
fields of nearby York College. Frank did
no damage, no one was hurt. Frank simply
sought a return to the familiarity of verdant pastures.
Frank came by his
name in remembrance of Frank Lee Morris, the inmate who successfully escaped
from Alcatraz prison in June, 1962. Morris has not been heard from since.
Frank the bull, a
black and white Angus, was felled by tranquillizing darts and taken to Animal
Care Centers of New York City. Workers
as the Center began organizing a fund-raising effort to save Frank, and then,
along came Jon.
Stewart’s wife, Tracey has long
been an animal rights activist. She
credits her rescue pitt bull, Enzo, with inspiring here to leave a toxic 7-year
relationship and move from California to New York, where she met Jon on a blind
date in 1996. They were married in 2000.
Tracey has had a
profound influence on Jon’s
relationship to animals. In addition to
two children, the couple currently have:
4 dogs, 4 pigs, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs,1 parrot, 1 hamster, and 2
When the story
escapade hit the news, Jon headed for the Animal Care Centers of NYC, where he
hand fed Frank some hay and chauffeured him to the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins
Glen, New York. Frank will not end up on someone’s dinner plate.
Tracey Stewart is
on the Board of the Farm Sanctuary. She
and Jon have a 12 acre farm, called Bufflehead Farm, in Middletown, New
Jersey. They are in the process of
preparing the farm to be an outpost of the Farm Sanctuary.
Tracey founded a
cafe/play space in Tribeca (New York) in 2009 with quality food and music,
primarily for moms and young children. The cafe was called Moomah. The
name came from what she had called her security blanket as a child. Her
intention was to offer a place of safety and comfort. Now she has a web
magazine called Moomah which is aimed at helping people connect to the world
around them. For Tracey, concern for
animals is a huge part of that world.
It has been
confirmed, through research, that animals are sentient — they feel joy and
sadness and emotional pain. Knowing
that, it makes sense that humans think about their relationship with non-human
creatures. There is a mass of evidence
that shows that children who abuse animals are likely to become violent,
disconnected, dangerous adults (think Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Albert
DeSalvo [the Boston Strangler]).
Places like The
Farm Sanctuary name all of their animals. In doing so, they emphasize that animals are individuals and “humanize” them by giving
them independent names. It would be more
difficult to be unkind to “Elsa” than to “pig".
Both Jon and Tracey
are advocates of “virtual”
adoption. This is a way that people who can’t take in an animal themselves can
advocate for a specific animal and help it to find an appropriate home.
includes, going to a shelter and learning about the background of an animal of
choice. Put a card next to the cage that
tells about favorite toys, foods, and describe the ideal home for this
potential pet. Advertise through posters and social media. Get the word out. Many shelter animals have found homes through
this exercise. The animals most in need
of this assistance are mutts, pit bulls, black cats, and seniors.
In saving Frank,
the bull, Jon Stewart drew attention to the plight of non-human creatures. It has been noted that his action reminds us
to treat the physical world around us with kindness and respect.
The development of
empathy — the
ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is often cited as a
human’s most valuable resource.
In the words of
greatness of a nation and it’s moral process can be judged by the way it’s
animals are treated”
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