On Saturday, October 24, Jon and Tracey Stewart announced that they are partnering with Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization, to open the organization’s fourth location at their New Jersey farm.
The surprise announcement was made at Farm Sanctuary’s 2015 Gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during the couple’s acceptance speech for the Gift of Life Award, which was presented to them for their efforts to promote compassion for farm animals. The glamorous, all-vegan fête was also attended by Jesse Eisenberg, Bellamy Young, Emily Deschanel, Loretta Swit, and Senator Cory Booker.
With her husband Jon by her side, Tracey tearfully announced, “We’re getting married! Farm Sanctuary and us, we’re getting married,” to loud cheers from the crowd of over 500 attendees. “We bought a farm in New Jersey with the intention of starting a farm sanctuary of our own with an educational center, but what I’m announcing tonight is that our farm is actually going to be the New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary. We’re going to build new advocates, new curious learners, and new leaders for this very important movement.”
Before dropping the bombshell announcement, Tracey, who is also joining the organization’s Board of Directors, told the crowd “I pinch myself every time I get a text message from [Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director] Susie Coston or [Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder] Gene Baur. I really can’t believe I’ve been welcomed into their family like I have. I feel like what Farm Sanctuary does is they do rescue and sanctuary for animals, and then without realizing it, they also do rescue and sanctuary for people. And I feel as though they’ve rescued me and they’ve given me sanctuary for the rest of my life.”
Tracey was inspired to pursue her longtime passion for animal protection, and ultimately open the New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary, after reading Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur’s 2008 book Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. Her new book Do Unto Animals features rescue stories from Farm Sanctuary, and she has been apprenticing under the organization’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston since first attending the organization’s annual Farm Animal Care Conference last September.
An opening date for the New Jersey Farm Sanctuary has yet to be announced, but the public is invited to follow its progress by liking The Daily Squeal on Facebook for daily updates through the eyes of the Stewarts’ first sanctuary residents, two piglets named Anna and Maybelle Stewart.
To learn more about Farm Sanctuary, visit farmsanctuary.org.