It's interesting how many comedians have gone to bat in a serious way for animals over the years. Bob Barker, Margaret Cho, Bill Maher, Betty White and Ricky Gervais are just some of the many funny people who think crummy treatment of animals is no laughing matter.  

It looks like Jon Stewart, soon-to-be-retired host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show,"  (perhaps following in funnywoman Doris Day's legendary footsteps?) and will be opening an animal sanctuary in his home state of New Jersey. 

Long-time watchers of "The Daily Show" might not be surprised by this news — Stewart occasionally brought up animal rights on his show, doing funny-not-funny segments about them. Most recently, he took New Jersey governor Chris Christie to task for his stance on keeping pigs in gestation crates (see below). 

According to Farm Sanctuary, in announcing the news on its site: "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.'"

In thanks, the organization has already named two rescued sheep after them. Tracey seems to be the driving force behind the couple's animal activism. She was inspired after reading Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur's book, "Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food." The current issue of her magazine, Moomah, is all about going vegan and her first book, "Do Unto Animals," is due out in October.

According to Tracey, “the joy of interacting with animals as friends instead of using them for human consumption is life-changing. A trip to Farm Sanctuary should be on everyone’s to-do list, but you can also bring a little bit of sanctuary home when you sponsor an animal through the Adopt a Farm Animal Program.” 

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Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.