Pet Project

Posted in Crosswalk, Fall 2015, Rad Grad

Since graduating in 1990, Tracey Stewart has filled her life with animals, parenting and publishing. Now, she’s about to launch her next act — turning the farm that she owns with her husband Jon Stewart (yes, that Jon Stewart) into an animal sanctuary.

Want to know how to dog whisper or build an apiary that bees will flock to like honey?

Such tidbits of husbandry are among the mix of guidance and gentle memoir in Tracey Stewart’s first book “Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We can Make Their Lives Better,” released in October by Artisan.

The book is a collection of life lessons Stewart, BS design and merchandising ’90, has gleaned from her life caring for animals as an animal advocate, former veterinary technician and farmstead owner. She lives in New Jersey with  former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart and their two kids, plus four dogs, two horses, two pigs, two hamsters, three rabbits, two guinea pigs, one parrot and two fish.

If this sounds like a lot of critters just wait until she completes her current project, which is to turn the couple’s farm into a home for farm animals rescued from cruelty.


The addition of “book author” and “farm sanctuary owner” are just the latest lines on her extensive résumé. The Philadelphia native is also a one-time organic café owner and current founder and editor-in-chief of an online family lifestyle publication.

At the heart of each project is Stewart’s desire to improve the welfare of living things.

“My life has been so touched and vastly improved by my relationship with animals that I felt compelled to give back to them,” Stewart says. “Animals tap into the nurturer, the creative and the adventurer in all of us, and I hope my book inspires readers on each of those levels with its projects, adventures and life lessons.”

Stewart, who describes her Drexel co-ops and study abroad experiences as “still on my Top 10 list of meaningful experiences,” worked in various design-related fields for about 10 years after graduation.

“There wasn’t a job I couldn’t get or keep,” she recalls. “Curse you, Drexel! My success made it all the more difficult to decide to go back to school to become a veterinary technician at the age of 31.”

She added, “It wasn’t until after I had my kids that I realized I could merge my design and veterinary training. When I was young, I knew I loved art, design and animals, but when I grew up I realized I also loved children, people and education.”

Stewart combined her interests by opening Moomah Café, a New York City “sanctuary for overwhelmed parents” who could enjoy organic, health-conscious fare while their children engaged in classes and arts and crafts projects.

The neighborhood favorite closed for good in 2012, but Stewart has continued carrying out its family-friendly and pro-animal values and outreach through Moomah the Magazine, an online parenting publication that offers everything from vegan fashion and recipe ideas to family activities and advice on pet care.

“It wasn’t lost on me how every step of my journey had taken me right where I’ve needed to go,” Stewart reflects. “Apparently my dad was onto something when he strongly suggested I study both art and business.”